Taking a look at this page, one would be forgiven for forgetting the conservative origins of the collared shirt. Since the rise of global streetwear style in the 1990s, labels have unexpectedly adapted this silhouette—inherited from old-world formality and 20th-century global business—introducing the shirt into the most recent era of its long history.
The two elements of design and production that have proved the most essential to these labels’ experiments with the shirt have been shape and material. Both contribute to that essential characteristic: drape. At Double Double we have a keen eye for this defining quality, the calculated result of combined fabric and design that only the world’s best labels can master in any given collection. From boxy fits cut from sturdy, heavy cotton canvas for a structured appearance to sleek pieces cut from silky rayon that fall with a drape as raffish as it is classy.
Despite their significant innovations, contemporary avant-garde labels have not abandoned the notion of formality. Rather, they employ some of its most recognisable elements, paired with a deconstructive impulse that brings the concept of formality itself into question. This is the domain of labels such as N. Hoolywood, Comme des Garçons Homme, and Needles. All of these labels allude, often humorously, to the ambiguity as to where experimentalism begins to impede on the formal function of a garment.
Some labels have sought a more measured approach, catering to the casual legacy of the shirt, in button-up and button-down incarnations. In the pursuit of understated European cool, Japanese-inspired Parisian labels Maison Kitsuné and Comme des Garçons PLAY offer high-quality shirts adorned with their respective iconic logos, the Maison Kitsuné fox and the PLAY heart. True to their Scandinavian origins, Danish label Norse Projects adopt an even more unassuming approach to shirting, with simple yet rich designs constructed from the highest quality fabrics.
A far cry from the conservative trajectory of their long-sleeved cousins, short-sleeve collared shirts have a history tied more to leisurely pursuits than those of the corporate world. Styles such as the camp shirt and Aloha shirt have long served as casual antidotes to the business shirt, the latter employing bright patterns originally sourced from Japanese fabrics.
In current-day Japan, Wacko Maria has adopted the leisure shirt and perfected it. The label is now renowned for creating some of the most sought-after short-sleeve camp collar shirts in the world of fashion, crafted from the silkiest high-quality rayon. Drawing on the shirting heritage of their native France, Lyon-based label Reception marry French workwear influences with fine leisurely fabrics and colourful embroidery in playful celebration of the good life. LA-based provocateurs Pleasures employ the shirt for subversive ends, covering short and long-sleeve shirts alike with iconoclastic graphics and controversial slogans.
As well as casual shirting, avant-garde experimentation with formality and labels pursuing the perfect leisure shirt, another distinct strand of streetwear and designer approaches to the shirt borrows from military, sporting, and workwear influences. While Tokyo-based label WTAPS are the undisputed leaders when it comes to utility-geared military-inspired shirts such as the iconic Jungle shirt, Japanese streetwear pioneers Neighborhood combine military, sportswear, and workwear elements with shirts that often allude to the Japanese denim tradition. On the other side of the world, in Italy, Stone Island have gained a reputation for redefining performance clothing thanks to decades of research into materials and dyeing processes, insights applied to their shirts as much as their high-tech outerwear.
The different shirting practices highlighted above reflect the sheer diversity of approaches to this historied silhouette by contemporary streetwear labels and designers, a multiplicity that we at Double Double are proud to bring together.
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