Frank Ocean Confirms The Age Of Of 'Disruptive Fashion' Is Upon Us

Your clothes are just extensions of your Twitter profiles now

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Performing in the space between a tide of illuminated iPhones and several screens projecting his image, it's safe to say Frank Ocean's headline slot at Panorama Festival last week was well documented.

But while the performance was notable for director Spike Jonze's involvement orchestrating the visuals, the lasting talking point was Ocean's attention-grabbing t-shirt which read, "WHY BE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, OR TRANSPHOBIC WHEN YOU COULD JUST BE QUIET?"

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Green Box Shop, who sell the minimal t-shirt for less than $20, have thanked the musician for sporting their wares and have had to ask customers to be patient due to their "huge influx of orders".

It was arguably the most high profile - or certainly the coolest - incarnation yet of a wider trend for 'Woke Tees', whether it's Glasto goers sporting mock Corbyn/Nike collaborations or Dior models walking the runway decrying "We Should All Be Feminists". Ocean's effort is itself clearly a reaction to the divisive rhetoric and legislation of the Trump administration.

Does this mean t-shirts are doomed to become extensions of our social media platforms, another way of telling the world what we believe in or - as cynics would put it - indulging in even more 'virtue signalling'?

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Teenagers have long used fashion to express their political beliefs - even if those believes don't extent much further than "hey, Che Guevara's cool right?" - whereas heavy branding and loud slogans are generally considered a style sin for men over a certain age.

But influential streetwear brands like Vetements and Supreme have bent the rules about what we're happy to have plastered on our fronts, and the age at which we can do so. Last November, Supreme released a t-shirt which recommended you, "Say no to racists, to sexists pigs, to authority figures, to religion, to television, to patriotism, to political ideologies," amongst other things.

Word. @off____white #jennyholzer #art @gq #pittiuomo

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Emily Ratajkowski, meanwhile, was criticised by followers for posting a selfie in a t-shirt which proclaimed that "Revolution has no borders" but didn't offer anything more instructive than letting people know her Women's March slogan was now available to wear.

If her choice was more stylistic than revolutionary, she isn't alone. Plain t-shirts with attention-grabbing words or nihilistic phrases plastered over them have been increasingly cropping up too. Whether it is Jake Gyllenhaal wearing a t-shirt that read, "Old Horrors, New Dreams" to a Raf Simons show earlier this month or that same designer's top begging the question, "ANY WAY OUT OF THIS NIGHTMARE?"

Maybe we should stop interrogating the issue. In the age of relentless self-promotion and attention-seeking, it makes perfect sense that loud, vapid slogans are having their moment in fashion.

It's 2017 and we're all live-tweeting bad dates and screen-grabbing conversations with our best friends to share with strangers. Nothing is sacred anymore, not even your T-shirt.

From L - R clockwise: Loewe, £225; Vetements, £330; Raf Simons, £204; Gucci, £400; Off-White, £205; Amiri, £295.