When we started this issue, we were struck with how big the word fashion was. It could bring forth images of haute couture and glossy magazines, but also the never ending task of laundry. Fashion is dressing for work or school in the morning, but it is also demanding safe working conditions for workers in garment factories. With so many meanings in the word fashion, we were curious to see how Room contributors thought the aspect of culture that is so distinctly gendered contends with feminist thinking and living. In short, we wondered if fashion was feminist?
What we found was despite the grand gestures of fashion in media, most of our contributors explore fashion as a peripheral aspect of everyday life. Jeans are slid off, shoes are cleaned and stowed away, and fast fashion T-shirts are selected then re-selected.
In our interview, model Stacey McKenzie subverts assumptions about the high end fashion industry and discusses her work on self-esteem building. Poet Elizabeth Bachinsky takes a deeper look at the iconic fashion tome, Vogue, and Toronto-based artist Cathy Daley skews the familiar Little Black Dress silhouette in her oil pastel series Untitled.
What we came to see throughout the work in this issue is that fashion is intertwined into almost every aspect of life, and so we present to you the first issue in Room’s 37th volume, “Fashion, Trend, and Personal Style.” Creating the issue was akin to putting together the ultimate outfit: a mix of accessories, fabrics, textures, and that little something else that reflects a personal style.