Fashioning a Female Future

Alice Bodkin
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On my journey from South Kensington station to the glorious V&A Museum, I was performing my usual study of the the advertisements that are systematically positioned on the tiled underground subway. One in particular caught my eye. ‘Elizabeth 1st and Her People’ is being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.

Elizabeth I ruled independently. She did not, like every other female monarch before her, marry.  She represents female strength and power. Arguably this is demonstrated in the title of the exhibit. They were ‘her’ people. And whoever they were, do not possess any impressionable importance as there is no invitation for their names.  But in terms of timing and fashion, this exhibit is incredibly interesting and increasingly relevant.

In terms of attitudes, the role of women today is being redefined. Through a shift of gender roles, fashion is exploring the definition of femininity. The concept of ‘genderless’ is coming to fruition. This is explored in Chanel’s campaign that features Freja Beha Erichsen having an affair with another woman. Arguably this could be representative of the designer herself. But more importantly, it embodies the change of the face in femininity within fashion. A term that seems to be consistent within the LFW Daily at the capital’s most recent shows has been ‘androgynous designs’.

Wildfang is a new online retailer that is within their initial launch months. With a name that is German for tomboy, Wildfang also represents the adaptable androgynous attitudes within fashion. The brand launched as a reaction to global companies such as Nike not stocking women’s sizes in men’s trainers. Quite frankly, why can’t women wear men’s trainers? Or men wear skirts? There is no reason, as demonstrated by Marc Jacobs.

Fashion is about freedom of expression. Such a theme is prominent in the V&A’s Fashion in the 1980s Club to Catwalk exhibit that celebrates the politically expressive work of Katharine Hammet. She is another strong female voice.  With muses such as Elizabeth I and Katharine Hammet, female focused thinking is the talk of fashion today.

About Alice Bodkin

Alice – A life involving coffee everyday. I am a city girl, a fashion writer and study Fashion Communication and Promotion. Politics, philosophy and the cultural motivation that drives consumer behaviour and trends inspires me most. My loves are travelling, learning and mornings.