Depuis le 28 octobre 2014, le Musée du Design de Londres offre à ses visiteurs, l’exposition Women Fashion Power retraçant l’histoire du vêtement féminin des années 1850 à nos jours. Mode et pouvoir vont-ils de pair ?
The exhibition was designed by Zaha Hadid who comes from Iraq and who is a renowned British architect. When one looks around one can see that clothes have really helped women to become popular and powerful: Lady Di, Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenberg, Naomi Campbell or Vivienne Westwood are perfect examples.
Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton who are both popular and the focus of media attention have managed to create their own style. The survey did not focus on the Royal Family because the power of fashion is often said to have died with Princess Diana.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo inaugurated the exhibition. The idea of clothes being power items can seem a bit shocking for women who are used to wearing casual clothes, but in fact female politicians are still associated to their clothes more than to the policies they defend – case in point Cécile Duflot or Elisabeth Guigou who were ridiculed for the clothes they wore and who both had to find a new look in order to feel more confident and to be taken more seriously.
However this vision is somewhat outdated. Since the period of the working girls, dresses, stiletto heels and feminine accessories have become commonplace in the working world.
Power and Fashion are not a perfect fit: many women are afraid they will be regarded as shallow stereotypes if they dress a certain way. But women should free themselves from other people’s opinion of them. Loveday, the co-curator of the design museum said that women wear “What we want to wear. It has not been that way for so long. It feels like the beginning of a liberation.”
Carla CHARPENTIER & Marion JOUANNET