Summer Essentials: The White Shirt
The white shirt. A wardrobe staple for everyone from Carolina Herrera on the catwalk to Marilyn Monroe on the beach at Cannes. This versatile piece of kit can be anything you want it to be – it’s the fashion world’s ultimate sycophant. Misshapen and directional, crisp and traditional, feminine and flattering, there is no use that we have not found for 100% fresh, white cotton.
Cres E Dim
Full name ‘Crescendo E Diminuendo,’ this Korean brand is the work of designer Hong Bum King. The brand name reflects a philosophy of gradually getting louder and gradually getting softer and the look is a mix of the bold and the subtle. Shapes are cut into fragments to ‘add rhythm,’ colours are used to add vibrant,y and the designer is adept at overlapping fabrics to add volume and create new silhouettes. If your idea of a white shirt is something with a tough personality choose this leather point blouse with its contrasting black textures and back pleats.
The work of Tara St James, Study NY was launched on a platform of conceptual design and sustainability. Ethical fabrics and production methods, as well as collaborations with artisans from across the globe, produce lively, contemporary fashion designs with a cool, fresh edge. The SS16 collection offers both an oversize white shirt and a neatly tailored look too. The Sam Shirt is made from 100% repurposed cotton upcycled from men’s shirting while Shirt 1.1 is 100% organic cotton and has a distinctive open back.
This Japanese designer is based in Florence and works with a team in the Italian city producing menswear influenced pieces that are built around tailoring techniques. Many of the designs appear straight from a fairytale with a splay on volume and proportion that makes an enormous visual impact. Kake does a great line in white shirts, crisp with the signature exceptional tailoring and including the odd surprise detail, in keeping with the aesthetic of the brand. He also offers something a little more out of the ordinary such as this ‘long’ shirt (dress) made using a one-piece technique and tied at the waist with a ribbon.
One O Eight
One O Eight is a thoroughly contemporary brand with a clever balance of contemporary style and functional design. Its platform is femininity meets cutting edge and the looks vary from every day style to directional pieces. This is the label for those who need a wardrobe that can keep up with a hectic lifestyle without a style compromise. This 100% cotton shirt is embroidered with tiny ice creams – look super smart while you dream of summer beaches and melting mint choc chip.
London based luxury womenswear brand Haizhen Wang takes an innovative approach to tailoring, from the asymmetric lines to the penchant for a cut out. The masculine and feminine and carefully balanced at a mid point that explores territory somewhere between fashion and art. The Central Saint Martins graduate is an impeccable tailoring talent although you may never find a traditional white shirt in any future collections – this SS16 sleeveless tunic style version will do just fine though.