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What To Wear: How the Graphic Tee Became High Fashion

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Graphic T-Shirt Takes over for Spring 2017

2016 was the year that slogan t-shirts took over politics, concerts, and even the runway. Nothing was more intense than seeing the T-shirt messages at political rallies for Clinton and Trump that made headlines for weeks. In today’s political climate, it is no longer enough to let others know what you believe, you can now show them too. Graphic T-shirts are nothing new in street wear, but when slogan and graphic T-shirts appear on the runways from New York to Paris, the message is sure to reach a wider audience. In New York designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony chimed in by orchestrating a presentation to do their political “heavy lifting” in what they called a “Pageant of the People,” for their Spring 2017 show. Celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg, Natasha Lyonne, and Rashida Jones answered questions ranging from climate change to women’s issues.

On the runway, Pyer Moss sent out T-shirts at his Spring 2017 m with the words “GREED” and Bernie Madoff emblazoned on shirts. Henry Holland of Holland and Holland also made headlines for his now infamous hilarious rhyming slogans like “Do Me Daily David Bailey” and “Cause me Pain Hedi Slimane,” among others. His House of Holland graphic t-shirts are still relevant today and have been updated to include fashion’s latest rising stars like Molly Goddard, and Gigi and Bella Hadid. Jeremy Scott never one to missout on a trend, framed his entire collections around a cheeky Adult X Rated theme, infusing it with humor and a whole new level of glamour for the masses. Scott also incorporated Spongebob Squarepants as a graphic in his own fashion line, and mocked the whole world using McDonalds logo with a slight variation for the Italian luxury brand, Moschino on dresses and handbags. While at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s stated political message was “We Should All Be Feminists.”

From feminist leanings, animal activism, and an undying love of fashion, the Paris runways were full of intriguing slogan tees.  Paris Haider Ackermann sent out tees that read “Be Your Own Hero” and “Silent Soldier.” Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne collaborated with graphic designer Peter Saville saying “Futuresex” and “Canned Candies.”  Concert merch and graphic tees are everywhere this season, including top shelf stores such Barney’s, Dover Street Market, Ssence and Chanel. Now you can wear your heart on your sleeve and let your shirt do all the talking.

 


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