Fashion Week: When Does It Become Dangerous?

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Fashion week is here again. It’s fun, it’s festive, often ludicrous, but is it also dangerous?

During her presentation this summer at “Here London 2016,” visual artist Yolanda Domínguez talks about how we define ourselves by the images we see. Domínguez points to the abundance of images that are young, white, and female and asks what happened to everyone else? She goes on to point out the ridiculous poses that we see in fashion advertising and the adjectives that go with them: docile, submissive, available, and violated. Advertising as shown in the image above serves to reinforce a society where violence against women is perpetuated and accepted. It’s not just ludicrous, it’s dangerous.

In 2015 Domínguez decided to show fashion brand launch images to a group of 8 year-olds with her project, “Children vs. Fashion.” The results were very revealing. The children decoded the images and exposed the differences in how women and men are portrayed. They thought the women were scared, sick or drunk and many wanted to help them. Men on the contrary were seen as happy and heroic.

In other projects, Yolanda Domínguez engages her audience to participate and asking for volunteers to take part in staging events to raise awareness. Her current project is called “Little Black Dress.” She is looking for volunteers; she asks participants to pose in this classic fashion icon—regardless of their size and ethnicity. Domínguez calls upon us to shatter the existing fashion tropes, and create new images that are representative of actual women.

As you catch a glimpse of the beautiful, amazing, and ridiculous outfits that are revealed this week, also consider the dangerous side effects of consuming these images.

Contact Yolanda Domínguez if you’d like to participate in “Little Black Dress” and watch the full “Here London 2016” presentation here:

 

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