A patchy history and the Politics of Fashion

For some reason a small selection of comic books came in the same box as a donation of books for the museum library. Unfortunately none of them were issue #1 of Superman – just some well thumbed (mostly Archie) comics from the early-mid 1970s. I went looking for the sea monkey and X-ray specs ads that I remembered from when I read comic books in the late 60s, but instead found a lot of offers for T-shirts and jean patches, including many that are surprisingly political for the pre-teen market of the comic books.

Speaking of political fashions, the Fashion History Museum wll be collaborating with Toronto’s Design Exchange this fall on an exhibition entitled Politics of Fashion – Fashion of Politics. The exhibition will explore the ways fashion and politics have collided and cooperated from 1960 to the present.

I don’t know the entire artifact list but a lot of my Hippy and Punk collection will be on show… and I imagine a lot of patched jeans and T-shirts with political messages will make the cut. The show will be on from September 18 to January 25, 2015.

Added July 8: An article came out today in Toronto Life promoting the show and even depicts three of our pieces that will be on display.

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Patches for jeans, from a September 1975 Chip ‘n’ Dale comic book

4 thoughts on “A patchy history and the Politics of Fashion

  1. I see a Playboy Bunny patch! Some of these are VERY surprising to find in children’s advertising, certainly. Fascinating stuff! The exhibition also sounds REALLY interesting, so many angles and approaches, I guess, like Katharine Hamnett’s slogan T’s in the UK one of which she wore to meet Thatcher in…

    • Actually, one of the things they are looking for is a Katharine Hamnett slogan T. There were plenty of knock-offs here, but I don’t know of anyone with a real Hamnett – do you? They would LOVE to borrow it if they haven’t found one yet.

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