Feminine or Feminist: Fashion extremes

Jil Sander

Jil SanderS/S15 (images Style.com)

For the last two weeks I have been trawling though images from the catwalk shows for the day job. Mainly they have split into two camps, the beautifully wearable and the utterly ridiculous.

My absolute favourite utterly wearable (if somewhat unattainable due to the prices) collection so far has been Jil Sander. Simple, flattering and a colour palette to die for (brown people, brown – it will be the new black, trust me), this is a collection for real women who have lives, jobs and stuff to do.

Jil Sander 4

Jil Sander S/S15

Always a fan of OTT fashion as after all fashion is fun, I love the totally ridiculous collections – it’s healthy to inject an element of fun/insanity into fashion weeks –  they keeps us all on out toes and after all the whole point of catwalk shows is to create press worthy clothes.

There are however a small group of designers who are neither wearable not ridiculous but simply out of touch. While female designers such Stella McCartney and Pheobe Philo create clothes which empower women and make them feel look and feel good abut themselves, some (male) designers continue to objectify women  and revert to the tired old ‘sex sells’ format every season. Does sex really sell, or does it sell an image of femininity impossible to re create in real life unless you are a reality tv or porn star?

Even the most un PC brands and media have been slowly waking up to the idea of feminism and the fashion press have begun to realise that women want to be recognised for what they do, rather than just what they look like – even Grazia seems to be embracing the new feminism (while criticising women’s cellulite!) – but a small cohort of designers refuse to see that it is no longer acceptable to dumb women down.


Moschino S/S15

Maybe I’m being to PC and perhaps I should see dressing models as Barbie as fun and nipple tassels as sexy, but to me this formula of tacky/sensationalist fashion looks tired and a little bit sad.

Tom Ford

Tom Ford S/S15

Interestingly designer Rodolfo Paglialunga cited Annemarie Schwarzenbach as the inspiration for his first collection for Jil Sander. Schwarzenbach was a Swiss writer, journalist, photographer and traveler who always wore mens clothes. A beautiful, talented women, who lived life to the full but tragically died at the age of 34, surely this is the kind of muse women aspire to – or is that just me?

What do you think?


Annemarie Schwarzenbach


  • Claire says:

    Yes to Jil Sander and Annemarie. The Barbie gear is an insult to female dignity regardless of age .

  • sarah says:

    I would be interested to know if vulgar clothes actually sell or are they just eye catchers for the press or adverts for very profitable perfume ranges?
    Has Tom Ford lost his marbles with this collection? Horrid.

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