Dare to be a feminist fashionista: why I love Karl Lagerfeld’s fashion riot.

by Marlies Dekkers
Can you be a feminist fashionista? Karl Lagerfeld certainly seemed to think so when he sent his models on the runway for Chanel’s spring summer collections. Stunning women like Cara Delevigny and Gisele Bundchen were carrying signs with slogans like ‘History is Herstory’, ‘Ladies First’ and ‘Women’s Rights are Alright’. Or did he merely use the feminist movement to sell expensive handbags?

First of all, I really liked the show, but more imporantly, I think Coco Chanel would have too! She was a strong and empowered woman who loved a bit of a riot. It seems to me that Lagerfeld was paying tribute to Coco’s values and beliefs in a wonderfuly playful way. “My mother was very much a feminist and I thought it was something right for the moment,” the designer said in an interview. “I couldn’t care less if people are for or against. It’s my idea. I like the idea of feminism being something light-hearted, not a truck driver for the feminist movement.”

And why not? Don’t forget that this show took place shortly after Emma Watson’s moving UN speech in which she described a world where feminists are seen as “too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and unattractive”. Sure, Lagerfeld is trying to sell handbags. But he does so by having some of the world’s most attractive women declare their support for the cause, so I certainly don’t mind. Why would fashion, feminism and empowering women have to be mutually exclusive?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said: ‘You are what you buy’. Well, I’m glad people are buying (into) feminism this spring! And unlike some critics, I’m not worried that it will ever be out of fashion. I would like to share some of the best looks of the show. Which one is your femme-fab favorite?

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