Remember the designer Katharine Hamnett? she’s Back

The wonderfully provocative 1980’s English designer Katharine Hamnett is back. Not only has she revived her wonderful protest T shirts but also a small capsule collection for the English winter.

Given today’s unpredictable climate, The return of the Hamnett protest T shirt is in deed timely.

I remember buying my friend Bet Wynhausen a fabulous T shirt at the Molton Street Store in London that said ” Save the Gefilte Fish”

But a truly wonderful story about Ms Hamnett is when she wore a T shirt to meet Margaret Thatcher…..here is the account….

“THE moment that Katharine Hamnett met then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984 wearing a slogan T-shirt declaring “58 per cent Don’t Want Pershing” (in reference to America’s controversial Pershing II guided missile being deployed in West Germany), has become the stuff of fashion legend – but the bold statement didn’t make quite the impression on the PM that Hamnett hoped, she has revealed. “She didn’t notice it at first,” the designer tells tells The Times, “but then she looked down and made a noise like a chicken. Then quick as a fishwife she said: ‘Oh well we haven’t got Pershing here, so maybe you are at the wrong party’, which I thought was rather rude as she had invited me.” (April 9 2008, AM) Leisa Barnett”


Here are a couple of questions about how to do your protest T Shirt from an article in Vogue link below

Katharine, tell me about the effectiveness and validity of wearing a protest T-shirt.

Make the words so big you can’t not see them from a distance. Then when you read them, you’ve had it. The words are inside your brain, and you’ve got no defences.

Your boldface lettering set the graphic standard for protest T-shirts for evermore. How did you come up with it?

I thought, What’s the best legibility you can have? It hit me walking along looking at The Sun newspaper tabloid hoardings in the street. I thought, That’s it!

Portrait images by Chris Floyd.


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