Fight for ecology, feminism and tolerant society – what else do labels on clothing and accessories scream about?
To express your position through texts on clothing is not a new technique. Back in the 70’s, Vivienne Westwood, along with Malcolm McLaren, created t-shirts with a list of her favorite and unloved things, while designer Catherine Hamnett responded to the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic by writing "Choose life" on clothing. We decided to find out what information message contemporary designers broadcast to us.
The calling card of the Moschino fashion house has always been ironic slogans on clothing and accessories. The trend for such slogans was introduced by Franco Moschino: he knew very early that his shows should be a holiday, and proved that fashion cannot be taken too seriously. In his collections, the founder of Moschino repeatedly appealed to the techniques, Surrealists used in paintings. So, it was possible to understand Franco Moschino’s ideas only through the prism of humor and irony. Many critics claimed that the designer treated fashion as a visual art, and this was partly true. Slogans on clothing were addressed to current social, political and economic issues (just look at "Expensive jacket"). "All you knit is love", "To be or not to be, this is the T-Shirt", "I don’t speak Italian, I speak Moschino" are examples of humorous inscriptions, allowing to understand the message, which remains unchanged since the time of Moschino. The key point here is to stay true to yourself, to emphasize your own individuality and not to chase fashion, because it is impossible to catch up with it.
In 2017, the most popular piece of wardrobe that reflected the mood of society, was the Dior T-shirt with the slogan: "We Should All Be Feminists". That year, there were many significant events for society: protests against the Donald Trump’s election, a large-scale women's march and a gender revolution. No doubt, all this did not go unnoticed for fashion: the first female creative Director in the history of the Dior house, Maria Grazia Chiuri, presented clothes with the explosion of the femme aesthetics at the show, and guests appeared in the front row in an already iconic T-shirt with the inscription "We Should All Be Feminists". Thus, everyone heard the loudest feminist phrase, that wasn’t expressed aloud – this is a real talking fashion!
Ashish long sleeves, sweaters and t-shirts with slogans "Fall in love and be more tender”, “You are much lovelier than you think" and "Love sees no color" are aimed at promoting love all over the world, regardless of skin color and gender. "Stronger together" is the message of social, but also personal, positive slogans. The collection of Ashish Gupta with a variety of slogans dedicated to love was presented in 2017: it was then that fashion began to gradually create a more tolerant society.
Often, the podium becomes a kind of arena for political statements. For example, the Prabal Gurung brand fights for the rights of migrants using slogans printed on clothing: "Love is the resistance", "Stronger in colour", "I am a mess". Labels on clothes are not just words, but an expression of the general mood of society. By the way, Prabal Gurung is one of Michelle Obama’s favorite brands. For many years, the issue of immigration is acute in many countries: in 2016, Michelle Obama’s designer Sophie Theallet refused to cooperate with Melania Trump. The designer published an open letter and said that she was against any discrimination, racism and xenophobia, which was launched by Donald Trump during his election campaign. And since Sophie is an immigrant in the US, the slogans on the clothes from Prabal Gurung were very helpful.
In the spring-summer 2020 collection, Prabal Gurung (who, incidentally, is also a Nepalese immigrant) once again demonstrated slogans with a political statement on the clothing. All of his models wore pageant-like sashes emblazoned with the question, “Who Gets to Be American?”.
Englishwoman Anya Hindmarch is considered one of the best designers of accessories: the girl not only creates stylish and modern bags, but also fights for the environment, trying to change the world for the better. "I'm not a plastic bag" – the bag that the designer created for the purchase of food products to avoid non-ecological plastic bags.
The popularity of the bags eventually turned into mass hysteria: every girl dreamed to get this non-standard accessory. The aim of this project was achieved: the designer used her influence and introduced the fashion of eco-friendly bags in society. Bravo, Anya! Most recently, the designer presented an updated version of the bag to the public: "I am a plastic bag". This accessory is made entirely from recycled plastic.
In general, many items from the collection of Anya Hindmarch are rather interesting: for example, the accessory that says "Bags have feelings too!" is a direct proof.