When politics meets fashion: our top 5 movements

Over the past decade it has become increasingly popular for celebrities to turn to fashion when it comes to making political statements.

From gender equality and immigration, to LGBTQ+ and sexual assault, there have been countless issues raised and addressed throughout the fashion industry. 

With the anniversary of Harvey Weinstein being fired from The Weinstein Company – due to a series of sexual assault allegations – happening on October 8, we have rounded up our top five ‘when politics meets fashion’ movements.

The #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes

On October 5 2017, The New York Times published an article detailing a series of sexual assault allegations made against American film producer, Harvey Weinstein. He was then subsequently fired from his company with immediate effect, just three days later and a worldwide movement was created – #MeToo.

Actress Kate Beckinsale at the 2018 Golden Globes

Image: PA Images

On October 15, the American actress Alyssa Milano, encouraged everyone to share their sexual assault stories by using the #MeToo hashtag, in order to illustrate the severity of the issue. By the end of the day, the hashtag had been used over 200,000 times and the most recent study claims that the hashtag has now been used over 19 million times since Milano’s tweet.

Actress Reese Witherspoon at the 2018 Golden Globes

Image: PA Images

Following this, all the actors and actresses who attended the 2018 Golden Globes, chose to wear only black outfits, in support of the movement against Harvey Weinstein and sexual assault in general. It is anticipated that over 90 women have now come forward with allegations against Weinstein.

Blac Chyna and Amber Rose at the VMA’s

In 2015, Blac Chyna and Amber Rose – who are both models and socialites – attended the VMA’s in custom made outfits which were covered in derogatory terms used towards women. 

Blac Chyna (left) and Amber Rose (right) at the 2015 VMA’s

Image: PA Images

The dress and jumpsuit were worn by the women in order to raise the issue of females not being able to be sexually expressive, without being labelled as “sluts and whores”. 

Blac Chyna (left) and Amber Rose (right) at the 2015 VMA’s

Image: PA Images

The outfits, which went viral online, were part of the support expressed towards Amber Rose’s movement, SlutWalk. The movement fights to end rape culture and participants protest against explaining or excusing rape and sexual assault by referring to any aspect of a female’s appearance. The first rally occurred in Toronto, Canada, in April 2011 and had over 3,000 attendees. 

Stormzy’s headline set at Glastonbury

In 2019, rapper Stormzy became the first black British solo artist to headline the iconic Pyramid stage at Glastonbury. 

Stormzy performing on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in 2019

Image: PA Images

For his set, Stormzy wore a custom made Banksy stab-proof vest, adorned with the British flag, as a nod towards Britain’s knife crime crisis and the racial inequality within the justice system.

Stormzy performing on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in 2019

Images: PA Images

During his set, he played a video of a speech made by Labour MP David Lammy, which highlights the disproportionate criminalisation of black men in the justice system. In a tweet, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said: “The performance was political, iconic and the ballet was beautifully powerful. It won’t just go down in Glastonbury history – it’ll go down in our country’s cultural history.”

Met Gala ‘Camp: Notes On Fashion’ theme

The 2019 Met Gala theme was a major highlight for the LGBTQ+ community. Attendees wore their own interpretations of the theme ‘Camp: Notes On Fashion’, which involved a lot of feathers, ruffles and glitter.

Lena Waithe (left) and Kerby Jean-Raymond (right) at the Met Gala in 2019

Image: PA Images

One of the most memorable outfits of the night was created by Kerby Jean-Raymond and worn by actress, screenwriter and producer, Lena Waithe. The pair were dressed in matching zoot suits, which were inspired by the ones worn by Spike Lee and Denzel Washington in Malcolm X. 

Lena Waithe (left) and Kerby Jean-Raymond (right) at the Met Gala in 2019

Lena chose to have the phrase “Black drag queens invented camp” written on the back of her jacket, as well as having LGBTQ+ icons, such as singer and model Grace Jones and drag icon RuPaul, featured on the buttons. 

Natalie Portman at the Oscar’s

In February this year, Natalie Portman went viral due to the outfit that she chose to wear to the Oscar’s.

Natalie Portman at the Oscars in 2020

Image: PA Images

The actress paid tribute to female directors, by wearing a black Dior cape featuring the names of those who weren’t nominated and recognised for their work. Some of the women who had their names embroidered in gold included Greta Gerwig, Lorene Scafaria and Marielle Heller. 

Natalie Portman at the Oscars in 2020

Image: PA Images

Despite the large number of women being nominated for awards in documentary, short film and technical categories, only five have been nominated for the Best Directing award throughout its 92 year history. Kathryn Bigelow, who directed the 2009 film The Hurt Locker, is the only woman to have won a Best Directing Academy Award.

Which of these do you think is the most powerful political movement within the fashion industry? Let us know @Fashion_North!


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