Throughout 2017 fashion dove head first into the powerful trend of adding political context to shows and collections. Public School’s Fall/Winter collection stood against the newly elected President Donald Trump by recreating his “Make America Great Again” merchandise, Anniesa Hasibuan’s show only featured models in hijabs to oppose Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’, and Prabal Gurung’s collection presented a variety of feminist slogans including “The Future is Female” and “Revolution has no Borders”.
These are just a few examples of last years influential shows that left audiences feeling as though they had been inspired and educated. In 2018 this is being taken further and more and more collections are being provided with political context and a back story. Here are three recent collections based around the LGBTQ+ community that are having a great impact.
Ashish Fall/Winter 2017-2018
The Ashish Fall/Winter collection drove messages concerning diversity, politics, and LGBTQ+ equality while being considered one of the most thought provoking shows at 2017’s London Fashion Week. We are thrown into a world of metaphorical liberal political expression in which colourful yet tear jerking slogans are met with a runway set resembling the yellow brick road from the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The array of glitter and flamboyant textures caught everyone’s attention, however the focus is on the politically driven embroidery of which many are empowering to those who identify as LGBTQ+. These statements included “Why Be Blue When You Can Be Gay” and “unity in adversity”. The collection was largely based around a rainbow colour palette, also presenting a sense of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Gypsy Sport Fall 2018
The new Gypsy Sport Ready-to-Wear Fall 2018 show was inclusive of a variety of models from different races, size, sexualities, and gender expression. The iconic transgender model and a huge face for LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter activism in 2018, Munroe Bergdorf, stole the show by walking soon after having Facial Feminisation Surgery. This gave the model a completely new look as she states that these features brings her to “harmony with how I see myself on the inside”.
The show also featured a young 10 year old drag queen by the name of Desmond Napoles. Napoles founded the club ‘House of Amazing’, a group for children who also identify as drag queens. He strutted down the runway in an Elizabethan inspired costume while other models wore hypersexualised looks involving chains, faux fur, and patent knee high boots.
Burberry Autumn/Winter 2018
Upon Christopher Bailey’s departure from Burberry his final show will be a tribute to the LGBTQ+ community. The chief creative officer and president of Burberry, who also identifies as a gay man, will be releasing a collection with the LGBTQ+ community at its core. The classic Burberry check will be incorporated with rainbow colours to create a collection that allows audiences to see that Burberry is an all inclusive brand.
Burberry will also be making donations to LGBTQ+ charities such as the Trevor Project, ILGA, and the Albert Kennedy Trust in association with the collection and Christopher Bailey’s leave as of the 31st of March. The collection itself will be shown at London Fashion Week on the 17th of February 2018.
Written by Georgia Megan