Four Coachella T-Shirts That Proved Irony Is Dead Forever

Apr 26th, 2008 // 8 Comments

wyld.jpgThe fashion tableau provided by the Coachella audience revealed a lot of things about fashion in 2008: the American Apparel-bred aesthetic of shiny spandex has been embraced by a lot of women; those awful monokinis where the top and the bottom parts are connected by a strip of fabric are inexplicably back; and I can’t look at mesh fedoras without feeling revolted, because they remind me of Spike from Top Chef. And as always, the ironic and semi-ironic t-shirts were out in full force, with four in particular standing out for the way they bludgeoned the idea of “irony” with a cotton-covered truncheon.

4. Wyld Stallyns. In 2013, this spot will be reserved for a “MILF Island” shirt.

3. KISS’ Hot In The Shade Tour. The only way this bit of clothing could have been more eye-roll-inducing was if it were a shirt from the Psycho Circus tour, because at least Hot In The Shade is semi-redeemed by “Forever.”

2. Nick Lachey’s 2006 Tour. Every single person I told about this shirt had the same reply: “Do you think he was kidding?” It’s like Homerpalooza come to life.

1. Triumph, “Just A Game” Tour T-shirt. If I was giving out prizes solely based on what the shirts was advertising, this would probably come in below the KISS offering. But the overall aesthetic pushed it over the top: Not only was dude’s shirt (professionally, I’m pretty sure) shredded to bits, so were his cutoffs, and there a few well-placed tears that allowed all passerby to get up close and personal with his junk. I would have taken out my camera to commit this memory to pixels, but I figured I’d spare all of you.


  1. Anonymous

    As a student stranded on the East Coast by finals, I, for one, appreciate the report on ironic shirts, Maura.

  2. Audif Jackson Winters III

    I remember seeing a Bush/Cheney t-shirt at Coachella in ’04.

  3. Anonymous

    Not sure what’s more lame: Those shirts or your predictable report on ironic shirts at Coachella.

  4. mishaps

    I just can’t bring myself to haterate on anyone wearing a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure-related T-shirt.


    (Also: more like, 2023, and a Neil Patrick Harris on a unicorn T-shirt. Which, why don’t they have those *now*?)

  5. Maura Johnston

    @mishaps: i firmly believe that the cycle will be way accelerated in five years. (cf. nick lachey shirt)

  6. Maura Johnston

    @owenmeany: either way, thanks for taking the time to click and make that comment!

  7. Clevertrousers

    Is it ironic or not when my Polish immigrant neighbor’s 8 year old son wears a “Sexytime” Borat T-Shirt? For some reason I find this much more troubling than the cheap irony of hipsters.

  8. Maura Johnston

    @Clevertrousers: it’s a good question. but i wore spuds mckenzie shirts in third grade, so what do i know?

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