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You can’t please feminists: Lagerfeld’s feminist fashion show blasted for “co-opting” feminism

October 5, 2014

“Faux feminism”!Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel Show Ends With Co-Opted Faux-Feminist March

Not that kind of feminism!

The messages are all very confused, and confusing, which gives the impression that Lagerfeld’s notion towards woman empowerment was merely gestural, or that he was responding to what he perceives as a trend, something that was written about while he was designing this. Perhaps he was inspired by the FEMEN activists who stormed the Nina Ricci runway last year. Surely he has a load of strong, working women in his life, including Barbie (good timing, Karl!), but the messages on the signs seem like his grasp of the women he likely studied to create this collection is surface, at best. “Feministe Means Feminine”? What does that even mean? “Free Freedom”? Bold stance, Karl. “Tweed is better than Tweet?” Also: why is his feminist vision SO FUCKING WHITE?!

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It’s not like fashion can’t be feminist, or that there aren’t prominent and self-proclaimed feminist designers like Miuccia Prada, Tory Burch, and Rodarte’s Mulleavy sisters who infuse a feminist outlook into their every collection. It’s also not like I would ever regulate how people practice feminism, or how people come into it, or shame anyone who is new to it and just learning: women need all the help we can get. But the tone of this Chanel show seems cynical, money-grabbing, slightly empty, the kind of thing in the ’90s we called “co-optation.”

Of course there’s also the possibility that Lagerfeld was actually making fun of feminists. I’m starting to lean heavily in that direction.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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