Image by Max Abadian.
Fashion's influence is showing.
One of our favourite topics of conversation here at ELLE Canada is women who work in the creative industries and hold positions of power. (Go figure.) As we were putting together the last few pages of this issue, the news broke that Clare Waight Keller, formerly of Chloé, would be taking the reins at Givenchy. The low-key British designer is known for her elegant and distinctly female-friendly aesthetic, and this is a significant appointment: It’s the first time in the storied French house’s 65-year history that a woman has ever held the position of artistic director.
Women are running some of the most influential Parisian fashion labels right now: Bouchra Jarrar at Lanvin, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski at Hermès and Phoebe Philo at Céline. The influence of Maria Grazia Chiuri, who took over at Dior last fall (another first for a female designer), is being felt already. Her T-shirts from her spring/summer 2017 runway debut emblazoned with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s line “We Should All Be Feminists” blew up on social media and in street-style photography and were featured in practically every fashion magazine I’ve seen (including this one), pushing the political-slogan-shirt trend even further into overdrive. Who hasn’t worn something to rebel or provoke thought? Dame Vivienne Westwood has always been a master at this, with collections that include messaging on topics like climate change, anti-terror laws and ethical fashion.
Influence so often comes by way of example – case in point: our outspoken cover star Evan Rachel Wood. This year, she made the decision to rock suits as her standard code of dress for red-carpet events because “the time just felt right.” We couldn’t agree more, especially with the news that several big beauty companies have hired male ambassadors to represent their makeup and with the welcome rise of female-only workspaces popping up across North America.
I love fashion because it can be both formative and frivolous – often at the same time. To paraphrase my favourite slogan: The future (and fashion) is female. Hope you enjoy this issue.