“How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”
– Anais Nin.
Last Wednesday was another year of celebrating the voice of women for gender parity. Oh dear! And it has been a relentless struggle to achieve it because, even though there has been progress and achievements in this fight, there are still millions of us who face the most unfortunate and undermining, the most precarious and unfair.
It would be impossible for this Guru to even start imagining how these women feel and survive every single day but, I hope this little tribute reminds the luckiest of us that there’s still a lot of work to be done to release others most ill-fated. If not doing it by supporting charities and organisations to release women from slavery, abuse or harassment (among others… unfortunately) maybe we can do it by respecting and constantly supporting each other in our daily lives. Yes, sisters! Stop boycotting the successful girl at work, stand up and help the pregnant lady on the tube, help the one that is in woe, be friendly with the new, young and enthusiastic gal at work, tell your peer how pretty she looks today wearing that new lipstick. Encourage each other and respect the woman besides you. Teach your daughters that to be a happy lady they also have to empower other women around them; because no one can be really happy with unfairness, sadness and abuse surrounding them.
Phew! Well, that’s the Guru done with her introduction (sorry, I can get quite carried away with this particular topic). And please gentlemen, don’t feel excluded, this is a matter that we all can and should be working on.
So, as I promised last week this post will be about the Guru’s favourite five pieces of Paris Fashion Week catwalk but also, these pieces will be part of collections created by the most outstanding female designers as a little token of my appreciation for my fellow sisters.
A Boost of Power: Koche
By now, you should know that nothing makes the Fur Guru happier than powerful women. Christelle Kocher’s collection was all about this. The catwalk was a loud and clear call for all women to take the streets. Yes, the streets I said because her collection was a heart-stopping encounter of street-wear with couture à porter. The 37-year-old French designer is pretty aware of what can make a woman feel more powerful: comfort and beauty. Christelle has pull. She is a living example of what self-confidence, talent and hard work can do for a woman by increasingly succeeding with her own-established brand. And she spreads the love and belief in women with her collections. Just look at this coat. Who said comfort can’t be accompanied by a bit of beautiful deep purple fox and shearling?
Overlapping Genders: Anne Sofie Madsen
This Danish designer has always proved her awareness about genders being different. Through her work she has attested that they both have strengths and weaknesses but can work together in a harmonious way. And the result of this work appears to be more beautiful and transcendental. The exploration of the relationship between the perceived weakness and strength between the two genders is represented unmistakeably by in this piece of her latest collection. The biker jacket is meant to disguise vulnerability, by strengthening the shoulders, giving it the manly look. The fox fur softens the whole piece juxtaposing hyper-feminism.
For the Love of Diversity: Wanda Nylon
There are lot of similarities or constants between all women around the world but also, this double X chromosome comes in different versions (Halleluiah!). And there’s no one in the current fashion world that celebrates it more than Johanna Senyk. It’s understandable and expected, as she has experienced it herself. Born to Polish parents, raised in Algeria and finally settling in Paris at the age of 18, she knows what “to be different” means. But she’s also aware that difference can provide you with extra strength and opportunity (like a super power). Johanna is well- known for being experimental with her range of coats and raincoats. And let me tell you, she’s not shy with trying different types of fur. This vinyl coat was accentuated by the softness of white sheared beaver. The variety of materials she worked with in this collection reflects her interest in diversity. Not everything should be the same to be beautiful, admired or respected. Women are different and that’s mainly what makes them striking.
Her latest collection charged Paris catwalk with raised questions about the whys and wherefores of how designers cast the women who walk their runways. Bravo Johanna!
The Woman Liberator: Sonia Rykiel
Sonia Rykiel was well known as the “Queen of Knit” not only because she was the one to re-formulate this garment in the 60’s (while knitting a range of jumpers to wear when pregnant… who says motherhood limits your career, eh?) but also because she was a revolutionary that believed that it was precisely that what women should wear to feel comfortable and look beautiful. Creator of the poor boy sweater, she started a revolution on the catwalk to provide women with clothes that would adapt to their bodies, not the opposite.
Julie de Libran appears to understand this rule of gold and brought us this Fashion Week one of the most beautiful (and useful, and practical!) jackets. This gorgeous, rich, emerald mink bomber jacket reminded everyone in the place that what really makes a woman confident (and therefore beautiful) is freedom. There you go my dearest followers, always remember: You want to see a woman happy? Never dare to constraint her.
Comeback with a Bang: Ellery
This Australian proved that you should never listen to criticism if it’s not constructive. If it undermines your abilities and genius, judgement just limits your potential and what you can do with the world around you. So, after the whole drama with PETA Australia slamming and demanding the fashion label and its owner to stop using fur, Kym Ellery came back to the catwalk with an outstanding collection. You just have to sit and look at this whole range to understand why fur is one of her favourite materials. Just look at this sparkly, purple coat with black fox lapels and cuffs… She proved that no one should question your freedom of choice, your talent and your courage as a woman and as a human being. She proved it in the most outstanding and solid way: with class, beauty and flair.
P.S. Next week the Fur Guru will be visiting the vibrant city of Madrid. She will introduce you to a few new friends that have been giving a lot to talk about in the Spanish fashion world. Fasten your seat belts people, turbulence has been forecasted!
The Fur Guru