FEMINISM ON STICKY GROUND

The empowering of women is gradually taking place, primarily in politics and now it seems that Donatella Versace has suggested that women are better than men at designing clothes because gay fashion designers, the majority of whom work for the cream of fashion houses, are releasing collections she claims for ‘the woman they want to be.’ The Italian fashion designer, vice president and chief creative power of the Versace group, said she believes women understand their bodies better.

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Her comments are likely to cause controversy in general and raise a few eyebrows among her peers. But she believes female designers, presumably such as herself, have an advantage because they understand a woman’s body, a woman’s security and a woman’s attitude.

The 61 year old told The Times Magazine: ‘I love gay people. My friends are all gay. But some of the designers, when they design for the women they want to be, they are thinking of themselves… But themselves and the woman are not the same. I want to design clothes that say, “this is a woman’s clothes”… Ricardo Tisci is amazing, so many male designers are amazing too – but sometimes there is this little thing when they need to take themselves little behind who they are and to look at the real woman.’

Versace, rumoured to have pop star Lady Gaga play her in a new series of American Crime Story depicting the real-life murder of her brother Gianni in Miami in 1997, recently told how she wanted to empower women with her latest designs. Some of her latest womenswear collections incorporated a military style with the inclusion of flat shoes that were seen as radical for the brand. She added: ‘We are strong, women are strong… and sexiness does not have to go against power.’

Does all this signal a new birth of a feminist ideology that will sweep through the fashion industry making women lose some of their magic, as viewed by heterosexual men to the detriment economically of the fashion industry?

The less boundaries talent has, the more creative input it generates and scales. Empowering women is one thing, but should never be for the sake of it.

Merit should always be the guiding factor.

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