Tristram Hunt helps Jeremy Corbyn to make fashion history
Former Corbyn critic is behind the latest dramatic turn in Labour leader’s fashion journey.
"It’s not a fashion parade," said Jeremy Corbyn after a Tory MP criticised him for being too scruffy in the Commons.
In the 1980s, the practically-minded MP for Islington North liked to wear a brown jacket, a shirt from the co-op and a jumper knitted by his mum.
"She didn't make the shirt, that came from the Co-op," he told BBC's Newsnight when quizzed on his sartorial style. "But the jumper she knitted and it’s very comfortable and it's perfect for this kind of weather because I'm hopping in and out buildings all day long going to meetings at different places and it's just perfect for the winter weather."
By the time he assumed the Labour leadership in 2015, Corbyn had moved on to beige shirts and mismatched suits without a tie.
A few months later, after David Cameron told the Labour leader to "put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem", he was coaxed into donning navy suits, smart white shirts - and even a red tie.
And Corbyn’s fashion journey has now taken another dramatic turn after a T-shirt bearing his name with the Nike swoosh logo was acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum for one of its galleries.
The design was released by fashion label, Bristol Street Wear, during the 2017 general election campaign and quickly became a top fashion accessory for Corbynites at events including. Glastonbury.
The V&A will now display the garment in its collection charting how moments of political and social change have a bearing on design trends.
Tristram Hunt, the former Labour MP and critic of Corbyn who is now director of the V&A, said: "As the nation’s storehouse for contemporary design and fashion, we are delighted to acquire the Corbyn T-shirt. It is also a rather strong statement of our belief in curatorial autonomy."