In the grand finale of yesterday's Chanel show at the Grand Palais, the models emerged en masse, marching, this time with bullhorns and placards: “#HeforShe, History is Herstory, Divorce Pour Tous!” In their mélange of smart tweeds, sweeping military coats, and color-soaked florals, they cavorted for the cameras. It looked like they were having a lot of fun.
Lagerfeld’s statement was the fashion equivalent of Beyoncé’s “Feminist” backdrop at the VMAs — a fourth-wave moment that happened to unite genuine sentiment with a trend just hitting mid-crest. (There was also possibly some fun being poked at France’s protest-happy culture. Now that the Air France nightmare is over, we were treated to a pharmacists’ strike this morning, and tomorrow, it's the notaries' turn.)
So was Karl cashing in on feminism as a trend, or trying to serve people a side of social justice with their 2.55 bags? A little bit of both would be my guess. The designer always has a trigger finger on the pulse of culture, whether that means the alcohol-monitoring bracelets of the rehabbed-starlet era or last season’s supermarket-sweep take on normcore.
Two other designers today focused on female self-protection on a more aesthetic level — Iris van Herpen, with her spiny, sea-anemone-like constructions that almost seemed designed to keep predators at bay, and Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, who kitted out her models in chin-strapped helmets that evoked boxers and soldiers. (The show was held, appropriately, at the barracks.) But while both collections had a prickly, arm’s-distance feeling to them, they were also beautiful, whether that beauty came in the form of van Herpen’s 3-D-printed shells that resembled spun sugar or Burton’s florals and unsparing use of pink.
On the opposite side of the coin was Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s collection for Valentino. Inspired by the 18th-century tradition of the Grand Tour — à la Daisy Miller — the duo drew on archival prints to create romantic gowns splashed with images of shells and starfish. Was it fierce? No, but their romantic vision was appealing in its way. Maybe we’ll really be empowered when we can wear whatever we want without having to worry about what it says about our current level of liberation.
Most Viewed Stories
This Conspiracy Theory Will Change How You Feel About the Bachelor Villain
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
Things to Keep You Warm and Dry at a Protest
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
Sexual Assault in the Amazon
Pakistani Pop Star Stops Concert When He Spots Sexual Harassment
TMZ Reports Trump Will Actually Have Really Cool Inauguration Performers
Ask Polly: Should I Quit Grad School?
Your Guide to NYC Inauguration Weekend Protests
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
The Fashion Spot
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.