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UN HOMMAGE À LA CHEMISE BLANCHE by Natalie Cantell

The classic white shirt has had many incarnations and countless iconic devotees, yet the Parisienne IT girls of the ‘60s and ‘70s defined la chemise blanche like never before. Jane Birkin, Françoise Hardy, Bridget Bardot, Anna Karina, they defined themselves in their delicate harmony of contradictions. They were chic while tomboyish, self-assured behind shy, doe eyes. They were both artist and muse, incorrigible bohemians, hopeless romantics, irrepressible sex kittens, accidental fashion icons. Taking a dramatic turn from the repressed sensuality of decades before, they expressed an undone, unrestrained femininity defined by a flick of liquid eyeliner and just-rolled-out-of-bed hair.

They wore classic, white, button-down shirts. They wore them as they lazed in windowsills, argued passionately in their bedrooms, wheeled bicycles down alleyways, made love in the afternoon. Slim fit and tucked in, or stolen from a lover, barely buttoned at all. A genuine man’s shirt, appropriated from a rogue with a broken nose and a penchant for senseless poetry, worn while thinking of him fondly. It was Jane Birkin watching Serge play the piano. Anna Karina smiling at someone else over Jean-Luc Godard’s shoulder as he embraces her. Bridget Bardot leaving inept men in her wake as she wandered film sets in nought but a shirt (and occasionally a scarf to protect her hair from a ride in that Simca convertible).
Here’s to Paris, to the ‘60s, to the iconic women who made this such a moment that fifty years later we still gaze at photos and long to crawl inside them. While every month I look to them for inspiration, this time of year I wear a white shirt with a greater purpose – supporting the fight against Ovarian Cancer and the efforts to find an early detection test. The beautiful silk shirt I’m wearing below is one of seven from the capsule collection Witchery has created in their partnership with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. With 100% of gross proceeds donated to OCRF, here’s to White Shirt Day on May 1st – another great moment for the white shirt.SHOP NOW









White Shirts available for purchase in store and online> HERE

100% of gross proceeds from the sale of the shirts support ovarian cancer research.
PHOTOGRAPHY: GUY COOMBES- www.guycoombes.com
HAIR & MAKE-UP: JESS CHAPMAN- www.jesschapman.com.au
MODEL & STYLING: NATALIE CANTELL- www.clynemodels.com