For the past few seasons, the industry has seen major progress on the catwalks during Fashion Month. by Sarah Wasilak
There's diverse casting in shows, giving way to models of more shapes, sizes, gender identities, and colours. And we're continuing to welcome change. In order to do that, we must pause to celebrate all the milestones — the major moments that gave us chills because they were so meaningful and, especially in 2017, spoke to the political climate.
Whether it was spotting a symbolic white bandana on the streets of Paris, tied around a blogger's bag to represent unity, or soaking up the powerful finale at Prabal Gurung, where models wore t-shirts carrying messages of unity, we were inspired by the action around us all month. All of the events here made us feel strong, proud, stylish — and a little bit nasty — all at the same time. Scroll to reminisce.
There Was a Women's March at Missoni
Angela Missoni knitted over 40 of her models pink pussyhats, continuing the Women's March on her own catwalk at Milan Fashion Week and making for a very Instagrammable moment. The show notes read: "Angela Missoni communicates the femininity of our times, prepared to confront the conflicts and dilemmas of our contemporary society: the conditions, needs, and rights of all women and minorities."
This was the continuation of a "march" of sorts that started in New York, when Prabal Gurung sent out a finale of tees plastered with quotes like "we will not be silenced" and "break down walls." Jonathan Simkhai, too, made a similar move when he distributed "Feminist AF" shirts to the front row and confirmed he'd be donating $5 per seat to Planned Parenthood.
Halima Aden Wore Her Hijab on the Catwalk
Autumn 2017 was definitely the season model Halima Aden made her mark. She walked both the Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti catwalk after making an appearance at Yeezy. During all of this, she scored the cover of CR Fashion Book alongside Paris Jackson. For every instance, she kept her hijab on and echoed the efforts of designers like Anniesa Hasibuan, who presented a collection in full hijab at New York Fashion Week for the second time, choosing only models who are immigrants, green card holders, or first/second-generation Americans for her show.
We Made Political Statements in the Streets
There were so many inspiring jackets and t-shirts we spotted that were particularly poignant, including blogger Aimee Song's moto coat that read "No Walls Between Us." It was a complement to all the activism on the catwalks and a sign of the industry's call to action, just like the white bandanas showgoers wore in support of Business of Fashion's initiative to stand united and equal for four weeks straight.
With this, and with the empowering runway shows, we were forced to consider our personal political stances. In other words, fashion is no longer just an art form or sanctuary where we can escape from the day-to-day but the exact opposite: it's an outlet for us to speak our minds and put our beliefs on display.
Ashley Graham Was the First-Ever Curvy Model to Walk at Michael Kors
Michael Kors is always a show highly anticipated at Fashion Week. The designer creates an "old-school" atmosphere, providing music and a clean catwalk, so guests can really take in the clothes. And while Blake Lively sat in the front row, all eyes were on Ashley Graham, who rocked a slitted dress, fur coat, and glove pumps on the catwalk, proving that girls with curves look just as fabulous and downright sexy in Kors's classic wardrobe.
The Catwalks Were Diverse
Each season, The Fashion Spot releases its diversity findings, and this season showed that 31.5 percent of models were nonwhite. We were most excited to see that no designer cast a show of solely white models, for the first time ever. Labels like Gypsy Sport, Yeezy, Marc Jacobs, Brandon Maxwell, and Tracy Reese featured the most diverse lineups from NYFW. This significant increase in diversity speaks to the future of fashion and the hope that eventually this will become the norm.
Bloggers and Influencers
Moved From the Front Row to the Catwalk With the general recognition that fashion is for everyone — every body type, every culture, and every age group — why not represent it in that light? Dolce & Gabbana took the first step by casting children, millennials, pop influencers, and bloggers in the show. As it is each season, the runway became somewhat of a party at Milan Fashion Week. Princess Olympia of Greece, Harley Viera-Newton, Sarah Snyder, and Shea Marie walked, and Austin Mahone performed.