From the streets to the podium: how to dress for the revolution

University of California, Berkeley, canceled a scheduled on February 1, the speech of the far-right journalist and former editor of Breitbart News of Milo Giannopoulos (Milo Yiannopoulos) due to mass protests, which resulted in the University campus was damaged, estimated at 100 thousand dollars.


As stated in the official statement of the University, the culprits became “150 agitators in disguise” — members of the anarchist group Black Bloc — who managed to turn a peaceful protest into a riot, began to throw stones at police and Molotov cocktails and smashing shop Windows.


The clothing of the members of the group black jackets, hoods and masks — has attracted no less attention than their actions. Because of the ubiquity of surveillance cameras and cameras on smartphones black clothing is often a way to hide their identity and prevent authorities to punish the perpetrators. In this case we are talking about clothing as a strategic tool and as a symbol of defiance.


Fashion is often neglected, considering it to be the gloomy world of conspicuous consumption, where can get only celebrities, but many people wear carries a strong political charge.


“The fashion industry is often criticized, and sometimes this criticism is justified. However, at the same time, fashion can be an effective political tool,” — said Jane Tynan (Jane Tynan), Professor at the Central College of art and design St. Martin’s in London.


“Fashion is a powerful way to protest, because it allows you to create a visual that will be able to see all the people, irrespective of their class, race, education, and social status. Using mods for this purpose as well — and maybe even more — effective as waving posters”.


Silent protest


Protest can take many forms. While members of the group Black Bloc tried to remain incognito, Krista Sow (Krista Suh) and Jane, Zweiman (Jayna Zweiman) wanted to get hypersalinity running the project “Ciscoasa” after winning Donald trump on 2016 elections.

Posting schema simple pink hats, SDA and Zweiman hope to provide Women’s March on Washington, held on January 21, “to create a unique collective of visual messages, which will help activists to draw attention to themselves”, as stated in the statement of the organizers of the project.


And really live the sea pink caps helped to create an unforgettable picture during the March women.


“We chose the caps because I knew that at the time of the March will be to work aerocamera, so hats are more visible than, say, scarves or badges,” said SOU.


According to SDA, the creation of such hats was inspired by other outfits of the protesters, namely the Phrygian cap. This soft, rounded cap worn by American and French revolutionaries as a symbol of freedom and liberation — “the values that we cherish, especially now, when they were under attack”, said the JMA.


Mutiny on the podium


Away from the street of social movements some of the famous fashion designers made a more veiled statements, using their fashion shows and collections in order to Express their political views.


In 1984, British designer and activist Katherine Hamnett (Katharine Hamnett) appeared at the house at 10 Downing Street in a t-shirt saying “58% against the Pershing” (meant the deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe) — to the great surprise of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with whom she had an appointment.


In 1977, Vivienne Westwood (Vivienne Westwood) has invented, sold and wore t-shirts with images of a swastika and an inverted image of Christ on the cross, showing thus a protest against the establishment.


“We were just talking to the older generation: we do not accept your values and your taboos, you’re all Nazis,” explained Westwood in an interview in 2009.


“Westwood really got interesting looks come from the streets or come from the political class, not from the designers,” — said Tynan.


His men’s collection fall winter 2017, which she showed in January in London, Westwood wanted to demonstrate what she called “the rot in the political system”, sending on the catwalk models in specially torn clothes in the hint of a bleak future.


“Bad politicians are similar to each other. And they always make their way into power. We want to achieve power for the people and the democratic regime,” said Westwood in an interview during the show.

Meanwhile, in February, RAF Simons (Raf Simons) used a song by David Bowie (David Bowie) “This Is Not America” as the music for his runway show, which was inspired by events in America.


“Yes, I believe that fashion can become a form of resistance, said Simmons before the show. — However, strength is comparable to the decision of a person to hold certain position or to speak out loud.”


The expression of pride


In September last year, the Delhi-born Ashish Gupta (Ashish Gupta), who now lives in London, apparently pushed from the ideas Hamnett when after showing his gorgeous collection that demonstrated the beauty of Indian culture, he took his bow in a t-shirt on which was written one word: “Immigrant”.


“I was very angry when PACSICOM and those crimes motivated by racial hatred that followed him, he said in his interview to Teen Vogue after the show. I thought that this season is very important to show how much richer we as a multicultural society and how undeserved is the criticism of immigrants.”


Preparing to show his new collection, Gupta is optimistic about the political potential of fashion.


“To remain silent any longer. If fashion is to speak loud enough she will be able to influence policy, — he wrote in his letter to CNN. — I see hope in the fact that in times such as ours, art often becomes the voice of the dissatisfied.”