Designer Bibi Blangsted tasked collage artist Katrien De Blauwer with turning her scissors to one of fashion’s most iconic pieces
That the white shirt has long been a sartorial icon is no secret – and for fashion designer Christel Bibi Blangsted, it is the bread and butter of her eponymous brand. She spent some time working for the likes of Ann Demeulemeester and Acne Studios after graduating from the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins, and before founding her label – and since then, she has turned her focus to perfecting luxury shirting. “It’s the ultimate garment, as it can transform you immediately no matter what is happening on the inside,” Blangsted tells AnOther. “It always feels fresh – it’s bright, and it has a sound and a touch which I love, and can be worn with such ease. It also has more connotations than any other garment; it belongs to artists and officials just the same so it can follow you no matter what you are up to. It’s very hard to go wrong with a white shirt.”
If its innate versatility is part of what makes the white shirt such a crucial component of any wardrobe – just look to style icons Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Fran Lebowitz for proof – it’s also what makes Bibi Blangsted’s collaborations with a whole spectrum of artists feel so appropriate; with each comes a new collection of ideas and references, from photographer Chris Rhodes to collage artist Katrien De Blauwer. De Blauwer was tasked with reimagining the new collection, through her utterly unique lens.
“I love Katrien’s work, as it has such an amazing juxtaposition of emotions,” Blangsted explains. She first encountered in it an art magazine, she says: “It was a portrait where she had cut off the upper face and used a paper cutting of pair of open windows as eyes.” From then on, she found herself happening across the Belgian artist’s nuanced creations at every turn. A collaboration seemed a natural progression.
And natural it is: through De Blauwer’s careful splicing and intersecting of the images Blangsted and her team had created, the pieces are envisaged anew. “By passing the images we had done to an artist and by asking him or her to use these images as a part of their work, you are creating a new layer of interpretation in the hands of the artist,” Blangsted explains. And when the whole intention is to convey the world around a piece of clothing whose own power is in its malleability – its potential to be reimagined anew by everybody who wears it – what could be more perfect than that?
Model: Lauren Case, at IMG.