Celebrities and style icons alike are rocking the menswear look at red carpet events. And wait! I’m not talking about men here. I’m talking about women who are rocking the red carpet. Halle Berry and Winona Ryder, for example, have both been photographed in designer menswear-inspired suits. Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston have been photographed beautifully with men’s button-down shirts. Indeed men inspired clothing is back!
The origins of the style trend can be traced back to Diane Keaton’s wardrobe in the 1977 comedy Annie Hall. As the title character, Keaton donned men’s vests, shirts, and ties. The outfits are not overtly sexy yet do have feminine qualities. As women take on more powerful roles in business that has traditionally been held by men, they are also adapting men’s fashion styles. The clothing brand that introduced men’s shirts into our wardrobes is “Equipment Clothing”. Christian Restoin first introduced the classic two pocket silk shirt when his French label, Equipment, was launched in 1978. From then the label has evolved into a cult classic and I believe every woman needs to have at least one of these beautiful Equipment shirts in their wardrobe.
Once upon a time in the late seventies, Christian Restoin—the longtime partner of Carine Roitfeld—married the aesthetics of Network and disco with a line of breezy silk menswear-styled shirts for women called Equipment. Throughout the eighties and nineties, they were the linchpin day-to-night item in a smart city girl’s wardrobe. For a label to shutter because of family and business politics, as happened here, is a familiar nineties story. But it’s a promising one Equipment’s telling for the aughts: The line relaunches for Spring 2010 and now Equipment clothing is here to stay.
Last night, Becka Diamond hosted the long-awaited unveiling at Saks, where designers Rebecca Minkoff and Victor Glemaud and stylist Keegan Singh stopped by to check out the action. Serge Azria—brother of Max, owner of Current/Elliott and Joie, and now informal “guardian” of Equipment—attended both the cocktail party and the intimate dinner that followed at Indochine. “Everyone here is too young to remember the original line,” he said, gesturing at the youthful attendees around him. “But ask your mothers—they will remember Equipment! And I guarantee you they loved it.” He reveals that Restoin, who remains connected to the newly relaunched brand, has kept every Equipment shirt ever created in his Paris archives—all 3,500 of them. Meanwhile, the 135 new Equipment styles do the brand’s “new vintage” legacy justice and integrate seamlessly into the tailored, menswear-inspired trends hitting New York’s runways this week. That’s something mothers and daughters alike can appreciate.
For fall 2012, the menswear look for women is back in a big way for women. The trend gives a feminine touch to traditionally masculine pieces. The fall fashion trend for 2012 gives women the opportunity to experiment with menswear-inspired looks while adding feminine touches to their outfits. Wear fitted blazers or jackets with flared pants or try a pencil skirt. Add a pair of heels to finish off the sleek look. Button down shirts, trousers and ties are no longer solely for men. Watch out men, the women are experimenting with different looks this fall and appear both smart and sophisticated in the fall clothing!