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How Will 2017 Fashion Trends Reflect the Political Climate?

Posted by Becky Bicks on January 26, 2017

The recent heated election has had effects far beyond the sphere of politics.  Television, film, literature, music and more have shown ripples in reaction to the current climate.

Fashion has also recently been affected. It’s not unusual for fashion designers to reflect the tenor and mood of society in their work, so don’t be surprised to see the biggest 2017 fashion trends reflecting today's volatile political state. Here are a few concrete ways people can expect to see fashion shift in the coming year.

Overt Political Messaging

In the coming year, expect to see high-end designers include overtly political messaging on their products. T-shirts with slogans and images pushing particular political beliefs will be popular. One example of a high-end piece with political messaging is the "We Should All Be Feminists" shirt, which debuted in the Spring 2017 Dior show.

Sneakers and Low Block-Heels

High heels are out in 2017, thanks to a new focus on practicality and comfort. With the feminist movement at an all-time high, women will be more focused on having shoes that allow them to commute and get work done, rather than choosing a pair of shoes to make them look more elegant. In his Spring 2017 Fashion Week show, Alexander Wang showcased a new line of high-top sneakers with fringes -- seamlessly blending fashion with function.

Pins and Patches

pins and patches fashion trends.jpgAdding pins and patches to clothing was last big in the 1970s, when the anti-war movement was at an all-time high. Expect to see designers and fashionistas adding patches and pins to their clothing items again, as a nod to those days of activism. The patches and pins will include political messaging, allowing people to customize the message their wardrobe sends to the world.


The pantsuit has been around for years. However, thanks to Hillary Clinton, the pantsuit has surged in popularity, and high-end designers will be creating a wide range of suits for women. Designers showcased pantsuits on the runway during 2017 Spring fashion weeks; in fact, designer Prabal Gurung finished his Spring 2017 show with three pantsuits in a row. Pantsuits will be both utilitarian for work and more playful for dressing up and going out, but their popularity is another fashion development that marks a surge in the feminist movement.

Sustainable, Vegan Fashion

Thanks to the recent attention paid to climate change, expect fashion designers in the coming year to be more eco-conscious than ever. Many designers will create pieces out of recycled and sustainable material, and others will focus on reducing animal cruelty, making lines that are completely vegan (with no leather, fur, down or skins). This year, PETA bestowed large fashion houses with its PETA Fashion Awards for being animal friendly; Stella McCartney, Armani and Liberty all won awards from the animal rights group for making animal-friendly achievements during the 2016 fashion year.

As we move forward into 2017, and the world responds to a volatile political climate, fashion designers will begin refocusing their designs to match the priorities, moods and concerns of the world around them. Expect to see designs that help people express what they are feeling, and clothing that aligns with their values.

Topics: Politics, style, Fashion, pussy hat, Alexander Wang, Christian Dior, pantsuits, Prabul Gurung, Ecoconscious, sustainable, Stella McCartney

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