I don't feel fashion has a role as a dictatorship but it does have a role. Any industry that has such a heavy hand in image making has a certain responsibility in what image they make. This is from artists to fashion to the news. Galliano for example may have meant only positive things with his S/S 06 show but there are people who were offended by his patronizing display. Is this something Galliano is even aware of? If he meant well should any negative effects be then overlooked? I don't know the answer to this.
As far as models and weight go I am not saying the use of uber thin models is bad. I am saying the effects of this are and that designers can take some responsibiity for this...and some do. When designers send models down the runway they pick the clothes but they also pick the bodies. They set body trends as well as clothing ones. I can't remember the exact numbers but the average model represented about 80% of the female population in the U.S. in 1980. Now that number has gone higher than 90%. I will find the exact data.
As far as animal rights go fashion is their worst enemy. Whether you care about animals or not the idea that opulence and luxury or even good design should be acheived through the horrifc death of a living creature is a disturbing idea. Designers like Stella don't use fur or leather but they are rare. We consider designers labels Commes Des Garcons and Anne Demuelmeester to be modern and progressive but how modern is wearing dead animal flesh?
There are various other issues with fashion I am not saying they are bad or good but merely they happen. Should that responsibilty be taken on by the fashion industry? I don't even know if it can. Imagine if Galliano stopped using fur...or even...put women in dresses that didn't make a man want to f*ck them. I am not placing blame only responsibility. I am not trying to determine if fashion is wrong or right but more of how far it's effects go and if that is willing to be recognized and even changed.