Italian designer Angela Missoni brought the political fight to Milan fashion week by ending her autumn-winter 2017 show with models clad in Pussyhats, the pink protest symbols of women’s rights.
Supermodels including Gigi Hadid and Romee Strijd strutted down the runway in the Italian fashion capital on Saturday wearing Missoni’s variation on the pointy-eared hats which featured her signature bold stripes around the brims.
The knitted pink hats with cat ears first appeared on January 21 at the Women’s March in Washington, where protesters wore them as a sign of feminine solidarity the day after US President Donald Trump was sworn into office.
As Missoni came out to take her bow, the designer told fashionistas gathered from the world over that “there is a bond between us that will keep us strong and safe; the bond that unites all those who respect human rights”.
SPECTRE OF TRUMP
“Let’s show the world that the fashion community is united and fearless,” she said as she urged the audience to don the hats left for each guest on every seat.
The show’s notes had already captured the spirit of the catwalk, saying Missoni’s creations were for women “prepared to confront the conflicts and dilemmas of our contemporary society: the conditions, needs and rights of all women and minorities”.
Missoni has not been the only woman at Milan’s fashion week to take up the call for unity among women in a troubled period.
Italy’s fashion queen Donatella Versace had sent a message to women everywhere Friday with a show that screamed defiance at attempts to turn back the clock on feminism.
Her collection featured one-word logos splashed across hats, scarves and the back of shirts — “Unity, love, loyalty, power”.
Both followed a New York fashion week haunted by the spectre of Trump, with America’s cultural elite upset that Hillary Clinton, much admired in the fashion industry, lost the election and angry over the first chaotic weeks of his presidency.
The pink knitted hats with cat ears, made for the Washington march, allude to Trump’s comment in an audiotape which surfaced during the campaign that he could grab women’s genitals with impunity because he is famous.