"[Clothes] have a daily existence and represent for me a possibility of knowing myself at the most immediate level, because I invest myself in them in my own life, and because, on the other hand, they have an intellectual existence and open up to systematic analysis by formal means. » Roland Barthes, Fashion System
Clothing has always been a means of expression, an object of identification and a means of recognition. Dress code, business attire or school uniform, our clothing style reveals much about an era, a society and a culture. And if nowadays we imagine ourselves to have been freed from the constraints of clothing, many controversies prove to us that style and allure are still a subject of great attention.
From Mark Zuckerberg, to Rick Owens or Jean-Paul Gaultier, clothing is not only superficial or aesthetic; it can even be very political.
2012. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg solicited potential investors for his company. He wore his hoodie as usual.
A skillfully planned style of clothing, which is reminiscent of another popular leader, Steve Jobs, who proudly wore a uniform wardrobe: jeans, turtleneck and sneakers. This look, however not unusual, went on to create lively controversy and even bear a name: “hoodiegate”. But why such a stir for a simple sweatshirt?
Commentators believed that Mark Zuckerberg lacked respect for his interlocutors and his status as a leader was questioned.
That same year, 2012, the hoodie, conversely, became a banner and proved that clothing could also become a symbol of protest.
Trayvon Martin was killed by a police officer in the United States, and the acquittal of the perpetrator provoked a surge of demonstrations in tribute to the young boy.
The demonstrators wore a simple sweatshirt, as a sign of belonging to a social group and to illustrate the fact that clothing can also become a catalyst for stereotypes.But clothing is also a great playground and a great space for freedom. Jean-Paul Gaultier, in the 80s, marked his era with his insolence and non-conformism.
A visionary, he reversed gender codes, inventing a skirt for men, at a time when women were moving towards a more masculine wardrobe and not the other way around.The beginnings of a gender-free wardrobe which has become widespread today.
It remains to be seen where the limitations to freedom of dressing are to be found, and which transgressions will next make headlines.
Perhaps by being barely or not dressed at all, as in Rick Owen's fashion show in 2015. Naked under their outfits, the length of the shirts and other dresses voluntarily revealed the crotch of the designer's models.
Another way of provoking and shaking up fashion industry codes again and again.