NEW YORK,U.S(TNO) The designer Derek Lam was perched on a wooden chair in a penthouse suite of the Greenwich Hotel that looked as though it had been air-lifted from Santa Fe. Dressed in white jeans and a dark shirt, he was describing the inspiration for his spring 2017 collection, and the words that he used again and again were “strong” and “independent.”Specifically, he’d been inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist who was so often described as “handsome,” a polite way of saying that she was not a great beauty. But that striking face of hers, alongside her formidable body of work, made her an icon nonetheless.t was her strength, off-putting at first but eventually embraced, that captivated Lam, he explained. And there it was at last in this city’s hectic fashion week, when audiences couldn’t even be sure whether they’d be seeing fall clothes or spring ones on the runway finally, a thread that connected so many disparate collections.
But beyond cut and color, designers are obsessing about strong and powerful women who are independent and enduring perhaps even a bit scandalous. There has been talk of O’Keeffe, Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem, influential mothers and grandmothers and of course, Hillary Clinton.The Democratic presidential nominee is, by no means, the typical fashion icon, not in the manner of an actress, a musician or even First Lady Michelle Obama. But it is hard to deny her influence, whether direct or indirect on so many designers. The historic nature of her campaign is in the air; and much of Seventh Avenue has been quite clear about supporting her.
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