Activist Chic

The spring 2017 runways made a literal statement with their slogan-covered pieces. 

By Veronica Iannuzzi

Art has always been a medium for people to express themselves. Whether it be a painting, novel, or a politically charged poem, artists find a way to share their opinion through a particular aesthetic. In looking at this past year, it seems like everyone is recovering from an especially grueling 2016. We just witnessed a vicious election cycle, a refugee crisis in the Middle East, and unfortunately so much more. The designers of the spring 2017 runways are reacting to these political realities with statement-making designs – literally.

Models walked down the runway wearing pieces made with a written message. A model at Dior wore a shirt wearing, “We should all be feminists”, and someone donned a “Be your own hero” top at Haider Ackermann. This new trend also continued with Stella McCartney, Sacai, and Michael Kors. Fashion always aims to make a statement, and the spring designers took that spirit and applied it directly to the garments. It is always interesting when current events bleed into pop culture, but seeing an array of written messages all over the global runways is unique and inspiring.

We are heading into a 2017 that is feeling the effects of a tumultuous 2016. Art is a powerful tool for everyone to use and lean on because it has the power to inspire. It gives people a voice and an opportunity to express themselves without being overbearing. Art acts as a mirror for people to look into and examine the world around them. The industry should look to the spirit of the spring runways and follow their example. Whether it’s “We are all feminists” or “Be your own hero”, let your sentiments be known and rely on art to communicate the message.