Students turn fashion into platform for protest
Fashion students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are using their design skills to share views about a wide range of political issues at a campus exhibition.
‘Fashion Activism’ asks students to use clothing to make a statement and features strong themes including education, mental health, body issues, gender and gay rights, with one t-shirt stating, ‘Gay is Great.’ The public exhibition, which will feature around 70 suspended white t-shirts printed with big bold slogans, will open on Monday 3 April and run until 10 April at UCLan’s PR1 Gallery.
Dr Carole Hunt is a social and psychological researcher in clothing and textiles. She said: “In 2017 there are many serious challenges facing a changing society. Increasingly we are seeing those working in the fashion industry, designers, stylists and models being active in challenging the status quo. Fashion is being utilised as a platform to highlight and protest about a number of issues in our society; poverty, inequality and injustice amongst many others.”
The simple white t-shirt, with a strict 5-word maximum, has provided our students with a challenging blank canvas for expression
The Fashion Activism exhibition comprises work from students across several fashion disciplines including design, promotion and styling.
Carole added: “Simple white t-shirts have long had a place in protest - in the hands of fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, who famously wore one to a Downing Street reception in 1984. Her choice of words "58% don't want Pershing" led to photographs of the fashion designer in conversation with Margaret Thatcher. The simple white t-shirt, with a strict 5-word maximum, has provided our students with a challenging blank canvas for expression.”
On Monday 27 April, the 81 students involved will share extensive live coverage of photoshoots and interviews about the project across social media on Instagram and Twitter. To follow the coverage on social media, follow @UCLanADF on Twitter and @uclanuni on Instagram.