The Exhibition looks at the significance of the T-shirt and charts the journey of the T-shirt through the 2oth Century. It explores its various roles: as a symbol of rebellion, as an undergarment underneath formal shirts, and of course, as a carrier of slogans. There are examples from environmental organisations, punk-era slogans and good old propaganda.
I particularly enjoyed seeing Vivienne Westwood’s and Malcolm Maclaren’s private collection. From the early days of the Let it Rock, Sex, and Seditionaries era, her famous classic piece like the ‘God Save the Queen’ Sex Pistols T-shirt, to the more political shirts emblazoned with slogans like ‘Climate Revolution’, worn on the catwalk by Westwood. The exhibition is predominately about political statements, which have over the years been printed on cotton, including today. Also fascinating to see was the Biba shirt, the Choose Life shirt and the Live Aid shirt.
Featuring more than 100 cotton T-shirts and covering a period of 70 years, it works its way through 12 thematic categories, which focus on topics such as protest, concert culture, ecology, and printing techniques, it traces the history of the popularisation of the T-shirt in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
The exhibition ends on May 6th 2018, but well worth a visit if you can make it.
T-Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion is at Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF.
Open – Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am–6pm
Thursdays until 8pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing
Tickets – Advance booking online is recommended but tickets may be purchased in person on the day of the visit, subject to availability
£9.90 adults* / £8.80 concessions* / £7 students *Includes 10% gift aid
Children under 12 are free.
Tel: 020 7407 8664