RED ALERT: Talbot Runhof is getting political again this spring.
“We were following what happened between Russia and Ukraine, first in absolute shock, then in horror and finally in absolute disgust,” Johnny Talbot, one half of the German designer duo, told WWD.
He said they were struck by a series of postcard-like T-shirts sold at Moscow’s Gum department store, that featured Russian president Vladimir Putin in a Hawaiian shirt sipping on a cocktail, with the headline stating: “Greetings from Crimea.”
“We thought the fact that some people buy those and are wearing them with pride was an interesting fashion statement,” Talbot said, “and we thought we use our cute little sporty collection as a form of protest.”
The brand’s art director put together four collages showing the Russian politician eying Paris, Milan, London and New York. For the latter city, he is seen swinging from the Empire State Building like King Kong and waving the Russian flag, while the headline reads: “Visit New York – before he does.”
Yet Talbot claims the images, which are slated to appear on some of the garments in Talbot Runhof’s Friday show, were not a statement against Putin per se, but “any people who think it’s their moral obligation to run back the wheel of progress, liberal thinking and the idea of freedom.”
For fall 2014, the duo had already used a photo of a young man holding up a “corduroy skirts are a sin” sign, as he was standing next to a frumpy antigay activist who had suggested his sexual orientation was a sin, which translated into a corduroy-based lineup.