Milano Moda Donna Primavera 2010
Date: Sep 23 – 30, 2009 Supermodel to G.I. Jane: The Changing Roles of Women

Karolina Kurkova plays the role of "Cover Girl" in G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. (Photo courtesy of Paramount)
Karolina Kurkova plays the role of "Cover Girl" in G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. (Photo courtesy of Paramount)

DALLAS, Aug 16, 2009 / FW/ — To the fashion set, she does not need an introduction. Karolina Kurkova had walked the catwalk in New York, London, Milan and Paris. To the general public, she is a Victoria’s Secret Angel; and to G.I. Joe fans, Karolina Kurkova is Courtney Krieger a.k.a Cover Girl, a former fashion model, Cover Girl grew bored with the profession and joined the military.

In the microcosm of fashion, the move from the catwalk to the silver screen is a preferred route by supermodels. In the macrocosm called the one half of the world, (as in half of the human population is female), women choose their own path as they see fit.

Yet, it was not like that just 100 years ago, when women were as much a slave to fashion the same way that they have to follow what society expected from them. And then, “The Great War” happened and it changed everything.

It is almost a century ago, during World War I (1914 – 1918) that Coco Chanel did away with the crinoline and bustle form and offered alternative style of dressing – men’s pullover sweaters, sailor jackets and straight skirts so that women can “work” while the men were fighting the war.

“The Great War” ended in 1918, and the changes it brought stayed, including women’s manner of dressing. Fast-forward 91 years – the world is still fighting wars and women are in the trenches side by side with men. It is no longer just G.I. Joe; G.I. Jane had broken the combat barrier.

Women in Combat (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)
Women in Combat (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)

Karolina Kurkova’s character “Cover Girl” is not just a work of fiction; she exists in real life; G.I. Jane is a fighter pilot, even a ground combatant. Women’s roles and society’s perception of her role has changed. And, it is continually changing.

Like Coco Chanel who had to re-invent how women dressed because of World War I, designers today have to deal with the many roles of women, which by the way are also constantly changing. As in the case of “Cover Girl,” a woman can be supermodel one day, G.I. Jane the next.

Designers have understood this. Though G.I. Jane wears a uniform, women’s style and taste are varied. Hence, we see Donatella Versace dressing strong women, today’s glamazons; while Giorgio Armani dresses these same women in pants and pant suits.

Dean & Dan Caten of DSquared understand that women can be party animals at one time but be touched by Jesus the next. Roberto Cavalli sees them as rock & roll royalty but also sends them to safaris.

What do the Milanese designers envision for Spring / Summer 2010? We will find out on Sep 23 – 30, 2009 when the Milano Moda Donna takes place.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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