There are huge strides being made in the fight for feminism, and by its female centric nature the fashion industry could seemingly be something to hold up as an example of female strength and independence. Catwalks are often about accentuating and celebrating women, yet the disparity we see between catwalk attitudes and those that surround us everyday could actually demonstrate just how far there is to go before we truly embrace the female body. Although catwalk fashion reflects future trends on the high street, the clothes are often significantly altered to make them wearable. Of course there are practical considerations to be made, but how much are these alterations based no what is deemed ‘acceptable’ or ‘appropriate’ for women to wear?
When Rita Ora attended the Paris 2016 Couture Fashion Show in January she wore a bright orange Versace ‘bungee dress’ for the occasion. The dress was straight from the catwalk that she was attending and there was no negative press about the model in the same outfit. What was the difference? Her body. Rita is curvier than the model, and so she was criticized. On the catwalk the female body is deemed art with outfits that emphasise that, and yet we fail to embrace such values day today. Women are becoming more and more empowered through dress, yet they remain heavily judged for choosing to reveal their body, especially when it doesn’t fit catwalk proportions and ideals.
This was once again demonstrated when Rita Ora was a guest on The One Show. She wore a plunging white blazer, and the show received 400 complaints. The One Show then apologised on Twitter for her outfit choice, saying if they had been consulted they would have “requested she wore something more suitable for 7pm”. Which begs the question, is clothing really something to be offended by? More importantly, is the female body? This view seems to disappear on the catwalk, where experimentation is encouraged and celebrated. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before this is the case within society as well, because while this disparity exists, so does the existence of these damaging attitudes towards women.
Images: Evening standard, MARC PIASECKI/WIREIMAGE; PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN/GETTY