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Activism and Fashion

With various celebrities, politicians, influencers, and models strutting down the red carpet at the MET Gala-themed ‘American Independence’, a few days back, we saw activism and slogans worn rather than spoken, loud and clear. Fashion activism, a term coined by Celine Semaan, is the practice of using fashion as a medium for social and environmental change. Such activism has long been in use, from the mid-1950s to the 1960s with the civil rights movement to the present day MET Gala. Though many were dressed to impress, a few of them caught our eye and even made rounds on social media posts and in newspapers. This is an insight into certain dressed individuals who caught our eyes.


1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)













AOC, with ‘TAX THE RICH’ written with red on her white gown, certainly made headlines and rounds around social media. An advocate of Equality and the Environment, Cortez is known to take up social issues every now and often. A controversy, though, soon arose with her statement being rather passive, as the tickets of the Gala itself costs big bills. Nevertheless, in her Instagram caption, she did not forget to give credit to Aurora James, a black woman and an immigrant who designed the gown, now being known all over the world.



2. Cara Delevingne














Though Cara Delevingne took to the MET such a social issue, her response was rather disappointing when asked what the phrase means. The term “pegging” describes the sexual act when a woman performs anal sex on a man with a sex toy. Delevingne added: “You know, it’s a bit like, ‘stick it to the man’, if anyone wants to look up the word.”


The designer Luna Matatas who created 'peg the patriarchy' has talked about what it actually means and it doesn't revolve around 'anal sex' as Delevingne claims. Nevertheless, we appreciate the act.


3. Carolyn Maloney




Another Congresswoman, 75-year-old, Carolyn Maloney showed up in a purple, white, and gold gown representing the women’s suffrage movement. Written on her dress in bold was ‘Equal Rights for women,’ as her purse read, ‘Era Yes’. She has been someone to have taken up Fashion activism in past events. For instance, when she wore a firefighter jacket to tout her support of a bill to compensate the victims and families of the 9/11 attacks, in The MET 2019.


4. Dan Levy


With his puffy-shouldered ensemble, Dan Levy highlighted the “resilience and the love and the joy” of the LGBTQ+ community, as reported by the Vanity Fair. His outfit was inspired by a time of struggle and was born out of the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.


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