“Merder Tees” Provides An Embarassingly Irreverent Outlook On A T-Shirt Near You

I was thoroughly disgusted at this shameless display during last weekend’s Vancouver Fashion Week.  The inclusion of so-called “Merder Tees” (essentially second rate graphic design slapped on a t-shirt demeaning a murdered celebrity) was a embarrassment to the whole of Vancouver Fashion Week and to all in attendance.

The graphic designer Duran Bodasing attempted to mask the true insult of their pieces by stating their company donates $5 to a related charity but their offer fell flatter than their runway show.  After all, to whom will they donate their Abe Lincoln charity proceeds to?

Basically, the visual on each tee is the image of the murdered, with horribly demeaning text by it (such as “it it murder” over the image of the late Princess Diana’s face).  More disturbing than that was their image of a plane flying into the twin towers with blood spatter all around the buildings

I find this sick, and truly offensive.  Aside from the designer, who obviously thought himself enough of a rock star to prance around ostentatiously at the end of his show wearing the Marvin Gaye shirt shown below, Vancouver Fashion Week should be truly ashamed of allowing this display to get this far. 

As for the pitiful excuse for a “fashion” designer, keep away from our events in the future.  Vancouver does not need a tumbling dickweed to sully the reputation of our event, so please keep your tactless hate mongering someplace where the world can’t see it.

Top photo by Ben Luk, the rest are mine.

"Merder Tees" Provides An Embarassingly Irreverent Outlook On A T-Shirt Near You

"Merder Tees" Provides An Embarassingly Irreverent Outlook On A T-Shirt Near You 

"Merder Tees" Provides An Embarassingly Irreverent Outlook On A T-Shirt Near You



37 Comments so far
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That twin towers one is the worst.

Comment by Erin Reiger

Agreed, what a terrible concept.

Comment by Victoria Potter

I think you’re missing the point of what this kind of ‘shock’ art represents. Everyone has varied opinions on this particular designer – it’s controversial and maybe that will work in his favor. I have to say I’d wear the John Lennon one for sure. 😉

Comment by Fashion_guy

I love it! Controversy at it’s finest.

Comment by Phillip Morrisey

@Fashion_guy: there is no “quality” here whatsoever.

Comment by Victoria Potter

@Fashion_guy Shock art’s effective when it’s done properly and with taste. Catherine Breillat’s hyper-sexual feminist films or Chris Ofili’s elephant dung paintings are examples. This, on the other hand, is cheapening both the art and ideologies of the people depicted on the shirts, not to mention the entire fashion industry in general. I’d expect this kind of emo crap on some goth kid’s deviantART page; not paraded around like a midget on stilts at what’s supposed to be a respected fashion event. The whole “donating proceeds” thing sounds like bribery to me too. I don’t know who in their right mind would mistake that for anything even resembling honorable.

Comment by Benjamin Luk

Dickweed…. So Called… sounds like great Journalism. Who are you TO JUDGE
Its an Opinion you ASS… haha
DiD you ask the artits’ where the money goes for the Lincoln shirt.
We have to sign our names to make comments on here I don’t see yours anywhere on this SO CALLED article.
Fashion week ashamed… first of all ITS Vancouver you idiot… a place were we try to support all
artist second GET OFF your F$(*%$@ high horse!
your a JOKE
that’s my opinion


@Landon Awesome, thanks for voicing your opinion. I can count my name twice in the above comments alone.

Comment by Victoria Potter

Well first of all, whoever wrote this article obviously missed the point by about 1000 miles. These shirts are not meant to demean these people but rather they are a tribute to them. Sure, they’re done in a graphic way on some shirts but this is just something new. There have been a lot of things in the past which people have deemed inappropriate and then turned into the norm. If you think this is disgusting then I’m sure you’ve already written an e-mail to every single horror film ever made. Seems like people enjoy those alot after counting their millions of dollars. Also, how can you put down the fact that a lot of money from this company goes to charity? I think THATS disgusting and your very arrogant for saying that. And thats a pretty vague comment about the Abe Lincoln shirt in terms of the charity organization. The point is, its a big deal for a small designer to donate that amount of money to charity and it should never be looked down upon. And if you think these are “second rate designs” then I’d like to see you come up with something as intricate as they are. I think this takes just a little more talent than slapping the word “BOSS” on a t-shirt and calling that fashionable. I was at the show and it seemed like more people liked it than disapproved of it. I wonder why the head MC wore in front of everyone? And why they had a swarm of media and distributors giving them their cards. This article is a complete joke and sounds like was written by an ignorant 5 year old child.

PS. The next time you want to write an article putting down another artist, you might want to work on your writing craftsmanship… You’re a joke.

