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The Collision of Fashion and Politics?

August 18, 2019

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No matter where you are in the world today, it seems one cannot escape politics. As I do not want this post to be an oxymoron, my goal is to keep it on topic - politics in fashion?. It was not that long ago, I cancelled one of my previously beloved fashion magazines (and as you read this, it wasn't American Vogue). Without thinking twice, I cited the reason being that I was a subscriber to this magazine because it used to be about fashion, now it was about fashion and politics. I hadn't thought much more about that until I read an interview from Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Here's an excerpt from that interview.

“'Today’s audience – not just Vogue’s audience, every audience – wants journalism to take a stand,' Wintour says. 'People want to know what you believe in and what you stand for. In this time of fake news, when there is so much disregard for truth and value and for supporting those less fortunate than oneself, we have a moral obligation to stand up for what’s right.'”



"While Michelle Obama starred on three Vogue covers as first lady, Melania Trump is still waiting for Wintour to call. Will Melania be in Vogue, I ask? 'Melania has been on the cover of Vogue,' Wintour fires back without missing a beat. Indeed she has, in her wedding dress, in 2005, but not as first lady, representing the White House. 'We do report on Melania consistently, on vogue.com,' says Wintour. 'Which is Vogue.' Her inflection puts the emphasis firmly on the full stop."

Although this interview took place in February of this year with The Guardian, I had placed these words, "every audience – wants journalism to take a stand", in the back of my mind. Does this also apply to fashion magazines?
Then, as I was flipping through a different fashion magazine, it hit me. One of the reasons I always loved fashion was because it has this unique ability to transcend you. You don't need a fashion magazine to do it, but fashion has the power to change your mood. You know that feeling when you put on your most comfortable t-shirt or your Adea camisole. There's meaning in a "power suit" too. Fashion is powerful. 
With so much political commentary on every channel and in every magazine, it is nice to have a place to go to get away from it all. Maybe it's because I do read various newspapers, get news updates from multiple news sources direct to my phone that for others, fashion magazines are a way to get some news.
So, I wonder what others' views are - should a fashion magazine like American Vogue take a stand on topics, including politics? I can see both points-of-view. Although, I did just order Vogue Italia's August issue. Oh the days of Franca Sozzani...
- Aimee


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