The Met Gala notably had the theme of American fashion this year. After seeing many different interpretations from celebrities’ take on American fashion, it seemed fitting to weigh in with my thoughts. After all, the basic definition of American Fashion is just that: fashion designed by someone headquartered in America. The world shapes fashion, and I want to discuss the current fashion situation. In a more abstract sense, American Fashion is a representation of our country’s values.
It’s no surprise that American culture has been affected in recent years (due to a global pandemic and other crises). One of America’s strongest beings, the fashion industry, was also forced into a reality check that was deeper than clothing production. Fashion companies have been challenged to check-in, forcing them to reevaluate the diversity of employees and the products being offered to those of different demographics. As complicity becomes less tolerable, the American people continue to speak out. The efforts to make changes give a voice to those that may not have one. As the world changes, so does fashion, and with the Met Gala American theme, I started to ask what American fashion is to me.
Anna Wintour, the chair of the Met Gala referred to American fashion as “a patchwork, reflecting the world we are all living in.” With New York Fashion week recently rounding up, I would say that Wintour hit the nail on the head. Many designers showcased their take on American fashion through their runway presentations. Some fashion houses held parades, while others encouraged unity by holding hands walking through the streets.
As the years go on and we learn and diversify, it becomes more important to ask the pressing questions and take steps to become the America that everyone is so desperately searching for – one with equality for all. The American people are refusing to be in a pigeonhole of fashion anymore, full of conforming to unattainable standards and non-inclusive behaviors regarding diversity in clothing, models, and employees.
To ask a designer what American Fashion is to them there would be a unanimous response that paints an image of uncertainty. It’s the uncertainty and ability to make it whatever it means to you that makes it so unique and difficult to define. After doing research and reading articles, I would define American Fashion as a beautiful mess full of much work to be done. I think that defining American Fashion is not nearly as important as embracing the challenges that we all face and uniting together over a common love which is fashion. It doesn’t need to have a label. It just needs to exist and have the platform to do so.
I’ve asked myself what Americana Fashion is to me, and now I’m ready for feedback. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!