What a time to be alive. Somewhere in the world, a Mitsubishi parallel parks itself, a voice-activated coffee maker brews a non-fat cappuccino, and a simplistic Dior slogan tee dominates the Paris runway-causing a media firestorm.
Bringing feminism to the foreground of fashion, Maria Grazia Chiuri makes her debut as Christian Dior’s first female art director in the company’s 70 year history. Channeling Celebrated Nigerian writer and feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2012 Ted x Talk , the t-shirt emboldened the unequivocal statement “We should all be feminists.”A vehicle for change and a reflection of the current political climate, slogan tees have endured the test of time as a staple in fashion, from “Frankie Says Relax” to “Flick Your Bean for Agyness Deyn,” posing the question of what is truly at stake.
The age old feminist/fashion debate is stirred once again: where is the feminist’s place in twenty-first century fashion politic? In an epoch of expansive freedom, social activism, and artistic expression, Chiuri’s progressive collection of fencing-inspired suits and elegant, comfortable clothing speaks to modern women of ambition. She asserts in her show notes, "I strive to be attentive and open to the world and to create fashion that resembles the women of today.” This marks a radical time for female empowerment and gender equality in an industry that has been dominated by males for centuries.
An indelible assertion of self-expression and empowerment, the runway challenges repressive social conditions and ideologies in its attempts to transpire social change. Millennials today experience a new wave of feminism, one that advocates for gender equality built on liberation and the freedom to make choices-or in other words, a dio(r)evolution of the mind.
Written by Jasmine Ashoori