In order to commemorate the women's struggle for equal social participation, International Women's Day invites us to take a journey through time. As if it were stitches, little by little a story of achievements and social transformations has been woven around women, and fashion has played a leading role in this story.
As we were able to see in our chronicles of the Fashion Weeks in London and New York; the imposing woman with greater freedom, shows that clothing is able to stimulate and promote change. Every social evolution is born from an inner change and in the case of fashion this change is manifested on the outside. That's why today we remember some of the most important moments in which fashion showed that it is capable of making a difference.
One of the events that radically reshaped the appearance of women was World War I. The woman, who until then emphasized her curves and dressed in complex and elaborate garments, left seduction aside to focus on comfort. The gradual disappearance of the corset and the foray into broader silhouettes became essential at a time when the role of women began to change, taking on a more active role outside the home
Shortly afterwards, fashion was revolutionized with concepts that until then had been unthinkable. The person responsible was Coco Chanel, a female designer who gave freedom back to women, assuring them that being authentic was the most important thing. Chanel defied the rules by wearing men's trousers and dark colors. Originality and inner beauty were two concepts she always defended.
"Elegance is when the interior is as beautiful as the exterior." – Coco Chanel.
The 1920s came with a message of independence and greater female participation in politics and labor. The girl flappers, rebellious and modern, added elements such as canes and hats to the feminine look. The road to a unisex figure was strengthened by the use of linen fabric in everyday wear.
The growing power of women was perfectly captured when actress Marlene Dietrich wore a men's tuxedo in Morocco (1930), her first major Hollywood production. Fashion has never been the same since then; nylon stockings and the revolutionary appearance of the first bikini in 1946 soon followed. Gradually, the female dress code became bolder.
From the 1950s onwards, the denim trend, reflected in the popular jeans and then the mini skirt, showed us that women determined and willing to continue her fight for equality. Highlighting female curves and attributes was no longer part of a simple desire to be attractive. It was a way of asserting oneself and demonstrating that, regardless of dress, it is character and attitude that defines personality.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, more and more women with academic qualifications were gaining access to positions of responsibility in the labor market. The two-piece suit finds two allies in the shirt and shoulder pads, symbols of power dressing that reinforce women’s determined attitude; the path to total independence became increasingly visible.
With the advent of the 1990s, transparent, sheer and synthetic fabrics celebrated women's freedom. Unisex fashion, and the indistinct use of colours and textures in recent years, has also been a great step towards equality.
Between stitches, textures and colors, fashion has shown us that it is capable of changing the course of history and transmitting messages as powerful as words. Women, who still continue to wage small and great battles for their visibility and equality in society, have found fashion to be a perfect ally to enhance their strength and capacity.