Designer Demna Gvasalia has championed classic staple items by reinventing them in new and unexpected ways. Updated design details applied to traditional shirts include elongated sleeves, voluminous shapes, pieced construction and cutouts…
While shirting is traditionally associated with menswear as a key component in tailoring, shirts have driven significant business more recently in womenswear. Demna Gvasalia, the Georgian fashion designer and also the artistic director of Balenciaga, has played a key role in the
emergence of hacked basics, including reworked shirts since Fall/Winter 16/17. Alongside his creative directorship at Balenciaga, Gvasalia has retained his role as head designer and spokesperson for Vetements, the buzzed-about collective of seven anonymous designers where he made his name after rising through the ranks at Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela.
The brand was nominated for LVMH’s Young Fashion Designer Prize just after three seasons. It quickly found traction with consumers and the industry alike. Its couture take on streetwear sensibilities stems, according to Gvasalia, from the brand’s personal focus group: his friends.
‘Minimalism has become a responsible way of fashion consumption and aesthetic that pervades the current fashion consciousness, with designers such as Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo for Celine.’
Disruption of Shirt Trends in the Fashion Industry
At the helm of Vetements and Balenciaga, Gvasalia has championed classic staple items by re-inventing them in new and unexpected ways. Updated design details applied to traditional shirts include elongated sleeves, voluminous shapes, pieced construction and cutouts.
Gvasalia’s approach serves a greater message that has disrupted the fashion industry of collections and shifted to dressing in anonymous separates.
Since its conception in 2014, Vetements has never played by the rules: It introduced an Eastern European-inspired aesthetic that included
elongated sleeves, sleeves, de-constructed silhouettes, and oversized shapes to every street style star’s wardrobe, and was responsible for the revival of everything from Juicy Couture to Champion with its celebrity-favorite collaborations.
Vetements was all over the street style circuit in SS17 shows which saw the appearance of an especially surprising new trend: extra-long sleeves. The images here convey the idea.
The perfect example of this de-constructed and voluminous design is the Balenciaga’s “T-shirt Shirt”. As the name suggests, the piece, which is part of the luxury’s fashion house’s Fall ‘18 collection, is a T-shirt with a shirt draped on top of it.
Trends in Women’s Shirts
The disruption in the fashion industry bringing in the reworks in the staple styles lead to a recognisable trend in women’s shirting which continues from SS17 till now. The leader in Woven Tops remains the reworked shirt. Menswear-style shirtings are hacked in new and unexpected ways from oversized shapes to mixed media pairings and elongated sleeves. Volume drives other styles like long shirts, tunics and camp shirts. Boxy silhouettes were represented by woven shirts.. The bow or peasant blouses from recent seasons remain relevant, while many designers shift into vintage inspired styles or ruﬄed shirts. PJ shirts emerge with a nod to loungewear and new zip front closures are highlighted.
The highlights of SS19 carries the same history for shirts including
1. CAMP SHIRT:
With utility being such a key message this season, camp shirts have become an easy must-have. Short sleeved boxy silhouettes feature double patch pockets.
2. PUFF SLEEVE BLOUSE:
Puﬀ or statement sleeve blouses are a must-have this season. In newest interpretations, voluminous sleeves tap into the major 80s trend happening, while on a more commercial level, puﬀ sleeve blouses evolve from peasant styles.
3. CROP TOP:
Crop tops are once again on our radar as a key direction. Midriﬀ fitted styles are most common, while looser tops and shirts are also explored.
4. REWORKED SHIRT:
The reworked shirt has been on our radar for the past couple seasons. For Spring/Summer, brands continue to reinvent shirting with oversized proportions, wrapped techniques and interesting cutouts.
5. UTILITY SHIRT:
The long sleeve double pocket shirt tap into the utility conversation with an idea of style with utility. The functional pockets in the shirt make it a key item of the present trend.
While Gvasalia could certainly be credited with bringing relevance to women’s shirts, other design elements have also played a supporting role in shirts as a trend. Minimalism, genderless fashion and the comeback of tailoring in womenswear have all attributed to an increase of women’s shirting.
While minimalism of the past was always connected to various social, political and cultural shifts, the movement of the 21st century is more impacted by the economics. We have less money to spend on clothing and want to spend it on pieces that won’t be outdated already next season – and looking at the photo of a piece by Stella McCartney it simply seems that minimal pieces always stay contemporary. Besides, we are more concerned with ethical aspects of fashion, as well as environmental issues, such as use of natural resources, waste and pollution. Minimalism has become a responsible way of fashion consumption and aesthetic that pervades the current fashion consciousness, with designers such as Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo for Celine.