Power of Politics

The Politics of Fashion are over.

Of course, politics and fashion will never be really over. But if you’re looking for the Design Exchange’s exhibit of more than 200 fashion works spanning 1960 to the present day? That, my friend, has just ended.

Shame on you if you missed it. The exhibit, guest curated by international fashion icon Jeanne Beker with DX curator Sara Nickleson, explored such themes as activism, consumerism, campaign and power dressing, gender and sexuality, and appropriation.

It asked you to examine how fashion contributes to social progress. And gave you innumerable examples of contemporary designers who have used the power of fashion to make a statement bigger than fashion itself.

“Throughout the decades, we’ve used fashion to communicate issues of ethics and activism, gender and sexuality, war and peace and campaign and power. It all makes for a stylish lesson in socio-political history and a profound celebration of the human spirit and psyche.” ~ Jeanne Beker

Visionary works from the archives of Hussein Chalayan, Jeremy Scott, Moschino, PETA, RAD HOURANI, Christopher Raeburn, Diesel and Jean Charles de Castelbajac were on view alongside items loaned by collectors of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

The DX’s Politics of Fashion reminded us that activism is not some relic of the 60’s. Just look at Vivienne Westwood’s 2013 collection called Climate Revolution. Or Christopher Raeburn’s waterproof military bivouac bags for his REMADE line. Or how about Maison Martin Margiela upcycled leather poncho made from vintage leather jackets? Nope – the politics aren’t over. They just keep changing.

Ethical. Sustainable. These are the politics of today.