By  on January 19, 2018

As the Hollywood awards season carries on — next up, the SAG Awards on Sunday — WWD asked designers for their thoughts on the black dress movement: Specifically, reaction to the Time's Up statement made at the Golden Globes, how wearing black should proceed and be perceived throughout the season and if fashion brands, as suppliers (usually gratis) of the fashion statement are getting their due.Donatella Versace: “I do not think this moment will pass so easily. And I am not referring only to what is happen today, but to what, during the years, during the centuries, women had to endure in order to survive in this society and to find their right space in society. It's useless to deny that men and women are not treated equally and I can finally see both men — some smart and illuminated ones — and women supporting the fight for equality. I think and I hope that people are choosing to wear black because they believe in this issue that caused so much pain to so many women.We should not forget that actresses are women. I dress them not because I treat them like walking advertising, but because I have a relationship with them as human beings. Besides, each designer should be confident to have such a recognizable style that it's not necessary for them to say it out loud if they wear this or that designer.I think what happened at the Golden Globes and the auction that is being organized made the world see how united we all are and now it doesn't matter if they wear black or red or yellow. The world knows that we are all supporting this cause and we are not stopping until this is over. “Prabal Gurung: “I don’t necessarily think we need to see a blackout on the red carpet again (…I am a designer whose most recent collection was themed “Stronger in Color,” after all), however I absolutely cannot wait to see the momentum of setting a powerful and substantive agenda, through fashion choices, continue. Fashion was previously considered an isolated visual medium, devoid of cultural substance. Now, more than ever, our medium has proved it can be an important vehicle in communicating powerful values and ideals for both us the designers, and for people around the world...As award season continues, I hope to see talented actresses, producers, directors, writers and singers choose to wear any outfit that makes them feel empowered enough to utilize the platform they have to speak out and to address issues that demand conversation in order to provoke change…Whether it be black again, pink, feathers, tulle, embellishment…I look forward to seeing and hearing these women put their best selves forward, to see the red carpet as an opportunity, as a responsibility and as a means for activism and change.I do wish the actresses on the carpet were asked why they chose to wear the particular designer they wore. It is not so much about us creating or loaning them a dress without making a sale, and more about the idea that as designers, we too want to use our voices and platforms to take part in the conversation. So many of us are staunch supporters of activist causes, whether it be the Time's Up Movement at the Golden Globes, or supporting the ACLU, or Planned Parenthood, or simply speaking out against injustices in our society.The red carpet is such a beautiful platform to speak about issues that need to be addressed, that do deserve screen time, that set an agenda that needs to be put at the forefront. By asking actresses who they are wearing, it not only challenges them to align with brands that support their ideals, but it also challenges us as designers to have more transparency in what we stand for, in our values and principles, for and how we create and produce to be ethical and sustainable.Asking this question will hold everyone — actresses, stylists, designers and brands — accountable and will challenge us to continue to create in a way that is best for this world and it’s modern demands.”

Vera Wang: “I think [everyone wearing black] made such a statement at the Golden Globes. There was so much synergy with women expressing one voice; it’s one of those moments in time that was very strong, and with many men also respecting the dress code. It was powerful. That doesn’t mean that going forward, women have to only wear black, and this is coming from someone who does mostly all-black collections. I think the solidarity that women feel is going to have to come through action as well, in the kinds of roles women play in films, the kind of projects they produce. [Fashion-wise] I think the statement has been made.

 I didn’t really know about [avoiding designer/brand mentions on the red carpet] until I was watching, and it became very apparent. Part of how important fashion has become in our society has had a lot to do with people seeing dresses from designers on the red carpet. That has made fashion more — I don’t know if democratic is the right word — but it has made it more accessible to people, at least from a viewership and entertainment point of view. And that can’t hurt any industry. 

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