Fashion for Change in 2016
Last year saw plus-size model Ashley Graham steal the show at New York Fashion Week with her curvaceous lingerie range, whilst France passed a bill banning the use of excessively thin models. This year, it seems that plenty of big fashion names will be taking a stand against questionable ad campaigns and lack of diversity in favour of a more embracive, out-of-the-box approach.
The fashion and beauty industry has long been called upon to represent – and cater for – all shapes and sizes, and singer Beth Ditto is one style icon who has decided to take matters into her own hands. Having recently teamed up with Jean Paul Gaultier on the design of an oversized t-shirt featuring the iconic cone bra corset, she is now set to launch her own plus-size clothing range in February. Inspired by her love of vintage, it promises to be bold and fearless.
With high street favourite River Island also due to release their plus-size line in March, and plenty of online stores such as Peter Hahn offering beautiful clothes in all sizes, it’s reassuring to see this all-inclusive approach finally filtering through to the world of high fashion.
Fashion for Change: Top left: Ashley Graham works the catwalk at NYFW, top right: Beth Ditto models for Marc Jacobs, bottom left: Jaden Smith plays on gender in the latest LV advertising campaign and bottom right: printed top by Peter Hahn available up to a size 28.
It is not only attitudes to size that are shifting this year. In a bold fashion statement that truly defies gender boundaries, Jaden Smith recently modelled in a Louis Vuitton womenswear campaign by rocking a knee-length skirt and tasselled vest top. Appearing alongside female models Sarah Brannon, Rianne Van Rompaey and Jean Campbell, Smith is the first male model to feature in a womenswear campaign for the brand, and stands for a generation that believes in expressing itself through fashion rather than conforming to rigid categories and so-called norms.
The photos of the campaign, which were posted on Instagram earlier this month by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere, show a young model who is completely and utterly comfortable in his own skin, challenging the concept of gender-based fashion and signalling instead a shift towards a universal wardrobe. Indeed, androgynous suits have long been a fashion staple for both men and women alike, so it is not surprising that other fashion styles should start to shed their gender labels.