In such a tumultuous time in our history, it’s hard for designers to focus on anything else, and the way in which they have decided to respond to the current social and political atmosphere has been intriguing. Mark Badgley and James Mischka drew parallels between now and the era in Europe and the United States between the two World Wars. They drew inspiration from the women who lived in those uncertain times and had to find their strength, chin up, and soldier through it. All, of course, while looking ever-fabulous.
So how does this translate for Badgley Mischka? There was a balance of haute gowns and dresses, and easier sporty separates with sneakers. The color palette was muted – a bit more serious and somber in greys, blacks, browns and neutrals with a pop of red or blue here and there to reflect the times. But all still absolutely gorgeous and wearable…even the brown. This is a collection for the women who need to get it done during the day, and get gorgeous at night.
The git-r-done moments were anything but everyday. A sheer sequin-embellished tie-neck top paired well with a high-waist stripe pant in velvet and matching duster jacket. A blue velvet slinky tracksuit grazed over grey jewel encrusted low tops. This was followed by a series of well-tailored separates of cropped pants, smart jackets, fur stoles, and variations of those same great shoes that I want to own a pair in every color.
Oh, but the evening wear. Badgley Mischka‘s bread and butter was definitely just as, if not more exciting than the foray into daywear. There was something for everyone in this parade of fabulous, including an off-one-shoulder column sequin gown, metallic pops on brocades, and a fun long-sleeve silver fringe gown.
We didn’t see very many direct inspirations from the bygone era BM spoke of, but I rather prefer it that way. The concept of what it means to be a woman in this era as well as the war eras of the World Wars was a clear clash of ideologies, creating tension. A dichotomy formed for many women – who they had to be in one moment was vastly different than who they had to be the next. Women worked in factories to help the war efforts, or enlisted as nurses, leaving the concept of the sphere of feminine roles behind. Yet public expectations and pressures were still applied, especially when the men came home.
Now, I as a woman am judged everywhere I turn. I am judged for choosing not to have children, or for having too many children, or how I choose to raise my children. God forbid I choose to work, because I as a mother am abandoning my children. And if I stay at home with them, I am considered *just* a SAHM, a person of lesser value. If I wear pants with flats, I am trying to prove something and be more masculine, and if I wear a skirt with heels, I am overtly sexual. If I am assertive at work, I am a bitch. If I try to get input or compromise, I am weak.
There is always a stigma attached to any effort or action taken by a woman, and those who don’t think that way are the minority. So having a design house address us as a gender in more than a 2D way that shows an understanding of this tension we currently exist in is actually pretty refreshing. Thanks for seeing us rather than preaching at us.