FASHION ACTIVISM AS AN ART FORM

The image of Hamnett meeting Margaret Thatcher in a political tunic was printed all over the world, and remains one of the iconic images of the 1980’s.

By Balthazar Malevolent

FASHION ACTIVISM AS AN ART FORM

As an art form, fashion has the power to create social change, challenge ideas of body image, and sexuality. However, there have always been certain negative stereotypes following its reputation in consumer society. People are dismissive of fashion. It comes across in a cliche way – it is considered frivolous or indulgent. While fashion should be allowed to be fun and all of those things, it shouldn’t be defined by those ideas, because it also represents so many other things. It is an industry with hard working people who take their job very seriously, and it sometimes delivers its products in order to spread serious messages for the greater good of society.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Katherine Hamnett, 1984

Fashion designers seek inspiration for their clothing lines everywhere and anywhere, in the most unpredictable of things. For Balmain A/W2012 collection, creative designer of the house, Olivier Rousteing, used a Fabergé egg as his inspiration. Furthermore, designer Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent mined the Swinging Sixties pop culture for A/W2014 fashion show. Bottom line is that designers can promote whatever they want, and it is up to the audience to see what is behind the curtain.

British designer Katharine Hamnett's modern, graphic message tees, captured the zeitgeist of a new brand of glamorous activism, one that wished to distinguish itself from the messy political fashion statements of the hippie seventies. And her convention flouting made news: The image of Hamnett meeting Margaret Thatcher in a political tunic was printed all over the world, and remains one of the iconic images of the 1980’s. Hammett was also responsible for George Michael’s iconic “Choose Life” shirt, made famous in the “Wham! video “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”.

An activist protest took place also during the Rick Owens show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on September 27, 2018.

No results

Shop now