New York Fashion Week AW17 Trend Watch: Political Power Dressing

From Tommy Hilfiger to Calvin Klein, designers are standing up against the Trump administration with fashion, music and art.

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In light of President Donald Trump's controversial executive orders, that have seen the imposition of an immigration ban and the barring of federal funds from organizations that promote abortion around the world, it was to be expected that New York Fashion Week would star as a platform for designers, brands and models to make subtle statements against the Trump administration, amid the political turmoil.

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However, this season, subtlety is nowhere to be seen.

It appears the fashion industry isn't holding back when it comes to expressing its political views on Trump, reproductive and immigration rights and diversity this week.

The finale of @rafsimons' debut collection for @calvinklein. What do you think? #calvinklein #rafsimons #NYFW

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The Row's quiet message of hope

On Monday Mary-Kate and Ashley's clothing line The Row made a quiet statement on the runway.

Fall 2017 Collection

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In the din of New York Fashion Week's loud statements, the understated brand embroidered 'hope' on the cuff of their shirts in a mark of hushed defiance.

Prabal Gurung's slogan T-shirts

On Sunday, Prabal Gurung's AW17 collection finale saw models walk out on the catwalk in T-shirts stamped with political slogans: 'Revolution has no borders', 'I am an immigrant', and 'Nevertheless, she persisted'.

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When the designer came out to his applauding audience, he sported a slogan T-shirt of his own which read: 'This is what a feminist looks like'.

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The American designer also championed diversity by employing plus-sized models such as Candice Huggine and Marquita Pring to model his collection.

White bandanas

The rise of NYFW's political statements began at the 'Tommyland' Tommy Hilfigers show in Los Angeles on Thursday, where models wore white bandanas around their wrists, to make a statement of solidarity and inclusivity.

Inspired by the Business of Fashion (BoF), which launched its campaign '#TiedTogether' this week to encourage people to wear white bandanas in support of 'human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous political narrative', the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim, and Thakoon Panichgul have also committed to the initiative this season.

'We Are All Human Beings' T-shirts

On Thursday night, New York-based fashion label, Creatures of Comfort, sent out models wearing light blue, long-sleeved, silk-screened T-shirts with the phrase, 'We Are All Human Beings', emblazoned across the chest, highlighting unity in defence against Trump's divisive ideologies.

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Meanwhile, W magazine's contributing fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia was spotted at the shows wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that read, 'Your body is a battleground' and the staff at Jeremy Scott's AW17 show tops with the message, 'our voice is the only thing that will protect us' printed on the front.

David Bowie's 'This Is Not America'

Then came Raf Simon's debut Calvin Kelin show, who showed a 'subtle, clever mix of fashion and activism – fashtivism', according to ELLE's fashion features director, Kenya Hunt.

Having dispatched the BoF's white bandanas to attendees with show invitations, the Belgian director showed off his runway collection to the soundtrack of David Bowie's hit single 'This Is Not America', to highlight a message of inclusivity in fashion and around the world.

In a statement about the collection, Simons noted: 'It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself. It is the unique beauty and emotion of America.'

'No Ban, No Wall' slogan underwear

At namesake label LRS' debut show on Friday, models stormed the runway wearing underwear with the slogan 'No Ban, No Wall' under open coats.

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#NoBanNoWall #lookbackatit @_l_r_s_

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It is the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself.

Runway music

Meanwhile, other NYFW show brands voiced their dismay at Trump's actions in the form of music, with one song at Chromat playing the words 'F*ck Donald Trump' while the lyrics 'The future is female' played out at the Cushnie et Ochs show and 'Fight the Power', by Public Enemy echoed around the room at Milly.

Adam Lippes' political signage

American designer Adam Lippes displayed his political defiance against Trump with signs dotted outside his show space.

One sign read: 'Adam Lippes stands with Planned Parenthood', while another had the message, 'Girl Power.'

#fucktrump

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Christian Siriano's 'People Are People' T-shirt

The designer, who is known for championing diversity, presented a message of inclusivity at his AW17 show on Saturday, with at least one-third of the models on the catwalk being women of color, plus-sized or both, according to USA Today.

One look on the catwalk showed a model wearing a black T-shirt with the message 'people are people' printed on the front.

It appears politics is being stitched into the very fabric of the fashion industry this season.

May it long continue.

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