doris de pont and identi-tee
Fashion Museum Curator Doris De Pont has said “In the Fashion Industry, the t-shirt is one way that the aspirational becomes achievable for a wider audience. While a dress from a designer collection may be beyond the average budget, the t-shirt in the same print, is not.”Exploring the t-shirt as a fashion item was the topic of a talk by Doris De Pont on Sat 16 June at the Auckland Museum. I took my Daughter and her friend along to hear Doris speak. She believes that the t-shirt is the most democratic of garments and can be worn by any one regardless of gender, income or social group. It can be worn day or night, casual or formal (I am a more formal sort of girl myself). My Daughter is a fanatical t-shirt wearer so the history and significance of the t-shirt was music to her ears. The t was originally just an undergarment, a vest with sleeves as it were, worn by military personnel. It was later worn as a sign of rebellion, undergarments on the outside, with James Dean and bikers giving it a cool, edgy vibe. Mostly at this stage it was worn white, and plain – until it has now become a kind of canvas for our personalities. Band t-shirts were/are a favored way of wearing of devotion on our chests – and we had a great collection of pictures shown – many of which are now part of the Museum’s own collection of t-shirts. The commercial aspects of the t (wearing the company logo as a communal sign) were also touched on. As a rule t-shirts are generally overlooked by academics, and uncollected by Museums. Doris firmly believes they have a place in NZ fashion history. The current exhibition identi-tee is part of looking at the t-shirt as part of our identity. The exhibition is running through til the 9th September and is well worth a look with the Boys from the four eyes blog playing their part. There are great examples of nz t-shirts with the ‘henna’ t from World – and photos of iconic Karen Walker broken pearl t-shirt. You can even download pictures of your own special t-shirts booth on their website at identi-tee.co.nz and at the exhibition itself. The images will become part of the Museums digital archives. The oldest t-shirt they have is a from a marathon run in 1976. We have included t-shirts from currents collections from both World and Nom*d who have both worked the t-shirt angle with style. Nom*d release t-shirts every season as part of their collection, and even keep their classic designs available on sale on their website. World always have their iconic American sweatshirt inspired ‘world’ t, with this seasons variation later in the post.
Continuing on the theme of accessible fashion, The Fashion Museum, who also did the Back in Black exhibition, has announced ‘Home Sewn’. It will be a celebration of the time-honoured DIY spirit amongst New Zealand fashion followers. It will be from (in time for NZFW) 5th Sept through til the 26th Sept at the Nathan Gallery 40 Customs Street East, Britomart. Entry will be by koha.