Have you ever noticed that fashion seems to steal ideas from everywhere and co-opt non-mainstream imagery in order to sell clothes to boring normal people? Sometimes it’s a coincidence, like the Supreme Born Against hoodie. Most of the time it’s deliberate. Now imagine if you took that knowledge and typed some shit into WordPress. That’s where I’m coming from.
This morning on the train I noticed a woman wearing a top with a very familiar looking skull print. That’s right; everyone’s favourite power violence band has jumped over to the mainstream. It seems that Man Is The Bastard are just another in a long line of punk bands that have had their logo cribbed for the purpose of fashion. In addition to the skull, the top also featured a cross, much like the one found on the artwork for seminal DC hardcore split album Void/Faith.
The Void side of the album was much darker than the proto emo sound of Faith, and the artwork is way weirder. Faith had a band picture, the Void side features a weird drawing and two crosses – one normal, the other inverted. Sound familiar? You’ve probably seen Rochelle from The Saturdays wearing the same shirt on T4. I couldn’t find a picture but here’s one of Ke$ha wearing the same shirt. Void is some top 5 hardcore bands shit, so it’s nice to see some popstars showing their knowledge.
Elsewhere we have Angelina Jolie rocking a Crass shirt. I wonder if she sits around with Brad and the kids, debating the merits of anarchy. Do they run their house like an autonomous squat? Do her and Brad sing along to ‘Do They Owe Us A Living?’ If you think that’s weird, what about Lady Gaga’s crust leather jacket. She’s got a GISM patch on there. She is mad for Japanese punk. If there’s anyone that gets a pass for wearing shirts of bands they don’t know, it’s Gaga.
Without a doubt, the most common logo to see is the Black Flag bars. As the coolest, most recognisable hardcore logo going it’s no surprise that it gets used everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The Hundreds entire design approach is based on the bars. Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas owns an actual Black Flag t-shirt. You can’t move for parodies. Line four things up, take a picture, put it on your Tumblr. If it rhymes with the word ‘black’ that helps. Hence Cat Flag. Parody upon parody upon parody. I get it, believe me. It looks cool. I would suggest that if you don’t have an opinion on My War you probably should avoid aping the bars. Do I have a point? Probably not. Just that if you’re an aspiring streetwear brand or a Tumblr based hardcore band, don’t just use someone else’s design on your t-shirt. It’s not paying homage to your heroes; it’s lazy and just shows that you’re not smart enough to come up your own design. This is especially true if you released a band t-shirt with the slogan “Still not loving police” on it. As a bunch of nice middle class white boys from the South Coast, I’m sure you face exactly the same problems of people growing up in South Central L.A. in the early 90s.