by Mariana Aguilera, @demureista
Where to start? Oh yes, that Vogue just listed Alexander Wang as one of the top seven Fall 2016 shows during New York Fashion Week last week. This is quite bothersome on other levels that require another post. Alexander Wang chose a church, St. Bartholomew's on Park Avenue as the venue space to showcase his Fall/Winter 2016 collection. Like why? Do you really think that's being different and taking a risk? Churches have been holding their own fashion shows for ages. I guess whatever sells: controversy. What happened to creativity? GUCCI is another brand that has recently announced they too have chosen a place of worship as their venue to showcase their Fall 2016 collection.
What's so bothering is not even so much the church choice but this old concept of making racy dressed women with chains dressed in black with statement clothing walk down the aisle of a church--of course the men were well covered up. Can we just get over this whole stereotype idea that bad girls come in black leather, chains and strip-like clothing? Can we just accept that as a style choice and not defining someone's character? It's 2016. Not to mention, the concept is so Madonna era old too. I know of well-groomed people that come in suits that are just plain evil. That's what really bothers me the most--feeding into this women stereotype. Just because a woman dresses in a mini skirt, wears chains has piercings and dresses all black doesn't make her bad, dangerous or mentally dysfunctional as some think. It was so painful to see the show--which ended for me halfway. It also makes me wonder what were the grounds for the church to allow this. What made them ok with this? This whole idea of going dark to define the church is so Hollywood too--white force versus the evil black force. Let's get real for a minute. I think if Alexander Wang would have looked more into what the religion problem is for some, he would have found out it is not about being 'strict' as some of his statement clothing says or 'girls' but more about 'truth'. Hello from 2016, again.
Something else that bothers me is this whole superficiality of fashion this showcase feeds--that ugly concept some are fighting against; that fashion is superficial, self-observing, fleeing and disrespectful. As far as the church, I'm just in the opinion that sacred places are of worship not of shows. Defying someone's beliefs and imposing one's is like going to someone's home to tell them how to live their life. It obstructs the choices and freedom of others---not sure how that can be celebrated! There are definitely other creative ways to make a point on your perspective of how a person might feel towards religion--do it in your space for starters.
For this creative, I say the concept was overwhelming. If we are really going to move forward in fashion, we need to start being not only inclusive but also respectful in the choices of others. Of course this won't stop some people from buying Alexander Wang but it won't be me. Here's something else, fashion is changing because the people within it are changing--we're not dumb followers of fashion. People are not just buying a piece of clothing, they are also buying the story behind it. What are your thoughts on this?