Clean-cut lines on jeans that don't suffocate a woman's body but are instead designed to give you room and suit you like that. Modernism is a new fascination created by industry, and women no longer want to be seen solely as subjects of sexual desire by their clothing.
This trend of modernism has aligned itself with the growing awareness of feminism within our society. It makes the traditional forms of sexualizing a woman's figure obsolete and rejects the traditional norms of which previously fashion confined itself to within the context of garments made for women. The idea of fashion for fantasy or fetishism, an idea of hypersexualisation of the female figure was apparent prominently throughout the ouevre of designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier or John Galliano.
During the early 2000’s male designers such as Gaultier and Galliano truly created a strong wave of fetishism within the industry, in turn, this made women who wore their designs, objet a – Lacan’s term of an unattainable object of desire. It was about sculpting the female figure, creating lust and desire which surrounded objet a, which at this point would be the woman itself, therefore, reducing a woman to an object.
Feminism concluded in this that the hypersexualization of the female image by both these designers and others actually sent out a message that the woman was already culturally and commercially seen as an erotic jouissance as such.
While this fetishization and item still persists in fashion, there is a modern trend within the industry that focuses on the opposite. This newfound modernity is not a movement of futurism, it is by no means the response of fashion to hover boards, but rather a modernism that is purely attainable, practical and occurs today.
A desire for garments to have depth beyond the shallowness of materialistic objects produced commercially for this highly capitalist industry. Designers have noticed the shifting tides of culture, a greater trend and an increasing awareness of feminism has forced designer’s hands to fold. Phoebe Philo perhaps the most well known pioneer of modernism. She is a woman who fluently and prophetically understands the limitations and liberties of todays’ woman. Jacquemus by Simon Porte Jacquemus is perhaps the latest exploration of modernism conceptualization within the industry. Jacquemus garments depict a humorous, independent and free woman. A truly modern woman.
Women are no longer being forced to be viewed as objet a nor do many of us want to be objet a. The power of modernism within the industry is the power which it instills within the wearer. Effectively enabling the garments to become objet a. An undoing of the erotic jouissance of objet a, it becomes instead about the woman wearing the garment and draws away from the materialistic nature often associated with fashion. Aligning itself with our society, modernism makes itself also relevant and correspondent to Feminism.
Designers are already presenting women with long-awaited answers to a variety of controversial design philosophies in the sector. For so long, the market has been involved in hypersexualization of women without any alternatives for women who beg to differ from this tradition.
It's just in the past few years that we've seen this philosophy and definition of modernism becoming genuinely prominent around the globe within the industry. Feminism has always been embodied in fashion. Yet, as progressive as fashion is, sometimes we're still in the dark.