Could the timing be any better? On International Women’s Day, the V&A has announced that it’s adding one of the ‘pussyhats’ worn by tens of thousands in the Women’s March in January to its collection.
The bright pink piece of knitwear – worn at the Washington DC demonstrations – has taken pride of place in the museum’s Rapid Response Collection. It was designed by friends and Los Angelinos Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman soon after the election of Donald Trump in last November’s US elections. We all know which part of the female anatomy it's referring to – but in a fun play on words, Suh and Zweiman also wanted it to feature two pointed corners, like the ears of a cat.
They uploaded the pussyhat’s knitting pattern online for other women – and, indeed, anyone – to work from, in the hope that it would be a potent symbol of solidarity for those who wanted to take a stand against what continues to feel like a prevailing tide of misogyny across the globe. As you can see from the photo below, taken in America's capital on January 21, it worked.
The Rapid Response Collection’s aim is to acquire design-related items that emerge in the wake of major historical events – and the pussyhat, surely, is one of the most successful in living memory. An eye-catching, easy-to-create (don’t worry, knitting novices: YouTube is full of how-to videos) and rather fetching piece of social-media wildfire, the pussyhat has rightfully been canonised in design history. Long may it multiply and endure.
The pussyhat is on display in the V&A's Gallery 74a. For more info about the initiative, head to www.pussyhatproject.com.