Self-Expression can be translated in many ways through our feelings, emotions, and opinions. It is a natural human instinct to connect and grow with others. Everyday we show some form of expression through our personality, body language, what we wear and how we present ourselves, but in order to speak our minds, share our beliefs and feel more empowered, we use slogans to communicate with others and allowing ourselves to open up, be heard and embrace who we are as individual.
For the past several decades, the basic t-shirt has been a popular fashion item by expressing confident statements. They are worn on the runaway, sold in your nearest high street retailers, spotted on your favourite celeb or “influencers” we call them these days. The slogans you have seen, they are “BIG”, “BOLD”, and they are “OUT THERE” for people to stop and take notice. It could be any feminist slogan shouting out “Girl Power” to “We Should All Be Feminists”. This has become a major political trend for decades that we love to add to our wardrobes, but it’s more than just trends we wear, the slogan is about encouraging others to embrace real or future changes such as Designer Katherine Hamnett’s political t-shirts Save the Future, Choose Life and Women against War, on the other hand, you have the renowned Fashion Designer Vivienne Westwood’s work of the 1975 graphic tee with two cowboys touching penises. In this case, sometimes action speaks louder than words, on the contrary, both designers had something to say and they were not afraid of expressing their opinions. Today, they are known as strong, powerful, “badass” women who are always prepared to shout, scream and get in front of the camera to express the frustration and explain the message in their work as well as modern political or environmental issues we face daily.
“Slogans work on so many different levels; they’re almost subliminal. They are also a way of people aligning themselves to a cause. They’re tribal. Wearing one is like branding yourself”, said Katherine Hamnett.
The importance of slogans is we have freedom of speech, but at the same time encouraging others to support a cause they believe in such as Rita Ora walking down the street with “Grenfeld” shown across her chest. The other day I decided to pull out a t-shirt I bought from Zara a couple of months ago and it states “Accept life with what it gives you but fight for the good things. Live now, live the future, live the past, live forever”. I honestly could not tell you who was the person responsible for writing this message but it was such a positive statement that it made me feel proud to wear this t-shirt because I believe in what the message is saying. I reckon we would all appreciate if our wardrobes could speak to us, especially when you have powerful messages hanging so proudly. You could grab your voice and make a statement, so “get-up” on that invisible platform and embrace your freedom of speech.
By: Charlene Simone Foreman