T-Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion
Fashion and Textile Museum, London
– 6 May 2018
Common to wardrobes around the world is one of the cheapest garments of all: the T-shirt. The current exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London turns its attention to the history and culture of this item of clothing and its use as a vehicle for political and social expression.
The T-shirt is one of the most popular and affordable garments in the world. From its beginnings as an underwear garment for men, to its use as a symbol of the rock and roll revolution to luxury object – the exhibition illuminates these multifaceted manifestations of the T-shirt in the course of the 20th century.
The central installation of the exhibition consists of a private collection of Vivienne Westwood T-shirt designs featuring examples from the early days of her creative work as well as some of the designer's latest collections. The Vivienne Westwood collection and the historical biography of the T-shirt are complemented by insights into technological advancements of the garment in terms of contemporary design. Also part of the exhibition is the photo series “T: The Typology of the T-Shirt”, photographed and curated by Susan Barnett. The photographs show anonymous individuals expressing their beliefs about sexuality, heritage, spirituality, consumerism, violence, joy, history, narcissism and nihilism through the medium of T-shirts.