Can Fashion Be Feminist?

An interactive lecture at the Ulster Museum, Belfast. October 2018.

In a world marred by unequal pay, violence against women, everyday sexism, and now Donald Trump, is the fashion industry friend or foe? As millions of women around the world join women’s marches, call for equal rights, and raise their voices over #MeToo and #TimesUp, does the fashion industry have a responsibility to speak out? Or are fashion corporations just selling us back our ideas, repackaging them with enormous price tags?

And what about behind the scenes of the fashion industry? Can fashion ever really be feminist when it is an industry built on the exploitation of women in the Global South? With garment factories collapsing and garment workers imprisoned for asking for higher wages, is the fashion industry beyond redemption?

With very special thanks to Charlotte McReynolds, Curator of Art at National Museums Northern Ireland.

Lecture slideshow: