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Feminist Fashion

Fashion can be both a tool and a lead weight to feminists. On one side we want to look professional and on the other side we still want to have our fun too. It is all about making choices and having the freedom to wear the pants when we want to and still have the choice to wear feminine clothing when we want to.

Nobody has the right to tell us what we can or cannot wear.

Feminist Fashion and Clothes of the 1970s to the Present
The Ugly Side of Beauty
The Corset: Is it Feminist?
Chastity Belts & Corsets?
Carre Otis and Disgusting Supermodels
The Modern Corset
No More Ms America!
Beauty & Fashion Vs Feminism
Feminine Feminists
Feminist Fashionista
Pretty Vacant
Subverting the Pimp
The Beauty Myth
Women's Handbags
Women's T-Shirts
Body Image
Diet Grrl
Under the Knife
Bony Models Banned in Madrid
Women in Slavery: Sweatshops
Hello Kitty Hegemony
Teen Magazines Vs. Adolescent Girls
Modern Women's Magazines

Feminist Fashion and Clothes of the 1970s to the Present

The 1970s and 1980s:

The rise in androgynous fashion in the 1970s and 1980s was popularised by style icons like Grace Jones, which in turn helped free women from traditional hyper-feminine styling in clothing.

The 1990s:

This androgynous trend continued into the 1990s with the grunge movement helping to popularise unisex wardrobe staples, like ripped jeans, flannel shirts, and the use of plaid for both men and women. The 1990s also saw the rise of feminism's third wave, spurred on by the underground feminist punk movement Riot Grrrl which led to more women wearing black and grey and gender neutral colours. These female punk bands (and online "bloggers" during the late 1990s, although they weren't called bloggers at the time) addressed issues such as domestic abuse, sexuality, patriarchy, and female empowerment, with their clothing reflecting their feminist stance. The musicians and bloggers embraced gender neutral garments, bold graphic messages, the grey jeans outfit, reclaimed feminine motifs, such as the colour pink, giving them a new tougher, feminist meaning.

The 2000s and 2010s:

2017 saw women across the world don 'hot pink pussy hats' during the global Women's Marches which took place in response to Donald Trump's inauguration, and the 2018 Golden Globes' red carpet was dominated by stars wearing black in support of the Time's Up movement. In 2020 Natalie Portman gracing the Oscars red carpet wearing a Dior dress overlaid with a cape featuring the names of snubbed female designers embroidered in gold thread.

However in the fashion industry itself, we have seen many major design houses appoint their first ever female directors in recent years. Maria Grazia Chiuri made her debut for Dior in 2016, and in 2017 Clare Waight Keller took over at Givenchy. The fashion industry finally seems to slowly be moving in a direction which favours gender equality, but behind-the-scenes its a very different story.

The fashion industry as a whole is still largely run on cheap labour, primarily Asian women and children working in slavery-like conditions, with Vogue Australia reporting that "about 80 per cent of garment workers globally are women, most aged between 18 and 35." And most of them are working in sweatshops, barely paid anything for their work, and they have children to feed so they don't have much choice except to work in the sweatshops.

The fashion industry needs to change internally, and consumers need to do more to boycott brands that use sweatshop labour. There are things we consumers can do to help. Social media and consumer culture has shifted to put pressure on clothing brands to produce their products ethically, and the movement to avoid fast fashion is certainly a step in the right direction. As feminist consumers it has become crucial that we research the brands that we are buying from in order to ensure that the money we spend doesn't end up supporting sweatshop slavery.

The 2020s:

Not everything has been good however during the past 50 years of fashion. Remember low rise jeans? Well, some people are trying to bring them back. Plus now there are push up jeans, which aim to show off a woman's posterior curves - which is great if you're a post-feminist who likes choice, but not so great if you see this as a step backwards.

2020 also saw the rise of the newest gender neutral fashion accessory, skyrocketing to number 1 in popularity thanks to the Coronavirus: The face mask! This hot ticket little number now allows you to mouth the words "f*** you" to the patriarchy without them being able to hear or see what you are saying. Try it out. Makes me feel better every time I say it to the Trumpite / flatearther morons who refuse to wear a mask.

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