Feminism, a very sensitive topic in the news, is now displayed on T-shirts. But, for a long time already, it had appeared through clothing proposals allowing women to wear more practical clothes. Coco Chanel, for example, has enabled women to free themselves from the corset. Then, later, Yves St Laurent revisited the tuxedo. This masculine outfit adapted to women’s bodies quickly became a symbol of emancipation. The bikini, for its part, only appeared on the beaches in the 1960s, as did the miniskirt. Over the years, fashion has taken the female sex towards a liberation that was often controversial, but finally, always adopted.
Today, and in the continuity of this movement, the fashion is for direct or more subtle phrases on tops. Reminding the world that women will no longer tolerate differences in treatment in every respect, is written in black and white and worn proudly. Everything may seem paradoxical, however. Aren’t fashion and feminism opposed? Indeed, the fashion world has always imposed its diktats, sometimes reducing women to the status of objects and encouraging them to approach a standard of beauty. But, a priori, this is not the case and the two seem to go in the same direction, one using the other.
The slogans that arrive
And Dior, who understood this, launched a slogan with an unambiguous message: “we should all be feminists”. Relayed by celebrities, notably during the Women’s March, this t-shirt was a worldwide success. Faced with the reception reserved for this new trend, the brands accessible to the general public have also decided to take advantage of this promising niche to create their collections.
Often flocked in black, the messages stand out perfectly on cotton or plain-coloured linen tops. They are various but we find the most famous ones generally written in English: “The future is Female”, or “Girls can do anything”. These polo shirts are not the prerogative of women since men, too, can find these kinds of tops.
As an unavoidable means of communication, fashion in recent years has seen the blossoming of clothes with very simple, sober and plain cuts, enhanced by strong slogans that leave their mark on people’s minds. Mainly from the United States, this new way of displaying one’s ideas, desires and claims is primarily intended to denounce certain inequalities still in effect in the 21st century. These inclusive messages may, perhaps, on reading them, “awaken” certain consciences.