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Fashion Week Focus: Shirts

Senior Fashion Editor Katie Shillingford looks closely at one of the stronger Spring Summer 2011 themes; the re-working of the classic white shirt

One of my favourite themes that surfaced throughout the Spring Summer 2011 shows was the re-appropriation of the classic cut man's shirt and the embellishment of its collar. We saw an all-white, beautifully adorned, floral collar and shoulders at Chloe; Western-esque silver and gold collar tips atop polka dots and coloured lace at Balenciaga; six shirts in one at Comme des Garcons- complete with six different wearable options; marble prints and intricate metal adornments at Carven; bright orange and backless at Yves Saint Laurent and orange collar details at Celine.

But the pièce de résistance was Viktor & Rolf, whose entire collection was based on the re-working of the classic man’s shirt and even entitled ‘Shirt Symphony’. Their modifications of the shirt showed a journey from masculine to feminine. Flowing white shirt dresses, then sheer pinstripe shirts with sequined zebra collars showed a wearable option that led up to the fantasy finale brides turning the shirt into flamboyant wedding dresses of various shapes and sizes. I was lucky enough to work with the Dutch design pair styling for this show and have thoroughly enjoyed seeking out other components of the man’s shirt that have been celebrated throughout the new season’s collections.