During a Q&A last night with WWD’s executive editor Bridget Foley, Marc Jacobs - the man behind his own label as well as fashion giant Louis Vuitton - sparked an interesting debate on how male designers can be seen as objectifying women through their sometimes-provocative creations winging down the runways.
L-R Donatella's SS13 Versace collection, Marc Jacob's Louis Vuitton SS13 collection and Tom Ford SS13
Speaking about female designers, the designer said that with 'Miuccia [Prada] there’s a certain intelligence. Even when something is subversive or unusual, you can’t call them a misogynist. They’re not poking fun at women. When Miuccia sends a woman out in a Prada show in a fur jacket and panties, nobody thinks she’s making fun of women. But a guy doing that becomes sort of sexist. I think there’s integrity and there’s also an intelligence that comes with those women and their designs.' What do you think? Does risque womenswear created by a male designer come across as sexist? And does this wary attitude effect their creations?
Marc Jacobs (left) and Tom Ford (right) weigh in on the debate
Marc isn’t the first male designer to raise this complex subject of a male as womenswear designer. Remember when we brought you Tom Ford’s opinion on the matter? He told Interview Magazine, 'I'm an equal-opportunity objectifier. Because I make the detachment I'm capable of objectifying a beautiful woman but that doesn't demean her in any way.'
Do you agree with Tom that objectification is genderless? Female designers can create looks just as short, skimpy, fetish-y and objectifying as men. Is it impossible to detach the designer’s gender from the collection they’re creating? Or in an industry dominated by huge design teams and collections that are without doubt collaborative efforts, does that make the argument moot?
Let us know your thoughts below...