Unconventional Trends Take Center Stage At Fashion Week
by Brie Lawson on Friday, October 2nd, 2015
From Dad Fashion to Kanye’s line Yeezy, Fashion Week introduces the newest trends and supposed fads for the upcoming year. Ranging from serious to downright hilarious, each designer’s approach attempts to embody their version of the word “fashion.” While some certainly produce applause worthy designs, other designers focus too much on the entertainment factor than they do on their actual styles. But really, who cares? The fun part about Fashion Week is the ridiculous, even outrageous looks that succeed in capturing the public’s eye.
Although few think of Fashion Week as anything more than entertainment, it is also a time to make statements, whether intentional or unintentional. For example, according to The New York Times, John Ostrovsky produced a line of “Dad” inspired looks modeled by average, stout men. Wearing clunky sneakers, overalls, backpacks, and khaki shorts, these models undermined the normal model standards of perfect bodies and proportion. In addition, Kanye West, perhaps unintentionally, followed Ostrovsky in breaking the mold with his Yeezy line. Exhibiting models wearing all nude colors or variations of the color brown, Kanye presented his slightly odd line to the scrutiny of the fashion industry. Although severely criticized, Kanye’s series has received plenty of press and has helped those fighting to broaden our perception of beauty. While personally one of my least favorite lines of the week, I do respect Kanye’s message behind his fashion style: making fashion more universal and available to all.
Similar to both Ostrovsky and Kanye, Humberto Leon, according to The New York Times, said that he “always felt like the runway march, that there’s a specific way to do it—and [he] wanted to break it”. Designer Humberto Leon collaborated with dance choreographer, Justin Peck, to train the models to intentionally fall during the runway show. Most people consider falling during a show to be exceedingly embarrassing and ungraceful, but by promoting the occurrence, Leon transformed a previous “don’t” of Fashion Week into a trendy “do.” Ostrovsky, Kanye, and Humberto all are changing the strict requirements of beauty into malleable guidelines that will hopefully continue to deteriorate.
Another standout Madeline Stuart, a model with Down Syndrome, saw Fashion Week as an opportunity to educate the public on misconceptions of beauty and took action. Her participation in the New York Fashion Week has transformed Fashion Week from just entertainment into an industry capable of stopping society’s discrimination against disability. Like the previously mentioned designers, Madeline, strives to break the standard of fashion and society’s misconception of disabled people. Working to accomplish this dream, Madeline modeled during the Fashion Free From Confines night at New York Fashion Week with other disabled models. The other models included Rebekah Marine, who has a prosthetic arm, and Leslie Irby, who is confined to a wheelchair. Together, these three defied all the odds and modeled for the New York Fashion Week. Head of Fashion Club, Mollie Ames (II) said, “I’ve never seen anything like it before. When I saw Madeline, Rebekah, and Leslie walking down the runway, I knew something extraordinary had just happened for the entire fashion industry”.
Generally associated with crazy trends, Fashion Week is now not only about fashion, but also about our definition of beauty. Although most Milton students will not be seen sporting straight-off-the-runway looks anytime soon, we should accept any style that we come across on and outside of campus. Whether someone is wearing Dad khakis or all nude colors, we should do our best to support everyone, because as Madeline believes, we need to redefine our standards of beauty.
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