Katharine Hamnett in 1980s slogan t-shirt (inspired by Buddhism not pro-life: see explanation HERE)

One of my favourite designers from the 1980s, Katharine Hamnett, is back and the timing couldn’t be any more apt. All protest t-shirts and parachute silks, the political, social and environmental activist championed sustainable fashion when it really was unheard of and famously wore a ‘58% don’t want Pershing’ slogan t-shirt to meet Margaret Thatcher, in 1984. Today’s unpredictable climate is perfect for some Hamnett Action. The signature campaign t-shirts have been back in business for a while but autumn 2017 sees the return of a mainline collection of Casually Glamorous clothing. Military-inspired elements, oversized silhouettes in organic cotton and items influenced by archive pieces are all trademark Hamnett. I have no idea what happened to my late-1980s Katharine Hamnett Denim but I’m considering a parachute silk onesie for my book launch

Remember the ad campaigns by Juergen Teller?


No doubt if Theresa May ever deigned to meet anyone other than the Tory party faithful, Hamnett might well be dressed in one of these:

There’s a Katharine Hamnett interview with Vogue HERE – and another interview with Hypebeast HERE. I hadn’t realised that Hamnett’s wide leg Anna trouser was named after Anna Wintour who wore this style in the 1970s when she was fashion editor at Harper’s & Queen.


These beautiful photos were taken by Chris Floyd for Red magazine. Katharine Hamnett autumn 2017 is available to buy online HERE. Campaign t-shirts are available to buy on a separate website HERE.

Protest and Survive.

21 thoughts on “Welcome back, Katharine Hamnett

  1. I totally loved my KH pieces. I had a purple silk coat that I wore until it literally disintegrated and stole all my husbands pieces too. Always wanted a slogan t-shirt too so can’t wait to get my hands on one

  2. Way, way beyond my price point, but yes, go for it. Love the natural fabrics, love the unisex vision, if I had the discretionary income I would fully go for it, but must be mindful of the limits of my pension!

  3. and how about a tee shirt with ‘that’s not my age’ ….
    i’d certainly buy one,
    so long as its not in 120 pt font as if old people cant read it otherwise? no need to shout…

  4. Love Katherine Hamnett and the timing couldn’t be better for her comeback. She is a visionary and can teach the designers of today how to tie political activism to fashion in a meaningful way. I feel the vague feminist tees we’ve seen of late smack of superficiality, or is it just me?

  5. Oh how I agree with Anne Murphy! Who wants to see slogans of any kind on someone’s chest? I prefer to get to know someone ‘in the round’ and let opinions/preferences/prejudices/passions emerge in the process of getting to know someone gradually.
    Love the coat, though!

  6. Yes, welcome back indeed! I’d love a slogan t or any of her other pieces, but currently too impoverished…
    I’d wear a slogan t this Saturday for the Bristol march to end austerity 🙂

  7. Bought a Choose Life t-shirt in a designer discount shop at some point. Florida maybe. Never wore it but gave it to my son’s girlfriend who did enjoy wearing it. Glad to hear that she is resurfacing and designing once more.

  8. I still have my grey parachute silk jumpsuit that I bought in Brighton in 1983 with my student grant. Those were the days.

  9. Thanks Katherine for creating a true organic clothing line. I’d love the Anna trousers if I could spend that.
    I made my partner a shirt that reads “hardworking freak with a dream”.
    My other favorite “good planets are hard to find”. Right now we’re feeling the burn here -with 200,000 acres on fire.

  10. Great to see this piece on La Hamnett. She is a brilliant designer, making clothes are true classics and just what you want to wear. I bought many of them in the eighties. Her views, however, have hardened so much and become so myopic now that I can no longer support her. Brexit was a democratic vote. Most of the people who voted yes did so because they could see their livelihood – and that of their children – sliding out of view, never to return. A true socialist would be mindful of the cost of EU policies to the working class and wary of what the political class wants us to believe. Disappointing, really.

  11. I had a navy wool Katherine Hamnett flying jacket back in the day that was so adaptable my boyfriend could also wear it. The lining got shredded and I lost it somewhere along the way. Thanks for reminding me of her, it and the bf.

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