The most basic and the most classic part of the cabinets of all times left all those magnificent designs behind and became the star of the period. We do not need to wait a few more months to adapt it to our daily style. Street style has already made its way into the game.
When Kaia Gerber opened the Prada fashion show in February and Hunter Schafer surprisingly appeared on the podium in the final, what caught my attention was the white undershirts with the triangular Prada logo on them. This timeless piece was complemented by small skirts with transparent tulle supported by crystals and metals. It was a different interpretation of small taffeta skirts that Prada made for this era, so white singlets?
Effortless elegance, or “je-ne-sais-quoi” as the French say. A jean, a tank top and free hair! You are ready for the day.
A few days later, Matthieu Blazy, in his first collection for Bottega Veneta, sent denim-look leather trousers and single strap bags to the podium in a white tank top. She is about to make an unpretentious choice for the first collection, which has excited the fashion world the most for a while. On the one hand, it is a perfect metaphor for fresh beginnings. Blazy opened a white page as pure as his heart to us. The thing is that; I almost forgot that Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons actually produce a trend-setting piece every season. After the two fashion shows, white athletes were playing roles again in the collections of Chloé, Acne Studios and Sacai at Paris Fashion Week.
It might have been a sweet coincidence to see white athletes once or twice after the Prada fashion show on the podium, but we agreed that a trend like ‘light ball’ fell on our laps when it appeared in Paris collections as well.
White athletes are a real quarterback. You can create perfection by shaping the entire look around it. It should not be forgotten that this piece, which is highly functional to be a part of high fashion, but without surprise, when added to daily looks, makes every piece it is used with a star. These white undershirts, which do not require exaggerated craftsmanship when designing, draw the emphasis to other elements. So it is as supportive as it is savior. This is where the magic of simple pieces, which are the fixtures of the cabinets, comes from. Some of the defining elements of style, whether it’s little black dresses, white shirts, or tailored jackets. Even if you wear it every day, it is a piece that you will not get bored and will not succumb to the trends.
Acne Studios’ wide-leg trousers or Hermès’ high-needle skirts become a part of high fashion. In The Row and Chloé, it is interpreted in a sporty way.
Although it created a trend alarm by repeating itself in its Autumn/Winter collections, Jil Sander was also in front of us on The Row in Spring/Summer 2022. Jacquemus, Marine Serre does not miss this usual trendless and genderless piece from his collections. In Loewe’s surreal Spring/Summer 2022 collection, we saw maximal skirts with ribbon details along with plain athletes as much as possible. Just like Prada, Loewe’s logo was embroidered on the chest like a guru.
FROM MACO CULTURE TO THE MINIMUM 90’S
When Marlon Brando shouted “Stelaaaaaaa” in the big screen adaptation of “The Tramway of Desire”, we saw him in a wet and dirty white athlete. It’s actually a very good choice. In the 1910s, the white athlete started to enter men’s closets at first. This piece, which can be seen under the shirt, is one of the basic parts of the war period. It has nothing to do with being fashionable in the first place, in other words, it is a product that was invented to meet daily needs. In the 1950s, it starts to show itself in the middle of open-collar shirts and gold chains.
CALVIN KLEIN JEANS
Over time, its usage areas have expanded to be more elegant and simple, but it has not lost its effect of being a classic. When we came to the 90s, white undershirts began to appear in women’s wardrobes, thanks to minimalism and Calvin Klein. Complementing Jil Sander’s midi skirts and Helmut Lang’s leather silhouettes were white tank tops. In the iconic shots of Corrine Day, which brought Kate Moss to us, and in those serene frames that create the effect of a cold shower on a hot summer day, there were white athletes on Moss again. That’s why this year’s golden age continues. Y2K and the return of the 90s aesthetic.
All these fashion show and lookbook shots also show how an ordinary piece can be used in different ways each time. Leather canvas, jean or taffeta skirt!
STRONG EFFECT IN POPULAR CULTURE
Ordinariness has made it a cult piece of wardrobe. This striking simplicity lies behind creating a classic look. The key piece of the next era has already appeared everywhere from the red carpet to the street styles. While Dua Lipa was wandering around the cities during her European tour, Lady GaGa was on the cover of the soundtrack album she recorded for the “Top Gun” cinema, and Iris Law was wearing a knitted white tank top at the London premiere of the “Pistol” cinema.
And very natural white athletes are the biggest supporters of the ‘free the nipple’ trend.
Julianne Moore chose Bottega Veneta while promoting her new cinema in Cannes. She completed her white tank top with a black blazer, and Bulgari jewels should not be forgotten. Again, the highlight of the Acne Studios fashion show was to draw attention to the large volume of accessories. Thus, we saw how this minimal piece emphasizes another detail that you want to highlight each time.
Not limited to these, when Annie Leibovitz photographed Angelica Houston in 1985, she was wearing a white tank top again. Houston would win an Oscar later that year for the movie Prizzi’s Honor. This choice was made so that the attention should be distracted from his private life and attention-grabbing style and only what he had to say about the cinema would come to the fore. But at the end of the day, one of the most iconic frames of all time remained. (Actually, like all those iconic photo frames. Helmut Newton’s tuxedo shot on the streets of Paris, or Patrick Demarchelier’s timeless supermodels in white shirts. The simpler, the more iconic.)
When Zoë Kravitz was caught in paparazzi on the streets of New York as she accentuated her braids and shimmering, smooth beauty, Beyonce was again in a white tank top in her “Crazy In Love” look when she embarked on her first solo journey just like Blazy. At this point, he should not forget that he has a liberating and flirty side. This rather ordinary piece actually creates an exceptional look when used correctly as a powerful detail that exalts personal style.
Article: Aykun Tasdoner
Photos: IMAXTREE.COM, GETTY IMAGES TURKEY
Taken from ELLE Turkey July-August 2022 issue.