The tried-and-true graphic t-shirt is back. Never too far from fashion’s trend watch, the graphic tee is a wardrobe classic that goes beyond style inference. A carefully curated selection of graphic shirts can subtly (or not so subtly) reveal specific sensibilities and interests: trips to Paris, Bruce Springsteen concerts, political affiliations, that summer camp you went to in Maine as a teen, or the fact that, yes, screen-printing was a hobby of yours (and thank you for noticing!). Plus, they are the pinnacle of high-low dressing.
On the Fall 2017 runways, graphic tees with statement slogans were tucked into floor-grazing embellished tulle skirts (Valentino) and layered with turtlenecks and chain-linked dresses (Paco Rabanne). With fashion-forward “merch” on the rise amidst an atmosphere of political rallying cries, this expressive trend is an unsurprising response. Fiorucci, a brand driven by vivid imagery, has brought back their iconic cherub graphic on sweatshirts and t-shirts, while the LA-inspired brand Adaptation has released a cheeky play on the tourist tee: “Welcome to California. Now Leave.” Designers are taking advantage of the graphic t-shirt’s expressive symbolism to let their collections do the talking—literally. So, whether you want to “Make America New York” with Public School or believe in “Forever or Never” with Mira Mikati, this fall is all about making a statement.