Is Christian Fashion Week A Good Idea?

Last weekend, the first ever Christian Fashion Week (CFW) was held in Tampa, Florida. Attendees could expect modest clothing collections, a women’s only swimwear show, and gift bags filled with bibles. Held concurrently with the venerated New York Fashion Week, organizer Jose Gomez hoped to “do something to make New York jealous” and “really wanted quality represented.”

The merits of creating Christian subcultures within literature, art, music, and film have been endlessly debated. And although I’m wary of creating yet another Christian subculture, this time in fashion, I’m also encouraged.

Most of Christianity’s discussion of fashion revolves around women’s modesty, and although CFW partly focused on that, it also seemed to celebrate the art, beauty, and craftsmanship of fashion.

Even fashion apologists like myself admit there are lots of ethical dilemmas that make it difficult for Christians to participate in fashion: underage models, the perpetuation of a rail-thin body type that encourages eating disorders, the use of exploitative labor, perverse sexuality in ad campaigns, and an under representation of minorities.

You Don't Have To Get Naked To Be A Model - Christian Fashion Week ®
But what sector doesn’t have a laundry list of problems created by sin? Rather than withdrawing from fashion altogether, I hope more Christians see this as an opportunity and feel inspired to become designers, fashion photographers, writers, and stylists. Hopefully, events like CFW will serve as a catalyst for young people to view fashion as a way to, yes, serve God.

CFW may be a misguided attempt to redeem fashion, but at least its an attempt. I’m rooting for them.

About Lauren Rambo

Lauren Rambo is a wife, mom, and redheaded stepchild living in Louisville, Kentucky. She blogs at South by Style.

  • http://joannamuses.com Joanna

    I’m not sure what to make of the Christian Fashion Week idea. I think fashion is often under-emphasised as a creative medium in the Christian community so I’m glad to see some conversation about it. I think it is just as much a legitimate medium for expressing artistic flair, creativity and beauty as music or painting. And I think Christian convictions can contribute positive things to fashion other than just modesty, like the Christian affirmation of human dignity encouraging good treatment of those who make our clothes or the belief in loving others as a driver for creating clothes that allow those who would otherwise tend to be excluded from enjoying fashion due to size, income ect to experience the joy of dressing well.

    That said, things seem to often not go that well when Christians segregate off into their own parallel industries. I would hope that events like Christian Fashion Week are encouraging and equipping Christians for quality engagement with mainstream fashion culture, not just creating another subculture.

  • http://www.christianfashionweek.com Jose Gomez

    Lauren, thank you for such a positive article. I think people have many different opinions of what Christian Fashion Week is without taking the time to learn more about it. We aren’t trying to create a parallel universe where things are similar but somehow…umm….less (like Christian rap). We are all industry professionals and wanted to create an event to cater to the segment of the market that prefers modest clothing because of their Christian values. We love NYFW and all of the regional shows. But, we felt that we needed a show where we could add “one more button” and make it acceptable for our wives and daughters to wear while preserving their dignity.

    Our show was this past weekend and has received RAVING reviews from industry critics. The comment I loved the most was “wow – this feels like New York!” Another writer posted, “Christian Fashion Week has set the bar for all other shows in the Tampa Bay Area.” That’s pretty huge when we have other fashion weeks that have been running here for years.

    So, hopefully, you can come out to our next show. We are so excited, and thank you again for posting this editorial.

  • http://steamtunnelpilot.blogspot.com Sergius Martin-George

    Christian fashion week? Why not?! Sounds like a great I idea. Pastor Ed Young Jr. did a nice job with his own little fashion shindig last year.

  • http://femininefelines.blogspot.com Taylor Faulkner

    I think Christian Fashion Week is a splendid idea. We just need to make sure that we, as Christians, don’t lower our standards of modesty in any way to become more like the world. Show our separation, our lady-like-ness, and be proud of it!

    FeminineFelines.Blogspot.com


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