By Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/.
It’s been a year since Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her debut collection for Dior, grabbing the attention of celebrities and other designers with her “We should all be feminists” T-shirt. Almost an exact year later and Chiuri is back with her latest rendition of the protest tee: a horizontal-striped, long-sleeved shirt reading: “Why have there been no great women artists?”
This season’s quote of choice comes from art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay of the same title, which was featured in Chiuri’s notes given to guests at Tuesday’s show. The essay, which discussed the barriers female artists have faced throughout history in art, was a breakthrough in feminist art history during the 1970s. Chiuri’s earlier “We should all be feminists” T-shirt took its phrase from an essay by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Over the past year, Dior’s $710 tee quickly became the nucleus of the celebrity-protest wardrobe, being worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, and Natalie Portman—all Dior spokeswomen, but a proven powerful group nonetheless. The next season saw designers like Prabal Gurung, Christian Siriano, Public School, and more releasing their own politically charged statement pieces, which also included T-shirts with phrases like “People are people” and “The future is female.” Because if Dior can get away with publicly displaying an opinion without a drop in sales, then it’s probably safe for others.
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