Disrespect of Fashion’s Customers

March 2, 2012 | Sarah

On The Daily Beast, there is a quick article about Paris Fashion Week that grabbed my attention. Amid the runways, shows and celebrities, one writer is questioning: do some designers hate women?

The article looks primarily at the show put on by designer Rick Owens. She describes some of his clothes as “skilled and sophisticated.” What made her pause however was how the show was presented:

Rick Owens mounts a runway show that features women wearing cagelike masks, emerging from a flaming backdrop, to the throbbing repetition of the word “b****.”

As the article continues, it is clear that the writer is uncomfortable with the show and its message. She continues:

Every designer deserves a degree of poetic license, leeway to shock and provoke. But in exchange for that generosity, the designer has a responsibility to make clear his ultimate goal, to ask himself whether the ends justify the insults and bruises along the way. In this case, they did not. Just because runway shenanigans are self-consciously weird or provocative or discomforting, that doesn’t elevate them to art. That doesn’t make them good…the most memorable aspect of Owens’s Fall 2012 runway show was not his palette of moss, mushroom, and cocoa or his splendidly balanced proportions, but a single, unshakeable question: What’s his beef with women?

Fashion is typically considered a female interest, yet is a career dominated by men. For many in the fashion world, this leads to a tension between designers and customers.

However, this should not lead to a blatant disregard for women and femininity. As the article continues, the writer focuses on other designers at Fashion Week who celebrate women and their diverse natures and fashion choices. The article closes with looking at the Dior show, which featured beautiful clothes that recalled femininity and elegance.

I would not consider myself a fashionista by any means, but I found this article interesting. I had never considered that there would be such a tension in the fashion world. However, I applaud the fact that there are designers who are seeking to use their products and crafts to celebrate women, not degrade them.

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