Fashion: a Female Game?

Following from last week’s blog post an interesting thought struck me. While female empowerment is one of the biggest fashion trends for Summer 2017, why is it that female empowerment in the industry itself is such a rarity. Why is it a current trend rather than an eternal staple?

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Image via Dior

Currently, the majority of creative directors for luxury fashion brands are men. Why? Is it that men are more talented, more deserving? No.

Women are miles ahead of the game in other areas: two of the arguably most powerful figures in the industry are women: Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, and Linda Fargo, senior vice-president and women’s fashions director for Manhattan based department store Bergdorf Goodman.

However, in the design field, women are still trailing behind their male counterparts. Let’s take take the three biggest luxury fashion conglomerates: LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton, Kering and Richemont, and examine them. Out of over 15 fashion and leather good’s brands owned by LVMH, only 4 of them are led by women. They are Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Phoebe Philo at Céline, Carol Lim at Kenzo, a shared position with Humberto Leon, and Silvia Venturini Fendi who is the creative director for accessories & men’s for Fendi. Within Kering, there are only 2 women heading the 8 brands: Stella McCartney is the creative director for her own label and Sarah Burton helm’s Alexander McQueen. Finally, within Richemont, there is only Natacha Ramsay Levi, the creative director for Chloé.

Major fashion colleges such as Central Saint Martins and New York’s Fashion Institute boast a huge majority of female students who win exceptional placements and excellent graduate jobs. LVMH, Kering and Richemont all boast excellent relationships with leading business schools around the world. In terms of these fashion conglomerates, Delphine Arnault of LVMH is a lone she-wolf among male executives.

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Delphine Arnault, LVMH

While many of the world’s fashion houses were established by women many of them have since been taken over by men: Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci and Marie-Louise Carven.

There are exceptions that prove the rule. We have the likes of Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Tory Burch, Angela Missoni, Donatella Versace, and Consuelo Castiglioni, all of whom either achieved their success by inheriting a family business or by starting their own.

It is a thought that leaves us with many questions. Perhaps it is that female designers are seen as less pioneering or innovative than their male counterparts? Is it that idea that women are incapable of balancing family and work life? Are women more interested in the glamorous side of the industry rather than the business? Is it sexism and male privilege?

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Image via NY Times

The appointments of Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior, Natacha Ramsay Levi at Chloé, Claire Waight Keller at Givenchy and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin show that the tide is turning, but is it soon enough?

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Supporting women in the fashion industry is of particular importance to us here at the Galway Designers Network. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by three women, Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs, Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing and Virtue Shine of Emerald & Wax, but these women need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the link to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

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Summer Lovin’: Trend Watch

Struggling to find your Summer Style? Check out some of the key trends for the coming months and reinvigorate your wardrobe.

We may be halfway’s through the month of May already but there are so many more weeks of Spring Summer Wear to come. Here in Galway, we have been particularly lucky with the weather of late and all the bright sunshine has us looking forward to the what will hopefully be a beautiful summer. This week’s post will offer a concise round up of four of the stand out Summer’17 fashion trends to give you all some fun styling and design inspiration to enjoy over the next few months

Girl Power

There has been a turn in the tide recently in the fashion industry as four female designers have recently taken over the role of director for some of the most well established European fashion houses. With the appointments of Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloé and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin, feminism has been one of the key themes this season.  SS’17 is all about empowering women and celebrating femininity with our fashion choices. Maria Grazia Chiuri started the trend when she showcased slogan t-shirts with ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ emblazoned across the front in her first collection for Dior and designers like Isabel Marant and Stella McCartney have also been taking part in this new feminist trend. The High Street have been quick to follow with Topshop doing some of their own versions here and here. The slogan t-shirt is one of the easiest trends to try this season, adding a new contemporary vibe to even the most basic of ensembles.

Pretty in Pink

Pink, pink, pink everywhere! If the summer of 2017 is going to go down in fashion industry for any single trend, it will be for the colour pink (and possibly the bell sleeve). From powder pink to fuschia, if you want to wear one colour that will signify that you know about trends, then wear pink. All shades were seen everywhere during fashion month on the catwalks of design heavyweights like Céline, Balenciaga, Vetements and Valentino.  Every brand are doing their bit to ensure they are a port of call for the Millenium Pink Brigade, with brands like ASOS, ZARA, Topshop, Dunnes Stores, COS and & Other Stories all embracing the pink trend. For those of you who really want to kick it up a notch, team your pink pieces with vibrant red shades to ensure you look chic and on trend for spring summer.

Asymmetry

The asymmetrical hemline is a key silhouette for Summer 2017. As one of the most innovative design motifs seen on the catwalks this season asymmetry highlights and elongates the body, showcasing the fluidity of fabrics to their fullest extent. The trend started on the catwalks at Proenza Schouler, Monse, Magda Butrym and Isabel Marant, and has made its way into the high street retailers like ASOS and ZARA as well as brands like our own Kizmet Clothing. The trend is super easy to wear and offers an exciting chance to refresh your wardrobe.

 Hyper Florals & Eccentric Prints

While floral is a print that returns every season, this Summer the ever present motif has had a whole new revamp, bursting onto the fashion scene in bright acidic colours. Linked to this trend is the eccentric, vibrant coloured print trend which has been dominating the season so far. High end designers like Chloé, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten and Dolce & Gabbana have showcased beautiful pieces with immense vibrancy, exotic blooms and unusual colour combinations. Our own Emerald & Wax is known for her daring prints and her work sits perfectly alongside her designer counterparts as well as high street brands like ZARA, Glamorous, River Island, Warehouse and Oasis. The key to wearing this trend in the best way is to ensure that the positioning of the print is of a flattering shape for your body. Mix these bold prints with other prints like stripes or gingham to ensure you are really upping your style game.

With Autumn fast approaching, take the opportunity to make the most of your Summer wardrobe and experiment with new trends, silhouettes and styles, because before you know it, we will all be wrapped up in parkas, camel coats and black ankle boots, trudging through the Irish winter.

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P.S.

Have you heard about what’s on the cards for Summer here with the Galway Designers Network, May GatheringGalway Designers Studio House? Follow the links to read all about our current projects and how you can take part.

We are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.