Comment by Jamie Todd

Which I respect… Victoria. But am I supposed to assume your wrote this piece as well? If you did, your entitled to your opinion as I am mine. BUT, I believe as an artist or a critic you it is essentail to be able to back up what your putting out there, whatever the medium may be: Print, Film, Fashion etc… The bottom line is, it is all personal opinions. What people have thought shameless in the PAST is praised today as Genius. I’m not saying that Merder T’s is a stroke of Genius; but what I am saying is that ART is simply an expression of someone else’s opinion/perspective on particular subject matters. Metaphorically speaking: The majority of people are accustomed to putting butter on their toast, whereas I prefer to lather my toast up with a heavy does of peanut butter; which is (to reiterate purely for sake of being pointedly redundant) a matter of TASTE AND OPINION!. We are not talking about how the clothes FIT or quality are we?????

royal tenenbaums rocks


@Jamie Todd: Do you want a t-shirt with blood spatter across an image of a plane flying into the twin towers to become the norm?

That’s sad. While I agree with you on branded clothing being talentless design, at least it does not have the face of someone who was killed with writing over their face in a disrespectful manner.

@Landon This entire site is mine. I don’t sign my name because it is redundant, and I’ve never seen any blog authour regularly sign the bottom of their posts.

Comment by Victoria Potter

Jesus this has caused a stir. Fact of the matter is if you dont like Victoria’s opinion, dont read the site… If you agree and are intrigued, then read on.

Be respectful and refrain from using such intellectually stimulating phrases as “dick weed”, “you ass” and “your a joke”

Comment by Erin Reiger

Wow –

Just got wind of this post. I never meant to offend, I’m just an artist paying homage to a very serious issue in our world. I know that some of these images are tough to stomach (by the way there are 30 designs – you saw 10) I guess I just wanted to do something that would make people think about the power of murder in our society & it worked. Again, I apologize for offending anyone, thanks to all for the constructive reviews. Best Regards, Duran

Comment by Duran

who is the one who used the “intellectually stimulating phrase” dickweed, to begin with?

oh yes, it was the author, herself.

Comment by j.

Clearly that was a less than professional comment on my part, but apparently my use of a certain word is less important than disussing a mass produced image of a person jumping for their life out of a building about to crumble?

While I let a word be used which shouldn’t have been, the issue of the incredibly offensive image remains to be ignored. This is a sad state of affairs.

@Duran I understand what you meant to do, but if you think the public is going to use these shirts as a solemn reminder of the tragedies illustrated, I think you may require a reality check. I haven’t seen one example of a message being taken from these shirts as you meant it to. That is why it bothers me so much.

Comment by Victoria Potter

its interesting that you would write a post about a so-called ethical or moral outrage when you yourself promote murder in fashion on this very blog.

if you support murder through the purchase of fur, you can’t condemn or attack someone else for their promotion of it in paint.


Comment by lynea

@Lynea that is absolutley laughable logic. I can’t comprehend how you can equivocate someone dying on 9/11 to an animal killed for their fur. Do you take the same offense to people who wear leather or eat meat?

Get off your animal liberation high horse.

Comment by Victoria Potter

How exactly is it that you qualify these images as “demeaning” to the subject(murdered victim)… and just why can’t we mix politics with fashion? Nobody is selling a gun here after all! These shirts are so UNgratuitous in regards to murder. There are subtle hints implying the actual murder and more celebratory remembrances of the victim, the beloved…And seriously, fashion in Vancouver is SOOOOO boring! I encourage MAVERICKS! (no reference to John McCain…)

Comment by birdi

Sweet Jesus those t-shirts are in terrible taste not to mention just plain shite! keep your notalent ass out of town! *barf*

Comment by john

oh yeah, in regards to animals being skinned for their fur, do some research about live animal skinning in china, as it is easier to skin a warm live animal for its fur than a cold dead one. I find that pretty sickening and just because they are raised to slaughter doesn’t make it right… and lots of the fur is actually your beloved dog & cat posing as high-end fur!!!! sort of wondering what your high horse is called?

Comment by birdi

@Birdi OK, how you think a relative of a victim in 9/11, Princess Diana [etc] would feel if they saw someone wearing one of these shirts?

Still don’t think they’re demeaning? There is nothing celebratory towards the victim in the images whatsoever.

Comment by Victoria Potter

well, the implication here is that they are murder victims, not just victims of terror or an excuse to raid iraq for its oil…

Comment by birdi

@Birdi A human’s life and animal’s life are not equal. I love animals as much as anyone, but they can’t be put on the same level as people.

Comment by Victoria Potter

Take it for what it is. If you don’t like it don’t wear it. The designs are better than any lame ass t-shirt out there that just has some graphical text written across the chest. These are designed to resemble tragedy, lest we forget (Remembrance day quote). The whole point is to not forget, to remind us of how crude this world is.

Keeps me grounded, off my high horse.

I like’em 🙂

Keep the designs coming.

Comment by Mack

“I’m not the only person who says they were murdered. Diana predicted she would be murdered and how it would happen. So I am disappointed.”
Mohamed Al Fayed.

Mr Al Fayed (Dodi’s father in case you didn’t know) was and still is certain that his son and Lady Diana were murdered, contrary to the outcome of the 10-year long police investigations. I think the message here is important: Those who were close to the pair still do not feel like they have found closure in their loved ones’ deaths. There is very often the question of scandal in politics–so this is not a new notion.

