Visually, the collection drew influence from Jean Michel Basquiat’s work and sense of dress, featuring mosaic style patterns across trousers and jumpers, beaded necklaces, checked shirts and long striped scarves. Soundtracked by James Brown’s “Man’s World” and Timo Jahns’ “Why Can’t We Live Together”, the word ‘love’ was written across a bohemian collection of jumpers, striped t-shirts and bags.
And while the idea of love and unity is indeed a positive and powerful message to spread, elsewhere the designer’s choice of slogans became, at best, problematic. Noting that the collection was also a message of solidarity for Black Lives Matter, occasional pieces were emblazoned with the Black Power fist while one sweatshirt carried the phrase ‘All Colour Matters’, a sentiment that has been previously noted as trivialising the Black Lives Matter movement and its deep rooted history. While no doubt well meaning, in reality one must wonder what slogans t-shirts sold in high fashion boutiques will do for generations of prejudice and systemic injustice. While it doesn’t register ‘Pepsi’ on the disaster scale, slogans such as ‘All Colours Matter’ prove that a much deeper understanding of history and the issues at hand is needed before fashion can make a valid contribution to the movement. And while fashion has in the past undoubtedly been used as a tool of protest, perhaps here it missed the mark.