Fashion

THE SOCIO-POLITICAL CONNOTATIONS OF THE HOODIE

Brands like Rick Owens, Vetements and Off-White™ are just some of the designers featured in a new Rotterdam exhibition.

Naomi Barling | 21.11.2019

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For many of us a hoodie is simply a cold weather, lazy day essential; but hold that thought. Writer and cultural commentator Lou Stoppard has declared the classic garment as more than just a piece of clothing, describing the hoodie as 'Western Fashion’s last truly political garment'.

Lou has curated a new multi-media exhibition in Rotterdam titled ‘ The Hoodie’. The show is exploring the role of the fashion garment as a socio-political carrier as well as its multifaceted and complicated relationship with contemporary culture.

Rightful earning a place within the fashion history books. ‘The Hoodie’ will contemplate the prejudices and politics behind how we react to its wearer dependent on their gender, age, demeanour and ethnicity. Also interrogating the layered narratives associated with the hoodie; stories of social inequality, misunderstanding, youth culture, police brutality, racism, class, fear, sub-culture and style.

With its original roots in sportswear and workwear, the hoodie was popularised by Champion in the 1930s as a practical solution for workmen. Over the years the clothing brand popularized the hoodie and it has since become a classic. Still banned by certain institutions (In May 2005, it was banned by the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and later by several schools in England and Wales.)

Using a diverse collection of creators, artists and makers across film, photography, installation, fashion and media including social posts; the exhibition includes work from Campbell Addy, Off-White, Rick Owens, VETEMENTS, Devan Shimoyama, Lisette Appeldorn and more.

HYMAG magazine has also collaborated on the project displaying 50 issues from their archive helping to spotlight the evolution of the hoodie in the media and its wide cultural significance. Perhaps this exhibition can shine some light, again showing how fashion and culture can never be mutually exclusive.

“The Hoodie” will open its doors on December 1 and will run until April 12, 2020. Visit Het Nieuwe Institute’s website for all the details.

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