Victoria, perhaps you should do a little more investigative reporting before you go publicly insulting someone’s characteristics just because you don’t understand their work?

Comment by Naomi Adams

@Naomi: Nobody said anything about Diana not being murdered; simply that the image and text is put across in a disrespectful manner towards her memory rather than being insightful and positive as the designer intended.

Perhaps you should read a little more carefully before you assume I didn’t do my “investigative reporting” properly.

Comment by Victoria Potter

I must say from a distance i saw Duran gallivanting around the venue and felt his attitude was less then tasteful…however whether you agree with the images or not people are talking and even Victoria is up in a knot about the comments regarding her review. So having said that Duran has accomplished his goal. Congratulations.

Comment by WORD OF MOUTH

I’m disgusted by this “embarrassingly irrelevant outlook” on journalism. If you want to write hate mail, go for it, but if you want to write criticism have something informed to say. The “so-called” Merder tees have a message. You can read it however you want, but in the end it is pretty hard to deny that they are tributes, not condemnations. If you are going to badmouth designs, what about the tastefulness of the 50-year-old crotch on the hard candy shirts? Or is it just easier to pick on the little guy.

Comment by Sorrel

If you were in attendance, you would see why she would make these comments.
The topic wasn’t treated with respect at all as at the end of the show, as said, the “designer” jumped and hopped and hollered around shouting where they can get the shirts. How sincere

Comment by mookie

Pass on the shirts.

Comment by emmy

I think this article is a typical North American overreaction to a statement. Thought some art may be interpreted as slander, it serves a purpose to the artist.

It is the intention, not the reaction that must be considered with this art form. The artist is not in anyway suggesting the glorification of the 9/11 events, and has even suggested a donation of the revenue for the shirts to go to charity.

From what has been mentioned about the artist, the work on display is politically driven.

Although some opinions above have been tastelessly displayed, I must say that I agree: this article is way out of line.

Art is in the eye of the beholder. What one person may interperate as grotesque and tasteless, another person may see as peaceful self-expression.

How come people are allowed to prance around with Chairman Mao printed shirts? Is this just not an aged enough issue?

War happens, has happened, and will happen. It is our responsibility as those who want peace to take peaceful action.

I applaud anyone who puts their work on display.

Comment by heyvoon

I was at fashion week. The shirts SUCK! I would not be caught dead in one, let alone while i’m still breathing. Total offensive BS. Should be banned out of respect for the families of the victims. Will not be successful in a million years. It’s like Diddy making money off BIG. What a joke.

Comment by calviin urban

Respect to Duran for being crazy enough to think Vancouver fashion week was a good venue to expose his t-shirts. The designs lack detail, ingenuity and quality in the execution. If you want to successfully launch a line like that, try a hip hop music festival and sell em all in XXL.

Keep trying.

Comment by Milkcrate

@birdi i hate it when people uses china, india, african countries and other third countries as examples of cruelty and savagery. they are just doing whatever they can to survive and supplying demands of north americans and europeans. i don’t see many people from third world wearing thousands dollars fur coat. it is the north americans and europeans who are wearing fur coat and going to thailand to have sex with ten years old kids. so look in the mirror and tell me who do you see as the savages?

Comment by Hung

It is an innovative concept to lead the masses to remembrance. The sexiest part is the edgy darkness.

Comment by Paula

Ahhh.. If ignorance is bliss, then wipe the smile off my face. You call this unbiased journalism? This was immaturity at it’s finest with the typical schoolyard name calling and a poor excuse to waste space on the internet. OMG, you were offended. Sad. Very sad.

Do you understand what the messages were on the T-Shirts? Have you looked outside the box on how these people were really killed and who pulled the strings? Take the Twin Towers, most people still think some guy, suffering from renal failure pulled off the greatest implosion in modern times and the lemmings fell for it.

I commend the designer for creating such an uproar and having the balls to create his own buzz in the fashion industry. All of you plastic wannabe’s should be ashamed of yourselves. Fashion, like any art is about freedom of expression.

Who cares if he acts like a rockstar? I don’t. The shirts are unique, thought provoking and based on the most of the reactions on here, it really proves how simple-minded most people actually are. Why would one get offended by this? You weren’t the one who was merdered. When you think about it, we are all born to die, yet we glorify those in the spotlight putting them on these pedestals when they are no different then you or I. The only difference was that they were at the right place at the right time regarding success. But we all mourn when they pass like they were some omnipotent power.

At the end of the day, you are getting upset over a tshirt. Think about it. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Last time I checked, free speech was still a right in this country and we are all entitled to our opinions but make sure your brain is in gear before your mouth is in action. You will find that your foot won’t get stuck in your mouth as much.

Mark my words, this will be huge. It will create outrage all across the board and it’s long overdue.

Long live shock art.

Comment by Breezer Dog

Free speech works both ways, Breezer. I don’t have to check and see if my opinion wins the popular vote before I voice it. Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

Comment by Victoria Potter

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