b-wear Fashion Culture
Cult – Culture – Subversion
La Roca Village, one of the 11 Villages belonging to The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, presents for the first time in Spain the exhibition T-Shirt: Cult - Culture - Subversion, curated by the Fashion and Textile Museum of London and The Civic of Barnsley, which deals with the historical and cultural influence of the T-shirt, the most basic and popular garment of the last 100 years, through a compilation of some of the most iconic designs of the 20th century.
The exhibition, which can be visited from April 18th through June 23rd at La Roca Village, offers a unique look at one of the most popular garments in the world. A journey in time through a selection of some 140 exceptional garments: iconic pieces from labels such as Dior, Moschino and Gucci, as well as from private collections such as that of Malcom Mclaren, an important collector of T-shirts of the 1970s; the golden age of punk and British rock; or Lee Price’s collection, which features the most striking and iconoclastic pieces by Vivienne Westwood from the last three decades of the 20th century.
Katharine Hamnett, Save the World t-shirt
Exploding Mickey t-shirts. Ph: Derek Hutchins. BOY BLACKMAIL, 1975 ©Dove White
Wendy May wearing Face No1 BOWIE t-shirt. Ph: Sheila Rock. BOY BLACKMAIL, 1981
The aim of the exhibition is to open a discussion regarding new ways to of looking at a familiar object through stimulating thought and dialogue about fashion as a communication tool capable of transmitting social, musical and political messages, or even a very important communication channel for reaching the masses. The T-shirt as a canvas on display to the world. The T-shirt has always been a powerful tool to instigate and demand social, political and environmental changes, a canvas for artistic expression and a defining element of clothing for almost all imaginable trends and subcultures, and so connecting the people who share the same ideals and concerns.
Vivienne Westwood backstage protesting by Marta Lamovsek
T-Shirt : Cult - Culture - Subversion is divided into 12 themes:
-Basic: An exploration of the evolution of the T-shirt, from the hand made to its mass production and customisation thanks to technological advances. It also deals with the importance of printing techniques, silk screen printing, embroidery and digital practices.
-Agitprop: The T-shirt is explored as a tool for change. An element with the ability to subvert an image or slogan and turn it into something purely political.
-Collecting: This section delves not only into the history of punk and T-shirt, but also as an identifying element for fans, a tool to 'connect' with other people who share the same concerns and passions.
-With the band: This category includes the urban tribes clearly defined from their T-shirts and, in recent years, the re-appropriation of the T-shirt music bands. T-shirts designed for Joy Division, The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground & Nico and The Ramones have been reused in homage to other artists or movements.
-Personal/Political: The creations of designers like Katharine Hamnett and Wonder Workshop are explored, which include recognizable slogans like 'Stay Alive in' 85', 'No More Page Three' and 'Ignorance = Fear, Silence = Death' by Keith Haring. This section highlights the importance of the T-shirt in the history of the LGBT + community, with historical Pride T-shirts demanding equal rights.
Katharine Hamnett, Save the Sea t-shirt
Save the Arctic Campaign by Andy Gotts MBE
-Unisex: The t-shirt is examined as a fashion garment capable of re-imagining the traditional roles of gender, given that it is the most sold article of clothing in the world and suitable for all genres.
-Ethics and Ecology: This category looks at ecological and ethical issues in the on-going production of the shirt, including young designers like People Tree, whose work is focused on the manufacturing processes.
-Pop Art on the t-shirt: The T-shirt is presented as an icon of pop culture, following its history through the rise of grunge and modern urban fashion.
-Art to wear: The T-shirt is a canvas to spread art, and it is art in its own right. However, it is also a means of appropriating an image or message, from the replica of images of the mass culture of Barbara Kruger to the adoption of Rubens' paintings by Vivienne Westwood. This section also dedicates space to female artists, including the Guerrilla Girls.
-Fashion statements: Considers the role of the T-shirt in the world of the designer, who transforms and enhances it with the simple application of a recognizable logo. This type of recognition can be controversial in the capitalist world of fashion.
-This is not a t-shirt: This category questions the transformation of a garment into a gadget with modern designs and its moving on from traditional styles and uses.
Vivienne Westwood SS2018
Apart from the pieces curated by the Fashion and Textile Museum in London and The Civic by Barnsley, La Roca Village has invited a group of Barcelona creatives with whom it has collaborated previously, to be part of the exhibition and the collection of the Fashion and Textile Museum.
T-Shirt: Cult - Culture - Subversion