Fashionable Feminism- Are Fashion and Feminism Compatible?

Music, performing arts, literature and fashion as popular culture have been a powerful tool for fighting against issues and expressing particular ideas and gender equality is no exception.

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Music has been weighing in recently * cue Beyonce and Taylor Swift * as well as television with Lena Dunham one of the perfect pin-up Girls (Pun Intended) but it seems feminism is the new black in Fashion with Chanel and Karl Lagerfield at Paris Fashion week recreating the 1968 French student protest which saw the second wave of feminism.

However riffled off of today’s movement for gender equality, through the lens of social media the campaign has received a lot of attention since yesterday- cultivating both praise and criticism.

This faux demonstration for feminism has had social media weighing in on both sides of the argument- can fashion and a private runway party really empower women and constitute as a translating into the feminist inspired protest which is usually fought so publically? Lagerfield has been criticised in the past for selling women false ideals on the definition of ‘beauty’ and labelling successful women such as Adele according to their appearance not their achievements. Many online punters argued that the campaign would have created greater positive waves if it included women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities, rather than just ‘wealthy’ feminism barbie dolls’ as an individual commented on Jezebels.

Lagerfield is not the only individual to borrow feminism to move a product and create waves within the associated industry and beyond. Artists such as Beyoncé who incorporated Chimamanda Ngozi Ted Talk into her song Flawless has also caused debate on whether the stars action and lyrics translate into the essence of Feminism. In the era of a fourth wave of feminism, the blurring of the lines mean that feminism is no longer something that needs to streets, but rather it can be developed on a global level through social media and hubs- which sees this campaign to many as having validity in the 21st century.

It girls Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner led the charge with Lagerfield writing fashion is dictated by what is trending and with feminism a hot topic at them moment, his motives are questioned- was it merely gestural or was this the fashion designers’ response to the movement because of its current trending nature?

No matter what corner you sit in, in regards to Chanel’s latest stunt, the campaign has moved social media attention away from the fashion to conversations about feminism in contemporary society. In the end Lagerfeld is creating conversation around an area that needs to have more attention that needs to have more people joining conversations.

What are your thoughts on the campaign? Can popular culture such as this stunt help Run The Word?

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