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Protest Fashion

We’ve teamed up with artist Marianne Matusz for this exhibition and she has created some videos about different part of the exhibition. Watch a video here about how fashion has been used to raise money for the NHS, inspired by slogans from our collection and learn how to make your own slogan t-shirt. 

Katharine Hamnett is a designer and activist, most famous for popularising the slogan t-shirt in the 1980s. Featuring block capitals with iconic phrases like “Choose Life” and “Save the World” – they were designed to be widely imitated and use the human body as a ‘notice board’ for political campaigns. 

In support of the NHS, Hamnett’s design studio have created a new charity t-shirt with the phrase ‘PROTECT AND SURVIVE’. As Marianne explains in the following video, originally the name of a government pamphlet on how to survive a nuclear attack, the phrase ‘Protect and Survive’ has been satirised by anti-nuclear groups like CND with the campaign slogan ‘Protest and Survive’ which features in our collection and is still used today.

Hamnett adds new meaning to the slogan in her NHS design, referring to the British government’s coronavirus slogan ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives’. 

Katherine Hamnett London

T-shirt designs made by Marianne.