Each Fashion Week brings an iteration of the new: varied locations, original concepts, bold stunts. Of course, this past New York fashion week was no different. Now, more than ever, I have come to notice two different camps in fashion. There are the ‘party-party’ show-ers and the ‘make a statement’ do-ers.
Rag & Bone’s Fall 2017 show rocked the fashion week boat. Instead of presenting models down a runway or even a stand-still presentation, Marcus Wainwright captured friends and fans wearing the collection through a series of portraits. Leandra Medine, Selah Marley, Amber Valletta and Anna Wintour all featured in the under-stated portraits. Which is a smart move, really. While many runways present a full look – extravagant pieces layered and altered and adorned with statement accessories – this approach brought the clothing back down to earth. Each look was worn in a wearable, natural way, styled by the individual captured.
This season the approach advanced one step further. Once again, the show took place as a photo project modelled by various personalities. A charitable twist was thrown in amongst the desirable fashion pieces: every member of the cast selected a charity to which a contribution would be made on their behalf. The mix of cast members (including Maye Musk, the mother of Elon; model Georgia Fowler; and Tali Lennox) led to donations at varied charitable institutions such as the Lupus Foundation of America, Oceana, and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
While a charitable approach may often be seen as a surface-level publicity stunt (we all want to feel good about our favourite brands, don’t we?), Rag & Bone has me sold. Yes, there has been much chatter online regarding the choice, which has surely led to greater brand awareness and affinity. Over and above this, though, is a reassurance that fashion is not all nasty – not just about consumption and bettering oneself. There are ways to bring humanity into fashion and change the world around us positively. Marcus Wainwright, the Founder and Creative Director, couldn’t have put it more perfectly, “We wanted to explore individual perspective as we feel that it is a relevant topic, both for our brand and in the context of all that is happening socially and politically around the world.”
Individuality is built on many things – our fashion taste, our unique looks, our creative minds and our charitable soft-spots. Instead of a fashion week filled with Instagram-able backdrops and statement accessories, let’s push for exploring humanity and embracing the individual: a week less about the scene and more about the world.
(Images via Rag and Bone)