Fashion and politics usually don't mix, but with a polarizing president in the White House, a number of designers have made their political feelings known on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
Milly's Michelle Smith called her collection "Fractured" and raced down the runway with her kids and a "Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood" pin on her lapel, while the models in the final runway walk at the Prabal Gurung show sported T-shirts with such phrases as "Voices for Choices" and "I Am an Immigrant." Gurung's T-shirt read, "This is What a Feminist Looks Like."
Tracy Reese, who created the Planned Parenthood pins for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, had four feminist women poets read their own work during her fashion show, while Christian Siriano and Lela Rose are offering T-shirts and headbands for sale, with proceeds earmarked for the ACLU.
But at the Taoray Wang show, founder and chief designer Wang Tao steered clear of politics as Tiffany Trump, boyfriend Ross Mechanic, and mother, Donald Trump's ex Marla Maples, sat on the front row.
Wang had designed the white double-breasted coat and dress ensemble that the 23-year-old first daughter wore to her father’s inauguration last month. The two had met through a publicist last September, when the idea of Donald Trump as president of the United States still seemed unlikely.
Tiffany, wearing the designer's Aphrodite dress in ivory wool crepe with Grecian-inspired bodice, and her mother watched the show intently, remarking on various ensembles in the crisply tailored collection, as she maintained the best posture of any celebrity I have seen in a decade of covering fashion week. Afterward, they went backstage to speak with the Shanghai-based designer, who, a bit ironically, is known for creating power pantsuits for professional women in China.
The fall collection, which traces the suit's history to the Qing Dynasty, pairs men's suiting fabric with ladylike lace or pink silk lining for a more feminine look. It also includes crushed velvet pantsuits with wide-legged trousers that emit a '70s disco vibe, little black dresses with mismatched hemlines, and some terrific overcoats with wide lapels, unique leather belting and contrasting lining.
Afterwards Tao told Women's Wear Daily she was proud of the Trump connection despite the president's views towards China. "As a brand, I would always like to mix diversity and also bring differences together," she said.
Backstage Trump ignored numerous spectators who pulled out their iPhones to snap a photo of her. “I’m here to support Tao and that comes with the territory. I thought the collection was spectacular, the way she tailors so well and flows in fabrics,” she said.