Fashion's Double-Take on Inclusivity
Photo: Versace spring-summer 2021 fashion show
Diversity as practice is making new advances in fashion, and its progress is only set to accelerate from here on out.
In the Fashion Weeks of this past year, where physical shows became the exception rather than the rule, certain houses have been celebrating a variety of ages, bodies, colors, and genders, decking out difference in all its splendor. Such was the case at Versace, who transported us to an underwater city from the kingdom of the imagination, Versacepolis, populated by singularly beautiful models liberated from old codes of size and color. Catwalk queens Adut Akech and Jill Kortleve were accompanied by Alva Claire and Precious Lee, making this show one of the most joyful and expressive of the season.
In Paris, Olivier Rousteing evoked timeless elegance by featuring models of different generations. At dusk, Paris' Jardin des Plantes was illuminated by the passage of muses having previously walked for Balmain and whose beauty hasn't dimmed an iota over the years. To top off the finale of this star-studded event, the two "Balmain Kids" came in to close the show.
These initiatives are among the various measures that luxury brands have employed in order to continue creating collections that respond to and participate in the wider context, both in what they communicate and what they represent. Fashion houses across the spectrum are engaging in the conversation. From examinations of ableism in the industry to concrete action toward preventing discrimination and promoting diversity, at Gucci for example — the aim is that of freeing high-fashion from old-school ideas.
It's a tendency that we'll be seeing more of in future Fashion Weeks, especially in London, where the British Fashion Council recently announced the creation of a committee dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in fashion in a partnership with the Institute of Positive Fashion. This determination to represent a diversified, egalitarian, and fair fashion world once again demonstrates the commitment and audacity of the British scene, a real game-changer and a leader in the revolution of inclusivity that's finally begun to flourish.