As Adele’s revival continues with a one-two punch of an Oprah Winfrey interview and a “One Night Only” concert at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, in front of a starry, starry crowd—all on Friday for an album release. In motion – then the art of his image is mastered; Her message of post-divorce strength and independence as told through every performance tool at her disposal. Including his lyrics, his interview and (yes) his clothes.
Not so much the black taffeta Schiaparelli mermaid gown she wore on stage to her concert, but the white pantsuit she wore to her face-to-face with Oprah.
For example, she wore a white pantsuit when she talked about leaving her marriage “and finding her happiness,” about the joy of lifting weights, about stopping drinking, about finding her new self. I care about feeling safe, owning my body image and not caring about what other people think.
A white pantsuit: This has been the single most commonly associated garment with women’s emancipation and empowerment on the public stage. At this point, it’s as much a symbol as a dress.
Adele just took the political and reminded the world that it’s personal too.
If anyone thought the garment was a rebellious relic of the Trump era, it has instead broadened its resonance.
The emergence of the white pantsuit as cultural shorthand began in the 2016 election, when Hillary Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in a white Ralph Lauren to accept her party’s nomination for the presidency, a departure from her position. Shows a direct connection to history. The suffragists (whose official color was white) and women’s fight to make their voices heard.
It was then adopted as a uniform during the election itself by women who were urged to #wearwhitetovote. Subsequently, it became a sign of opposition to President Donald Trump’s more regressive views about gender during his first State of the Union (even Melania Trump wore a white pantsuit in her first appearance, when The public had learned of Stormy Daniels’ affair, which many speculated was an obvious rebuke to her husband). Nancy Pelosi wore a white pantsuit as she stood in the hall of Congress to announce that the House would begin drafting the articles of impeachment against Trump; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her Vanity Fair cover; Kamala Harris, when she became Vice President-elect.
(The White Suit also made a much-anticipated appearance at the end of the 1996 film “The First Wives Club”, in which Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler play women who team up to seek revenge on their ex and The version of “You Don’t Own Me” makes a scintillating finale, wearing a yes, white suit.)
It’s possible that Adele liked the idea of wearing white, with its connotation of fresh starts and clearing the slate, or thought it would look good against the greenery of the garden where her sitting with Oprah happened—though perhaps she Wasn’t thinking about history at all. But it’s also true that the look chosen by young black designer Christopher John Rogers, who was named Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America just days before the show, was basically… a skirt suit. Was. , This was Look 39 from their Resort 2022 collection, otherwise known as Collection 008, and the only white style in the collection notable for its use of otherwise bright colors.
Adele adapted it to be a pantsuit. Given their album’s theme and Oprah conversation, titled “30”, it clearly seemed fitting. (So much so that Oprah actually decided to change her outfit at the last minute from a bright apricot Sally Lapointe suit to a neutral Brunello Cucinelli.)
Especially since, as Adele told Oprah, she had “never worn white before. I’m wearing it for you.”
And as a result, this symbol of solidarity sprang from Washington to the world at large.
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