10 times the world used fashion to stage a protest

Dressed in courage

Text: Jolene Khor

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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