Fashion IS Political, Period

Fashion IS Political, Period

Artwork by Milo Matthieu We all know politics is about power and as feminist theory famously posits, the personal is political. While our clothing reflects who we are, in many ways it can also determine our ability to gain entry into influential spaces. Yet when women express an interest in fashion, it is often weaponized as a means of denying us access to political conversations—as if these interests were mutually exclusive. Teen Vogue became a target of this strain of chauvinism during our coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign and election. I quickly earned a bull’s-eye for my work covering everything from Ariana Grande’s shoes to Donald Trump’s lies—the fashion and entertainment articles were routinely used by dissenters on Twitter to call my intelligence into question and disqualify my political coverage. The most grotesque example was broadcast on national television last year when a male Fox News host abruptly ended our politically charged debate by telling me to “stick to the thigh-high boots.” Subscribe now to Teen Vogue to get Volume III: The Icons Issue + a free gift! The notion that enjoying fashion precludes the potential for critical thought espouses an absurd double standard with obvious roots in sexism. Despite what the critics may say, you are allowed to obsess over a pair of shoes while maintaining a passionate investment in the future of this country. As a woman who cares about both, I wanted to arm myself—and every young woman who reads Teen Vogue—with a new way to think about fashion’s role in the context of politics. To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video WATCH Riverdale’s Cole Sprouse & KJ Apa Compete in a Compliment Battle Share Tweet Email More… EMBED URLVIDEO URL This live video has ended. It will be available to watch shortly. See what else is new Loaded: 0%Progress: 0% UnmuteVolume 0% Back Caption Options Close Settings Language English Font Size Small Medium Large Position Auto Bottom Top Sample Caption TextCurrent Time 0:00Duration 0:00Remaining Time -0:00 Speaking with a range of designers, I find the answer unfailingly turns to personal agency and its sartorial extensions. Designer Mara Hoffman immediately sweeps my existential question into a big-picture reality, explaining that how she exists in the world as a woman is political: “Life is political…. Walking through this planet is political.” (I immediately envision clips of her simple yet profound statement plastered on one of those third-wave feminist T-shirts. We’ll get to those later.) In a world where good old boys’ clubs prevail and victim-blaming persists, the way a woman decides to adorn her body can alter the course of her life. How many times have we heard wearing a miniskirt equated with asking for it? For women navigating traditionally male fields (read: most of them), the daily practice of dressing can also be a professional and political minefield. Tory Hoen, the creative director of brand marketing for MM.LaFleur, a […]

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