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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 😉