Fashion is inherently political. Throughout history, it has functioned as an expression of nationalism, activism, religion, and ideologies. At the same time, the fashion system has oppressed many groups of people, especially under structures of colonialism and capitalism. In the tension between these two extremes, we find our agency, as individuals and members of our communities, to use fashion as a political tool in the construction of our identities and (re)shaping of our societies. This list explores the intricate and complicated relationship between fashion and politics from a variety of angles and in different contexts.

International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union rally protesting textile imports in Los Angeles, Calif., 1972.

“International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union rally protesting textile imports in Los Angeles, Calif., 1972.” November 16, 1972. B&W negative, 35 mm. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, UCLA Library.