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I recently had the exciting opportunity to visit the Fashion and Textile Museum‘s exhibition, ‘T-shirt: cult – culture – subversion‘. As an avid wearer of this versatile garment, I was looking forward to exploring the history behind the tee.
The Fashion and Textile Museum, founded by iconic fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, has been on my must-see list for a good while now, and I was not disappointed by my visit. The cosy and inviting building, with its bright orange exterior, is down a funky fashionable street in Bermondsey Village. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the inside of the museum has a really industrial and spacious feel.
The t-shirt exhibition was set over two floors and was categorised into area such as ‘t-shirt typologies’ and ‘ethics and ecology’. My t-shirt journey began at the very beginning, and I learned that examples of decorated T-shaped tunics excist from as early as the fifth century AD. Who knew! Also highlighted was the fact that the first promotional t-shirt was produced to advertise the Wizard of Oz film in 1939. Aside from the flurry of facts, here are my highlights from the exhibition:
Beautiful BIBA t-shirts with the iconic black and gold colour scheme
Vivienne Westwood collection, 2013
Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s infamous naked cowboys t-shirt, as worn by the Sex Pistols
My dream come true – a wall of band t-shirts!
Guerrilla Girls/ Barbara Kruger t-shirts – swoon!
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior t-shirt, stating that “we should all be feminists”. I agree, Maria!
Now don’t mind me, I’m off to buy some vintage t-shirts 😉
We’ve always loved a strident, wittily droll slogan and a vintage band t-shirt here at The Stellar Boutique and it looks as though we are not alone! Whether it be vintage, comprehensively notorious quotations or up and coming graphic printers the world has gone crazy for the latest in vogue obsession and we are no different! From our “Your Eyes Lie circle vest” to our “like a flash” t-shirt to our most favourite of all, the “gone wild fringed t-shirt,” at The Stellar Boutique we love to mix it up with diverse refrains and mantras printed on the highest quality materials whilst maintaining our fashion forward edge for our fashion conscious customers!
With specialist illustrative and watchword independents growing and the likes of Hype, The Ragged Priest and Catchpenny attracting us minions and celebrities alike, the trend that was once associated with grunge looks set to linger for a while. We’ve beheld in reverence at Fearne’s Siouxsie and the Banshees, Alexa’s Arctic Monkeys and Agyness’ The Clash. We’ve witnessed the humorous witticisms and quips of Praduh, Chanel’s Chicken Cottage and Yves vacant Laurent. Alas, who could forget the famous “We Love You Kate” tee Alexander McQueen wore during his catwalk bow in 2005 after Kate Moss’ “cocaine Kate” scandal resulting in the likes of H&M dropping her as the new face for their future campaigns and Chanel declaring that they will not be renewing their contract with her that was to be terminated in October, yet reassuring that it was nothing to do with recent drug claims.
If there is one person alone we can rely on to catapult this trend into stellar space and beyond it is the deity Delevingne, with her “WTF,” “Ain’t No Wifey,” and “Last Clean T-Shirt,” tees spiraling this crazed inclination into oblivion. It’s not just us here at The Stellar Boutique who saw this one coming and branded Miss Delevingne as a fashion presumptuous, a known trend facilitator to fashion insiders back in February this year, Grazia created the in-house Black Score t-shirt with top illustrator Simeon Farrar nipping in to design a selection of tees exclusively for London Fashion Week.
Where did it start? You can thank the tourist souvenir industry for this one! T-shirt decoration was propelled into our existence in the early segment of the fifties with branded resort tees and Disney screen prints with the sixties seeing the emergence of tie-dyeing and screen printing countenancing the establishment wearable art we are still irksome today.