With news this weekend that #New York Fashion Week has been broadcasting political messages to audiences, it begs the question: can fashion, a multi-million dollar business truly be political? And in what measure?

Fashion designers have had a fleeting relationship with power and politics, ever since 1906, when designer Paul Poiret freed women from the corset. The designer was instantly celebrated as a pioneer of the #Women’s Liberation Movement.

Modern fashion moments

Seven decades later, #David Bowie challenged ideas about gender and identity in the seventies, performing in an unusual and gender non-specific assortment of costumes, from foil flares to makeup and long hair.

And then decades later, designer #Hussein Chalayan sent models down the runway in 1997 with hijabs in varying lengths. A thesis on women's identity and the male gaze, it was celebrated as rigorous social commentary from a fashion context.

Iconoclast #Alexander McQueen, however, has been celebrated as the most political fashion designer in recent time. From his cover story of Dazed, featuring women with disabilities, to his alternative forms of beauty and celebrating the art of difference, McQueen was probably the most political designer of the last 20 years.