During women's suffrage which largely took place from the late 19th century and peaked in the 1910s, some 30,000 women marched the streets for equal voting rights in all-white attire.
Katharine Hamnett was largely responsible for the birth of statement tees. Her "choose life" slogan, worn by George Michael in Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" music video petitioned against war and destruction.
In 1977, Vivienne Westwood released her "DESTROY" T-shirt printed with a swastika, an inverted crucifix and Sex Pistol lyrics, in symbolism of her protest against authoritarian nationalism.
Karl Lagerfeld sent models down the Chanel spring/summer 2015 show rioting with signs Gabrielle would have approved of. In her day, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel shunned the restrictive corsets in favour of practical clothing for the liberated post-war woman.
Women's March: The day after President Donald Trump's inauguration, approximately 600,000 people rallied in Washington on January 21, 2017 — many of whom wearing "pussy hats" created by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman to fight oppression.
Demonstrators wore robes and bonnets inspired by The Handmaid's Tale (an award-winning TV adaptation of the 1985 novel about forced childbirth) in support of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides affordable reproductive healthcare to millions.
With Planned Parenthood's pro-choice stance under siege, the CFDA aimed to raise awareness by producing and distributing slogan pins to participating designers, PR agencies, modelling agencies, influencers and press attending NYFW in February 2017.
At the same time, Business of Fashion urged everyone at fashion week to "join the #TiedTogether movement in support of solidarity, human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous narrative peddling division" with a white bandana.
Teen boys at England's Isca Academy attended class in skirts as clap back against their school’s pants-only rule. Across the pond, Californian boys wore off-shoulder tops to bring light to the sexist dress codes enforced on their female classmates.
On the country's 83rd anniversary of recognition of women's right to vote and to stand for election, Turkish women wore purple hats and marched towards Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence.
What do an awards show, a dystopian costume and boys in skirts have in common?
The protest witnessed at the recent Golden Globes — where Hollywood heavyweights wore black head-to-toe in support of sexual assault victims — is but a small chapter in a long history of demonstrations reinforced by the power of fashion.
Clothing as well as the industry in which it belongs, though not void of controversies of their own have been at the centre of some of the most iconic take-it-to-the-streets moments in history. In 2016 to 2017, a new breed of designers young and old came out of their silent shells to channel their politically inclined peers past and present (hey there, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood) by joining the human rights movements, assuming bigger roles in calling out bigotry, fascism and patriarchy through the best way they know how: Slogan T-shirts, pins and a certain pink hat.
To further their agenda, we offer you a brief retrospection of the remarkable individuals who have challenged the status quo in the name of social justice within the last century — all dressed in courage, accessorised with strength, bravery and pride.
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