In the 80s Katharine Hamnett invented the slogan tee and used her design power for good conveying political messages while encouraging people to ‘wear’ their voices. Those oversize t-shirts with large block letters were adopted by the pop scene including Wham! that wore the ‘CHOOSE LIFE’ tee in their ‘Wake ME Up Before You Go Go’ video. Other messages on her t-shirts were WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR BAN NOW, PRESERVE THE RAINFORESTS, SAVE THE WORLD, SAVE THE WHALES, EDUCATION NOT MISSILES, and other words of protest that represented the political protest that was going on during the Cold War.
Back to the future… Year 2017 and fashion has decided to use its voice again in making political statements. During New York Fashion Week designers are showing their disapproval of the current political situation in the United States by presenting political slogans. Designers are transforming their fashion shows into peaceful protests starting a new trend: Fashion Meets Politics.
Public School presented their Fall/Winter 2017-2018 collection with the domination of the red color as it symbolizes the Republicans. Models were seen wearing red hats and sweaters with the slogan “Make America New York”.
The Nepalese designer, Prabal Gurung, waited until the last minute to show to everyone his own version of rebellion towards the political situation and support towards feminism. During the last walk the models appeared in custom slogans T-shirts where the word female was in the center of attention. On the T-shirts it was written: “The Future is Female”, “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” and “Stay Woke”, by creating a huge impact on everyone present on that show.
Moreover, Creatures of Comfort and Christian Siriano were among these “rebellious designers” who presented on the catwalk slogans like “We Are All Human Beings” for the former, and “People are People” for the latter.
Tommy Hilfiger and Raf Simons for Calvin Klein embraced the #TiedTogether Movement. On the Tommy Hilfiger fashion show, models were seen wearing white bandanas on their wrists, while Calvin Klein sent white bandanas to all the attendees as an invitation. #TiedTogether sends a message of solidarity, unity and inclusiveness while raising donations for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union ) and UNHCR. Human Rights support is the new fashion trend.
This fashion month has just started and I’m looking forward to seeing what is about to happen on the runways of London, Milan and Paris. Dior has already started the Dio(r)evolution, more is to be expected in February & March.
Written by Enxhi Tufina