Making Waves: Feminists in Fashion
Feminist fashion photographer Petra Collins has been making some serious waves in the industry of late with her dreamily lit, rose tinted view into girlish femininity. Collins has shot for the likes of Wonderland, Vogue, Calvin Klein, and feminist label You and Me, and her work has brought an array of body types into mainstream fashion. Her girl gang of model muses consists of Instagram favourite Barbie Ferreira (pictured) and teenage fashion blogger extraordinaire Tavi Gevinson of The Style Rookie, together they are the coolest all-female creative collective around. Outside the fashion world Collins’ art work explores female self-representation, sexuality and friendship. We seriously want into her gang.
Hanna was the radical front woman of the punk rock band Bikini Kill and a key figure in third-wave feminism of the 90’s. Bikini Kill, is considered by many to have pioneered the riot grrrl movement. Hanna’s stage outfits were often a statement, toying with the idea of gender, and ‘asking for it’. Hanna famously wore a dress with the words ‘Kill Me’ emblazoned across the chest, similarly here she writes ‘slut’ on her bare body, arguing that nothing women do with their appearance can ever consistute ‘asking for it’. We can see her influence today, just look at Amber’s ‘Whore’ jumpsuit.
Amber has been a huge advocate of the revolutionary idea that women should be able to behave exactly as they please, her Funny or Die video ‘Walk of No Shame’ saw her foraying through a typical middle-American town, last nights heels in hand, embracing the walk of no shame and even being praised by passers by for her ability to embrace her sexuality. She has been a huge advocate for women’s rights to their own sexuality, and has used tag lines such as ‘strippers have feelings too’ to get her point across. Here she and Blac Chyna are pictured at the 2015 MTV VMA’s covered head to toe in all the words under the sun women have used against them for being sexually empowered.
Leandra can be found sticking a middle finger up to men’s expectations of how a woman should dress. Instead she pioneers the trickiest of trends, even those which might occasionally end up repelling some men, over on her blog The Man Repeller. Established in 2010 her blog documents her outfits, and often hilarious advice on how to dress for no. 1…yourself. Medine put items such as ‘harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits and clogs’ on her list of bad-ass clothes she loves to wear despite their lack of conventional sex-appeal. Leandra is sartorial proof that women dress for themselves and even more importantly, that loving fashion doesn’t make you any less of a feminist.
The swinging-sixities saw the rise of female liberation, and in turn the rise of hemlines too. The mini skirt was a rebellion against the longer circle skirts of the 50’s, think Grease. Post-war Britain was for the first time in a long time experiencing a youth market with money to spend, which made for more experimental fashion trends and the rise of subcultures too, the Mods favoured these super-short styles, paired with colourful tights. British designer Mary Quant is widely accredited for the popularity of the mini, which at the time was seen by some as genuinely scandalous.
The queen of revolutionary fashion design had a hand in really changing the way that women dressed in the 1920’s, Chanel did not just sell items of clothing, but an attitude as well. She was one of the very first to take elements from the way men dressed to influence her designs, she was key in popularising women wearing trousers. Perhaps most importantly she created the iconic Chanel suit, which we have seen remixed hundreds of times on the catwalks since it’s conception, this was a turning point in female power dressing at a time of an even more male dominated workplace than today.
Images courtesy of: Like Success, Milk, Oyster, Irish Mirror, Mess Mag, Pinterest, Feminist Elizabethan