White smocked blouse from our “White Shirts / The Timely Heroes” collection.
Model is 175cm and is wearing size Small.
- Long sleeves
- Smocked neck with handmade delicate embroidery
- Relaxed fit
- Buttoned cuffs
- 100% Italian Cotton
- Manufactured in Greece
- Care Instructions: Professional dry clean only
This limited collection is based on the all-time classic item, the hero of every woman’s closet; the “White Shirt.”
As I was doing my research and while looking for inspiration for this all-white collection I came upon an article written by Franca Sozzani, an iconic figure in the fashion industry and of course editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia for 28 years.
The article, even though published in 2011, says everything that needs to be said about the history of the “White Shirt”. So before you discover our new collection take some time to read about the story behind the all-time classic item in your wardrobe.
“It made its first public appearance at the Salon in Paris, worn by a queen in a portrait: Marie Antoinette in a muslin dress. A style and a portrait - by Madame Vigée-Lebrun - far from the royal etiquette: in 1793 it caused a scandal.
In the 19th century it was embellished by bouffant details, and by the end of the century it became a symbol of wealth, since it was worn by those who didn’t work, so they couldn’t stain its whiteness.
In the Forties it became a trend thanks to the stars of Hollywood: in 1938 Katharine Hepburn wore it in Holiday; Ava Gardner wore a short-sleeved model with wide shorts and lipstick, followed by Lauren Bacall in Key Largo in 1948: white shirt and ice-cold look.
In the Fifties it took Audrey Hepburn to make the shirt with rolled sleeves and lifted collar iconic: she was a princess hanging around with Gregory Peck, those were her Roman Holidays.
In those years, femininity was particularly under the spotlight. The pin up style was trendy - shorts and curves, the shirt often tied up to emphasize the decolletage, the bust peeking through. The same happened in the Sixties, but the white shirt was turning into an androgynous piece, an unaware feminist manifesto. In a 1967 shot, Twiggy wore a pinstriped suit, a white shirt and tie.
Among all the pictures showing the history of the white shirt, Robert Mapplethorpe’s black and white portrait of Patti Smith, the cover of her first album, Horses, is legendary: Patti became an androgynous icon, the album a best seller, the white shirt - in this masculine version - a must-have.
So in the Seventies, even Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn gave their personal interpretations of the androgynous appeal of white cotton.
In the Eighties, it was paired to Ray-Bans and black jacket à la Blues Brothers; it was also revived
with a retro-rock vibe by Prince, who wore white shirts with ruffled jabots. In 1986 a masculine-yet-sexy version appeared, thanks to Kim Basinger in Nine ½ Weeks. In 1987, another movie, Dirty Dancing, re-launched the trend of the tied-up white shirt: many girls copied the protagonist, Frances “Baby” Houseman.
Nineties. The oversized shirt worn by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and in 1994 a shirt as stylish as its wearer, Uma Thurman, was paired to cigarette pants and ballerina flats in Pulp Fiction. The point of view progressively became anarchic: all the nine top models on the 100th anniversary cover of Vogue US wore the same GAP shirt.
In 2003 an oversized shirt was seen on Gwyneth Paltrow, who hastily put that shirt only on, before running from a hotel room and getting herself a drink (it was a Martini commercial). Many other celebrities sported it in any occasion, in different outfits - Katie Holmes, Jennifer Aniston, Eva Mendes, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and Gwen Stefani.
One of the first ground-breaking moments was in the Twenties. Coco Chanel turned the world of fashion (ruled by corsets) upside down by introducing a masculine style: thanks to her, women started wearing pants, loose white shirt and cardigan, an extremely contemporary outfit.
Seventies: in that decade, dominated by an ethnic mood, the white shirt was loose, a bit long and flared, with white collar, wide sleeves and gathered cuffs. Flowy shirts, with feminine couture echoes, were designed by Rykiel, Guy Laroche, Nina Ricci and Saint Laurent.
Eighties: the decade was opened by a parade of white shirts in Vivienne Westwood's Pirate collection in 1981. Symbols of those years were the white shirts by Ferré, architectures with big collars and cuffs, rich in historic references, made in different fabrics and shapes, always featuring a dramatic structure.
Career women wore a white shirt with a skirt suit; the same outfit screamed "lady of the night" when the masculine fabric was replaced by black leather. As an alternative, jabots, puffy sleeves and retro hints could be found in the teddy boy style, an Edwardian-meet-gangster mood: the result was rockabilly, as many rockstar outfits showed.
Nineties. Artists, creative and communication experts took the white shirt as a paradigm of minimalism, manifesto of the trend which simplified, cleaned and reduced, an exhausted reaction to the exaggerations of the previous decade.
Many designers brought this approach on runways and in closets: the conceptual style of Martin Margiela, the over-experimentalism of Junya Watanabe, the American minimal, democratic and pragmatic school of Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, the British reply of Burberry and Prada, which set a trend all over the world.
In addition to that, in the Noughties came the monastic style of Raf Simons for Jil Sander, the classic Hermès shirt revisited by Gaultier, the eco-friendly and avant-garde attitude of Stella McCartney, Celine's purism by Phoebe Philo.
The latest shows have brought the white shirt under the spotlight in different ways.
A delicate world dressed white angels with Alberta Ferretti shirts; Herrera gave a dynamic, simple and chic version of white. Valli emphasized this color: the button-down shirt was paired to a tight bandage. Donna Karan embellished a plunging neckline with wide jabots, while Martin Margiela added a statement accessory to a buttonless shirt with boat neckline: a sort of tie clip, made of metal, to hold rolled sleeves.
While referring to the tradition of the white shirt, Pilati designed a very classic one, but without collar: the matching PVC mantle had to be worn with a crewneck shirt. Marc Jacobs and Lam, probably drawing inspiration from the Far East, used Mao collars and dared to add just a hinted neckline. Almost mystic, the all-white by Dries Van Noten gave glimpses of the fragile elegance of the shirt, inspired to glass paste or a vintage crystal. Last but not least, Hermès: the shirt became a minidress, accented by a thin belt. The unique touch? A bow tie, of course.
To conclude, there's nothing like a white shirt to show the character of the one who wears it.”