The famous fashion brand named ‘Gucci’ held its fashion show on September 23rd, in Milan, Italy. During the show, some people said particular clothes look like straitjackets. Moreover, a fashion model who wore clothing resembling a straitjacket wrote a sentence on her hands stating ‘Mental health is not fashion’. Many people sympathized with her behavior and criticized Gucci’s careless fashion designs. The Seowon News decided to ask Professor Cha Su-Juong for more precise knowledge about this situation.
-The Seowon News: Hello, professor. Please introduce yourself briefly.
-Cha Su-Juong: Hello, I am Cha Su-Juong and I am teaching pattern design, production design, and sewing techniques in the Department of Fashion and Clothing.
-SN: Recently, Gucci held the 2020 S/S fashion show. There were clothes resembling straitjackets. Did you see them? If you saw those clothes, what did you think about the garments?
-CSJ: I think it can be different according to one’s perspective. I cannot know exactly what the designer wanted to express, but I think clothes that look like straitjackets can be shown to the public. For instance, many advertisements use sexual content to attract people. So, this apparel might be a kind of idea designed to attract people in some way. However, the designer is well-known to the public, so the designer should be more sensitive.
-SN: In the past, they displayed a fashion item that looked like electronic anklets. Do you know more examples of this kind of design?
-CSJ: A shoe brand released shoes which looked old and dirty at first. However, some people are too poor to buy new shoes. They do not want to wear damaged or dirty shoes. By contrast, some people like to wear dirty shoes as a fashion item. Most people want to put on clean and new shoes. I do not know the intention of the shoe designer. However, those kinds of things can be hurtful to some people. I think people should abstain from causing harm, even if it is a violation of freedom of expression.
-SN: Then what do you think is the best way to reduce designs and products that cause discomfort to others?
-CSJ: I think it is different depending on your thoughts. In daily life, we might hurt someone with our tongue or actions unconsciously. That is why celebrated designers have to consider even tiny things that may have a harmful effect. They should understand that the clothes they design can remind people of these things. The designers have a responsibility for the apparel that they make.. It is very important to be ethical these days. Therefore, they should launch new clothes by considering their possible influence.
As the professor said above, disregarding the impact on the feelings of others cannot be justified in the name of freedom of expression. Consideration is not easy, of course. However, we have to consider many things in order to realize the ideals of human rights and respect for others.