Being Politically Fashionable Wear it like you mean it
If it’s not the topic for the Girls Talk segment on Moments, then it’s the widely acclaimed 2015 film, Suffragettes on DSTV, a movie about the rebellion of the feminist movement in England against the trappings of patriarchal powers, in a bid to gain women the right to vote, imagine that. All while celebrating International Women’s Day, which turned into a weeklong affair of hashtags and proses championing all the ways in which women are the business. As well we are! Say it loud and say it proud, Sisters!
There are few things more powerful than saying something so politically daring on an easy T-shirt. Fashionistas, amidst the ripples of the modern feminist movement, are saying it exactly as they mean it with shirts printed with succinct slogans upholding feminine power.
During New York Fashion Week, fashion heavyweight, Prabal Gurung stirred this trend via a pro-feminism parade to close his fall 2017 collection. Spectacles of flowing dresses and sleek silhouettes passed, after which models took their final patrol down the runway in shirts with powerful political slogans speaking to the issues surrounding women’s rights.
Across the ocean, during Paris Fashion Week, Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior introduced us to her debut collection, (she emerged as the first female creative director for the 70-year-old fashion house). Accordingly, she punctuated the fashion show with several bold political statements on white tees, dressed in whimsical tulle skirts.
As the old saying goes…if it’s good enough for the runways, it’s even better for some thought-provoking street style. And if Rihanna approves, you can count us in! Whether you agree, Rihanna is this generation’s soundboard to every fashion move that we must/may try. Don’t deny it, you know it and we know it.
The act of making a bold political fashion statement not only emerged through the feminist movement. Suffragettes wore purple for loyalty and dignity for purity, green for hope in stripped ribbon hat bands, rosettes and badges. It has from that time been a mode for projecting ideals or expressing frustrations prevalent in society. This fashion trend would align suitably with the fashion scene in Nigeria because we have a century’s worth of frustrations to turn into fashion statements. Consider this a logical progression.
When being political becomes a fashion statement, it’s just as easy and effortless as wearing a plain old T-shirt only with a powerful slogan printed across it. Set the tone by showing off your political statements in a colourful monochromatic pantsuit. You can wear it with a pair of mum jeans and brogues for the easy-going look or if your tastes tether along the streetstyle arena, pair a super oversized tee with some sexy booties, and you’re all set.
Regardless of your style preferences, a T-shirt with a strong message, is great way to be a part of a political movement. Sometimes that’s all the statement that you need to make.
Efua Odafen is a fashion writer and blogger based in Abuja.