The irony of going to see the Design Museum’s exhibition ‘Women Fashion Power’ the day after Kim Kardashian’s bare-all cover for Paper magazine was revealed is not lost on me. Whilst Kimye are celebrating the power of a bare derriere, the design museum are celebrating the power of power dressing. There may be less flesh on show but there is no doubt that the exhibition is as much a celebration of a woman’s form as it is of the incredible designers that clothe it, if not more so.
For those of you not in the know, the exhibition tracks the way women’s fashion has changed and evolved over the past 150 years. As women have taken on more authoritative roles in society, fashion has adapted with us and what we wear is a huge reflection of who we are as a sex today. It both defines and enhances us. Corsets may have stood the test of time (just google ‘Kardashian’ and ‘waist-training’) but long gone are the petticoats and heavy dresses worn by our predecessors and in their place are sharp, androgynous suits, figure hugging dresses and female CEOs. Fashion is slowly becoming considered an art form yet it is still a complicated form of self-expression; we are told we should wear what we love yet we are pressured to follow the latest trends, we are told we should celebrate our bodies and then we are chastised for appearing too provocative, so it is an amazing and ground-breaking moment for women and fashion alike that we are finally just celebrating being who we are and using clothes to do it.
Kim K might be ‘breaking the internet’ but I’ll be breaking out the shoulder pads this weekend because, for now at least, the pressure is off.