The 2016 U.S. election has had a startling impact on fashion. In the weeks leading up to November 11, people loaded up on merch, whether that meant meta Hillary-slash-Rihanna-praising tees or philanthropic “Nasty Woman” shirts. According to the Daily Mail, fashion retailers saw a 190 percent spike in pantsuit sales. Post-election, the debate over dressing Melania Trump divided designers into two opposing camps. And now, on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a new politicized accessory has entered the spotlight. Behold the pink knit “pussy power hat.”
Hi friends! I’m @auroralady, and I created all of the artwork for The #Pussyhat Project! I’ll be taking over the @p_ssyhatproject Instagram for the next few days. It’s been so heartening to see all of you posting about the hats and sharing the project with your friends. Thank you! Here’s a little about me: I like drawing while listening to @thethermals, upsetting the patriarchy through art-minded action, cooking, and looking through thrift stores for vintage denim. Keep checking in on this account: I’ll also be posting Instagram Stories!
A photo posted by Pussyhat Project (@p_ssyhatproject) on
To combat their post-election malaise, screenwriter Krista Suh and architect Jayna Zweiman, both recreational knitters, designed the symbolic hat pattern (with some help from the owner of their local knitting shop). Via an Instagram account entitled The Pussyhat Project, the duo is calling on the knitters, crocheters and seamstresses of America to help realize “1.17 million hats for the Women’s March on Washington, D.C.” The page currently boasts over 3,600 followers.
A play on Trump’s infamous “grab them by the pussy” snafu, come January 21, the hats will do more than mock. When thousands of protesters don the cat-eared toppers (Suh and Zweiman estimate between 30,000 and 100,000 hats have already been knit), they’ll form a stunning pink sea. Those who are unable to physically attend the march but have sent along a hat will be there in spirit. Plus, knitting is cathartic and politically frustrated women are now finding solace in their pussyhat-making. Furthermore, it’s bound to be cold out that day and the caps will help fortify and embolden their wearers. Above all, they’re symbols of unity and sisterhood.
“For me, a lot of the magic lies in [saying], ‘Hey women of the country, you might not think you’re politically active, but you’re already community organizing in your knitting groups and women’s groups, you just don’t call it that,” Suh said of the project. “The Pussyhat Project calls it that, which is where a lot of the power comes from.”
“Everyone can participate,” added Zweiman. “We’re hearing from people who are saying, ‘I just sprained my ankle and I’m sitting here watching Netflix and it’s the best thing ever.’”
Download free knit and crochet patterns at pussyhatproject.com or watch the tutorial below to learn how to knit your own pussy power hat, for solidarity or personal use.