Headline-Making Fashion: Have You Read About It?

Newspaper headline prints re-emerge from fashion archives, appearing on department and couture wear alike. Could this trend reflect our increasing desire for platforms that offer honest journalism- a way of championing the truth in the hyper-informed digital age?

The idea of fashion being a friend to politics is a new one; think the Times Up movement of this year, recent runways featuring themes of feminist activism and LGBTQI+ awareness and statement tees from ‘Nasty Woman’ to ‘Why be racist … When you can just be quiet?’.

‘being an intellectual. It’s the latest accessory’

You could argue fashion has long been a vehicle for political messages and a symbol of resistance, but this is not true. Rather, ‘clothing’ would be the correct term, as fashion refers to the ever-changing cycle of trends. It truly is a fresh trend: being informed, being an intellectual. It’s the latest accessory and if you can put your money where your mouth is, even better.

‘the new star power is the power of relatability’

Long has luxury been defined by exclusivity, but with the social climate becoming more and more involved in well, being involved, the new star power is the power of relatability found in the new guard : the girl next door’s Insta feed. You need more than a tag to make a Millennial buy your bag, and brands are catching onto the concept of conscious consumerism.

The current buzz of fashion centers on the news. Perhaps influenced by the Washington Post proclaiming ‘Democracy dies in darkness’ and The New York Times’ ‘Truth is hard’ ad. Ads that underline the one reason print will never truly die: True, informative, factual information is a luxury in a time where information is easily spread, skewed and manipulated. A world where facts are debatable by world leaders, and belief is becoming increasingly more optional and selective. Knowing your sources is important.

Balmain’s S/S18 show featured headlines printed on transparent plastic. It’s not clear if designer Olivier Rousteing intended on making a political statement, but the aesthetic is repeated in this season’s items like Steve Madden’s B Peggy handbag  and ALDO’s Gabbi shoe.

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Helmut Lang’s NYFW 2018 show featured the design house’s name printed on handbags- but the message was the opposite of political. Designer Shayne Oliver said his collection was an antidote to the ‘hollow politicization of fashion’.

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Dior’s Fall 2018 show at Paris Fashion Week 2018 took inspo from the 1968 collection, where ‘reproduced magazine covers and protest art of the late 1960s’ papered the runway and walls. Add to that, the brand’s own 2000 couture collection is experiencing a revival thanks to Kendall Jenner bringing the collection back to our collective mindset when she sported a vintage tee recently.

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This was the collection that brought you the newspaper-print Sarah Jessica Parker dress:

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The original collection’s inspiration would have caused outraged ripples today. It was inspired by the homeless people of Paris, according to the brand’s former controversial and problematic designer, John Galliano. But the message is reinterpreted into today’s political climate- showing you that fashion really is an endless cycle of old news reinterpreted in a new way.

Perhaps the message to take could be that the issues we face are nothing new today as they were before, our perspectives and choices now are what matters. That’s the thing about true news, it let’s you decide.

Words: Zoya Pon

Feature image: via