Wednesday, October 8, 2008

America, Politics, and Fashion

If you read a book on the history of fashion, it's impossible not to recognize the effects that politics have on fashion. Wars inspire minimalist styles, politicians set trends, and the people dress to show support for their country.

I do find it very interesting how prominent America and American politics are in fashion today. That short phase where everyone was traipsing around in red, white, and blue clothing plastered with stars and stripes has mostly ended, but there's still a lot of the sentiment if you know where to look.

So maybe this photo isn't so political, but it's definitely American. I love how that good ole home-on-the-range mentality is shown. The photo shoot is called Urban Cowboy and really has nothing to do with America, but of course the flag was thrown into the shot to offset that quintessential Western cowboy look.

Then, of course, there's the more blatant political statement:

Steven Meisel shot this controversial Make Love Not War editorial. The message is pretty obvious. I'm not sure that it influenced people's views on whether or not to end the war, but it did call attention to the matter, which is not something fashion is generally given credit for.

Last but not least, the fashion world has been very involved in the Obama campaign.

Sonia Rykiel and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac sent Obama-emblazoned looks down the runway, as did Nicole Farhi, while many famous names designed pieces to be sold in the Obama store. In addition, I quite like the Obama Baggu Bags. And of course, the fact that the candidate himself graces the cover of Men's Vogue just goes to show that politics and fashion do, after all, mesh quite well.

Note to the non-fashion crowd: Fashion isn't as shallow as you think.

13 comments:

makemoremistakes said...

I love this post, and totally agree! I think that fashion is an art, and in so many areas art really reflects life- and politics are (fortunately? unfortunately?) a part of life. Plus that Meisel story is one of my all time favorites- both for the message and the photography.
Hope you're well dear!!

susie_bubble said...

I loved the Obama references in the JCDC show...

Anonymous said...

Yet another merger of fashion and the Obama campaign, this one with tongue firmly in cheek:

www.cafepress.com/obamuku

Kevin

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