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20th February 2017

Slogan t-shirts: a political fashion statement

New York Fashion Week kicked off this season’s shows with a distinct political tone. Talia Lee-Skudder reveals how the politically inspired slogan t-shirt should be your next purchase

This New York Fashion Week saw a number of designers using the catwalk to demonstrate their dissent with the Trump administration. After Trump’s controversial executive orders that included the immigration ban and the removal of funds from US groups that perform or provide information on abortions, NYFW became a platform where designers and models can make statements about the current political system.

This season has seen a wave of slogan t-shirts emblazoned with captions: Prabal Gurung released a range of t-shirts with different captions including, ‘Girls just want to have fundamental rights’, ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ and the popular phrase that is currently making rounds on social media, ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’.

With the fashion industry publicly endorsing Hillary Clinton, it is perhaps unsurprising that designers took this opportunity to voice their opinions on women’s rights and the immigration ban.  Back in October, when the idea of Trump becoming President seemed unbelievable, he caused outrage when he referred to Clinton as a ‘nasty woman’. This sparked clothing brand ‘Nasty Gal’ to release t-shirts with the caption ‘nasty woman’. Now there is a range of merchandise available with this phrase, turning Trump’s insult into a positive attribute for a strong, career driven women.  Fashion Week jumped fully on board with this slogan trend.

While designers from Tommy Hilfiger to Diane Von Furstenberg sent their models down the runway with white bandanas tied around their wrists in support of the #TiedTogether campaign which demonstrates unity amidst the political unrest, Prabal Gurung and other big names fully embraced the slogan tee trend.  New York-based brand Creatures of Comfort followed suit with light blue t-shirts with the words ‘We are all human beings’, while designer Christian Siriano included a black t-shirt with the writing ‘people are people’.

The fashion forecast is that the slogan t-shirt is back and it can be worn casually with jeans or dressed up with heels and a skirt in the style of Gurung’s catwalk show. These designers are encouraging us to be loud and proud with our views and stand up for what is just, so wear your views across your chest with slogan t-shirts and make a political as well as a fashion statement.

These t-shirts that were debuted at Fashion Week are more than just an accessory, they are a symbol of unity, support, and inclusivity.

These politically charged shows are perhaps a sign of what is yet to come in the succeeding shows in Paris, London and Milan. For this season, politics is intertwined with fashion, as the industry uses its voice to demonstrate discontent and celebrate that we are united against hatred and discrimination.

This year, grab your slogan tee and stand together.

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