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Challenging Fashion Boundaries and Showcasing Minority Creators

The December issue of Vogue US saw Harry Styles grace its cover, making him the first solo male to front the magazine in Vogue’s 128-year history. Whilst it may not be surprising that Styles was chosen for the cover of Vogue magazine considering the success that 2020 has had in store for him, the shoot instantly became a defining moment in fashion history. The cover photo shows Styles wearing a classic double-breasted black Gucci jacket over a custom-made baby blue, lace Gucci dress (designed by Gucci’s Creative Director and Styles’ close friend, Alessandro Michele). Naturally, an image of a man wearing a dress on the cover of the world’s most notorious fashion magazine drew headlines and ruffled a few feathers. The most famous quote that this image bore was Candace Owens’ tweet “bring back manly men.” This controversial quote lead to an onslaught of praise in support of Styles, as well as some right-wing commentators supporting Owens. Whilst it is evident that 2020 has proven that masculinity is no more than a concept formed by societal norms, it is also worth considering if Styles deserves the praise that he has been given. Continue reading Challenging Fashion Boundaries and Showcasing Minority Creators

Billie’s Body: The Culture of Body Shaming

Billie Eilish has exponentially risen to fame in the last few years, renowned for her ‘baggy’ streetwear style as shown by “her gender-neutral style to the Grammys with a neon green, crystal-embellished Gucci bowling shirt and jogging pants” (Lindsay Weinberg 2020). In an interview for Calvin Klein’s 2019 campaign, “I Speak My Truth In #MyCalvins”, Eilish divulged that her style sparked from her desire for … Continue reading Billie’s Body: The Culture of Body Shaming

Reviews in Retrospect: Wales Bonner Spring 2021 Collection

British fashion designer, Grace Wales Bonner’s Spring 2021 Menswear collection is a beautifully retro, jewel-toned tribute to her Jamaican heritage. The Central Saint Martin’s graduate regularly explores black culture through her designs, and her most recent collection takes inspiration from early-1980s Jamaica, and dancehall and reggae culture. Wanting to put her own spin on this, she looks to her upbringing in London and adds a British twist to her Jamaican roots. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Wales Bonner Spring 2021 Collection

The Fashion Industry: Ignoring the Plus-Size and Petite Communities

It is common knowledge by now that the fashion industry is not as inclusive as it could and should be. One of the areas of fashion that lacks inclusivity is the sizing range that clothing stores and companies offer to customers. ‘Regular’ sizes in the UK consist of anything between a size 6 and a size 16. Anything outside of this ‘regular’ sizing is then considered to be petite or plus-sized. Whilst the fashion industry is trying its best to be inclusive by featuring petite and plus-size ranges as parts of their collections, it doesn’t always hit the mark. Continue reading The Fashion Industry: Ignoring the Plus-Size and Petite Communities

Bleed Greener: Sustainable Alternatives to Fast Fashion, the World’s Best-Dresser Polluter

In recent years, consumers have demanded more and more from the fashion industry. They clamour for greater quantities of garments to fill their already-bursting wardrobes, to keep up with fleeting TikTok fashion trends and, most importantly, to appear on their well-curated social media accounts. The fashion industry has undergone a significant shift in recent years, rapidly adapting to the purchasing habits of modern consumers. Above all, people are seeking more clothing than ever before, and this sartorial excess comes at the cost of the environment. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Sustainable Alternatives to Fast Fashion, the World’s Best-Dresser Polluter

Why Princess Di is still at the Forefront of Fashion

When you think of 90s fashion, what first comes to mind? Cycling shorts, baggy sweatshirts and high-waisted jeans? Oversized blazers, scrunchies and tiny shoulder bags? If you’re thinking that sounds like a rundown of what you’d see walking into Urban Outfitters, you’d be correct. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a revival for all things vintage – and no-one exuded 90s cool better than Princess Diana. Continue reading Why Princess Di is still at the Forefront of Fashion

Problematic Lockdown Shopping Habits

Finding ways to deal with lockdown boredom can sometimes feel like a pointless endeavour. However, many have taken to online shopping as a remedy to quell such mundanity. As the ‘physical’ fashion industry has taken a slight pause with the cancellation of summer fashion shows and September fashion weeks looking increasingly unlikely, the virtual fast fashion world has kept charging on at its usual unsustainable speed. PFS discovered in a recent survey of 2,000 Brits that “three in five (60%) consumers have purchased more goods since the lockdown began, than they did before, with 53% having shopped more online”. Moreover, the report outlined that “more than three quarters (77%) of these […] expect they will continue to purchase online more once the lockdown is over – indicating a potentially irreversible change in consumer purchasing behaviour”. But what does an “irreversible change” in UK consumer behaviour mean for the employees at the bottom of the supply chain and the environment? Continue reading Problematic Lockdown Shopping Habits

Performativity and All-White Workplaces: The Racism that Happens Behind-the-scenes of the Fashion Industry

In the wake of the recent global Black Lives Matter protests, discussions surrounding racism within the workplace have been bought to light, with individuals and former employees finally finding the courage to speak out about their experiences of discrimination. As a result, many industries and companies have come under fire for their problematic attitudes towards their non-white employees and their consequential lack of action, with the fashion industry being one of the most revealing. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the fashion industry lacks diversity, with runways and fashion campaigns featuring predominantly white, thin models, and constant instances of cultural appropriation seen on the runway and in collections. However, recent years have shown a development in the diversity seen on the runway, with South Sudanese model Adut Akech winning model of the year at the 2019 Fashion Awards. Whilst this improvement cannot be said for every fashion house (just look at the Dior AW20 campaign), the inclusivity seen amongst models is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. One well-known luxury fashion brand that has been hailed for the diversity of their models is Jacquemus. This French fashion house, founded by designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, is most well-known for its stunning runway show backdrops, the Le Chiquito mini bags and also inclusivity of models of all sizes, races and genders, with Vogue even congratulating the brand for their “gorgeously diverse casting”. Whilst Jacquemus has been praised for this diversity, recent revelations prove that this inclusivity goes no deeper than surface level. Continue reading Performativity and All-White Workplaces: The Racism that Happens Behind-the-scenes of the Fashion Industry

Creative Corner: NinaValentine Designs

During the early stages of lockdown, when I still had a dissertation to write and exams to sit, I was able to keep the boredom at bay. Even though it was hard to motivate myself to do work, at least I had something to aim for. Once I was finished however, suddenly I had all this time on my hands with nothing to do. All of my summer plans were cancelled, jobs and internships were postponed, and I had to find something to do to fill my days – so I wouldn’t go completely mad! Continue reading Creative Corner: NinaValentine Designs