The update: Equipment blouse
Borrowing from men’s fashion may have started in the ’20s with Coco Chanel leading the bandwagon, but nobody thought to replicate the comfort and luxurious feel of a man’s shirt till Christian Restoin started Equipment in 1976. Restoin, French style icon Carine Roitfeld’s longtime partner, was inspired by the bold sartorial choices of screen goddesses Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall (who would later go on to become a staunch supporter of the brand). He created a label that was dedicated to fine-tuning the perfect silk shirt to fit into every woman’s wardrobe.
After enjoying the success of Equipment for 20 years, Restoin shut all operations to pursue other interests. The label’s presence was sorely missed for a while, with city slickers desperately holding on to their Equipment blouses, till Serge Azria, a close associate of Restoin’s, decided to give the brand a new beginning in 2010. Azria, a visionary in the industry (also known for his other fashion lines Current/ Elliott and JOIE) retained Restoin’s heritage of the double flap-pocketed, washed silk shirt and managed to rework the versatility of the shape into a staggering number of new styles – 135, to be precise.
Equipment has now branched out to accommodate more stylish basics like lightweight knits and chic pyjamas while still churning out the eponymous blouse in every colour of the rainbow and in a plethora of novelty prints.
Every fashion icon worth her salt has a stack of these forever shirts – Kate Moss wore her starry blouse tucked into her signature skinny jeans while strolling in Brazil, while Miranda Kerr added street-style star to her résumé with her flawless everyday flair, featuring a number of versatile versions. With smart collaborations – super-blogger Garance Doré shot their 2012 campaign, which featured seven fashion influencers including Caroline Issa and Taylor Tomasi Hill – and effortless design, this cult basic is stronger and more popular than ever the second time around.
Click through to see how you can update the classic Equipment blouse.
Silk shirt, Rs 20,950, Equipment at Net-a-porter.com. Silk palazzos, Rs 13,500, Rishta by Arjun Saluja. Suede pumps, Rs 4,590, Zara. Acrylic earrings, price on request, Dior. ‘Seamaster 300’ watch, price on request, Omega. Leather doctor bag, Rs 5,595, Hidesign.
Photograph: Hormis Antony Tharakan. Styling: Arushi Parakh. Model: Preeti Dhata. Make-up and hair: Sonam Kapoor.
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The 24/7 silk staple taps into its menswear-inspired roots.
Add boyish charm to the feminine blouse with folded sleeves and a buttoned-up collar.
Channel Annie Hall’s androgynous vibe with high-waisted, flared trousers and a tucked-in shirt.
Take inspiration from Equipment’s ’70s moment and tote a vintage-inspired doctor bag.
Colour-block your separates (next season’s key trend): try nude with burgundy and icy blue.
Burgundy crepe trousers, Rs 21,200, Erdem (pictured above)
Calfskin leather briefcase, Rs 1,13,500, Giorgio Armani
Laser-cut suede pumps, Rs 3,990, Mango
Rose-gold stainless steel chronograph watch, Rs 12,000, Michael Kors
Pearl and diamond studs, Rs 24,342, Caratlane.com