A fashion trend that would make M. C. Escher nod in approval, Salvador Dalí’s eyes light up, and Christopher Nolan feel déjà vu is beginning. The “endless t-shirt,” as it’s been dubbed, features a person wearing a t-shirt that bears the likeness of another person wearing a t-shirt that bears the likeness of the first person.
A photo of Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling wearing a shirt with a picture of Macaulay Culkin in his child-star days caught the now adult Culkin’s attention. In a humorous response, Culkin released a photo of himself wearing a t-shirt with the aforementioned picture of Gosling printed on it. Internet audiences have loved it, and have even photoshopped Gosling wearing a shirt with Culkin’s response photo on it.
One, amusing, isolated incident does not make a trend, though. It usually takes three, sometimes two occurrences, before the culture-at-large can consider something a trend (or even a meme, as the modern day’s lexicon may put it).
This past week, however, NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski wore a sleeveless shirt that featured a photo of teammate Julian Edelman wearing a t-shirt with–you guessed it–a picture of Gronkowski.
The public’s amusement over these “endless shirts” makes it very likely that there will be more. Plus, it’s very possible that this trend will catch on with non-celebrities, too, since it’s pretty easy to get a custom screen printed shirt nowadays.
“It is really affordable to print a photograph on a t-shirt, it is done with digital printers that take the art file and print it direct to garment,” says Elise from Tee Compressed. “I think the attention the ‘endless shirts’ have drawn is a great example of how a t-shirt can do marketing for you.”
If the endless t-shirt really starts to get popular, it could be the most post-modern fashion statement yet. Perhaps this summer, you may see photos on social media friends wearing shirts with pictures of other friends in shirts bearing a likeness of the person in the picture, or maybe you’ll just see more selfies.