Friend Friday: Wearing Your Beliefs on Your Sleeve.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about links between fashion and other social issues. I for one am glad these discussions are being had – we don’t blog about fashion in a bubble, and I think it’s thrilling to see what a  statement we can make when we band together. This week’s Friend Friday asks: where do our (feminist) beliefs fit into our wardrobe? Read more Friend Friday posts here.

Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion?
There shouldn’t be! There seem to be some daft and pervasive ideas that the ‘frivolity’ of fashion undermines the seriousness of feminism. I think you can support equal pay and wear high heels, just as I think you should be able to wear your own clothes without being harassed. Fashion as an industry has quite rightly been called into question for its role in important social issues, such as low self-esteem in young women and exploitation of women workers, and these are questions that still need to be addressed. But as fashion-loving or fashion-conscious feminists, we are in the perfect position to raise awareness of these issues and speak out when we disagree. Let’s move on from tired old stereotypes and take this thing forward!

FFB’s Feminist Fashion icons – proof the two can co-exist.                                  By Franca.

With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?
When the power players of the industry, ie Queen Viv and Miuccia Prada refuse to identify as feminists, it’s hard to say! There’s no denying that female designers have played an increasingly significant role in the last couple of years, Phoebe Philo’s role in the ‘new minimalism’ being an obvious example, and Donatella Versace aside, there is a case for women’s designs heralding en era of less obvious sexuality. Male style blogger Arash Mazinani recently wrote a post about male designers ‘bringing the sexy back’, and while there’s no denying that Tom Ford et al produce some seriously hot clothes, I’m happy to get less of that on a plate – I’m more interested in clothes that are designed with the wearer in mind.

Marni AW11 – my kind of sexy.

How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?

I’ve gone from hiding myself in sweatshirts to emulating fifties filmstars and back again, in line with my developing opinions. I discussed my ambivalent feelings in a recent post, so I’ll quote it here:

Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

I don’t think they are add-ons as much as extensions, or in some cases – let’s be honest here – enhancements. I certainly don’t advocate buying into a ‘stereotype’ (see my post on Girl Tribes!) but think the beauty of fashion is that it gives us chance to show various ‘truths’ about ourselves; the chance to experiment with colour and silhouette is a fun and creative process. 

Fascinators: fun…and not just for weddings.

There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?
I think that comes over time. I felt uncomfortable ‘leaving out’ my feminist beliefs, but with questions like this and the newly-established Feminist Fashion Bloggers I feel I am now bridging that gap and hitting my stride. That said, I don’t think there’s any need to incorporate every aspect of yourself. I once likened the blogging world to a big social event, and I believe that analogy holds: it’s up to you how much of yourself you want to present to the world. Keep the rest under your hat – you’re entitled.

How do your beliefs colour your wardrobe?


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