Say It With A Slogan

“Slogan tops look good in selfies!” says Peter Henderson, Mr. Porter’s senior fashion writer. The year of the selfie, he tells me, according to Jezebel and publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, is upon us.

When character count has its limits, nothing quite says “raunchy” like “Giraunchy.” There’s no need for further explanation; slogan fashion says it all. Years ago, a spelling blunder, like the one where “Chanel” erroneously turns to “English Channel”, meant that your knockoff purchase in Chinatown was a poor one. Better try the guy at Canal and Mott next time, at least he has 2-for-1 deals. Now, tongue-in-cheek wordplay in all its innumerable forms is socially viable. Why? Namely, the association ascribes to luxury fashion world without submitting to it. How’s that for being louche and irreverent?

Despite a trade-off between politics to irony, the change in direction begs another question: Is it good for fashion?

The self-professed cynics would argue against it. Says Henderson, “Henry Holland completely killed the vibe for good in the mid-2000s with all that ‘Cause me Pain Hedi Slimane’ stuff.” He much prefers the Hamnett t-shirts of ‘yore (not the recent re-issues, he notes) because it worked within the context of time. “But designers,” adds Henderson, “are always going to wheel out slogans in some form every now again because there just isn’t that much you can with fashion, really.”

Excerpt from Talk of the Town: The Real Meaning Behind Social Messaging Shirts by Sophia J. Gonzalez

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