“We wanted to elevate the idea of borrowing from menswear,” says model and writer Laura Bailey, speaking of the women’s shirting collection she’s created with her friend, the stylist Cathy Kasterine, in collaboration with Mayfair shirtmaker Budd. Launching this month, the capsule collection features an array of shirting styles more commonly seen in menswear – from sharp Oxfords to frilled dress shirts and classic-cut pyjamas – but cut and sized for women.
“We wanted the pieces to have a slightly oversized, worn feel, and to be hardworking and flexible depending on a woman’s life and style,” says Bailey. The pair worked with the brand’s expert team of bespoke shirt-cutters to create styles that were boxy yet feminine: “By working with loose pyjama shapes and Budd’s expert tailoring, we respected classic menswear lines while aiming to flatter women.” Kasterine, who has styled Kate Moss, Sandra Oh and Tilda Swinton, says they wanted to avoid the overly nipped-in waist often seen on women’s shirts: “We were very lucky to work with Budd’s super-talented bespoke shirt-cutters, who put a little dart here and there to create the shape that we were after.”
The collaboration was conceived while the pair were on a hiking holiday in Scotland last year: Kasterine gave Bailey a pair of Budd men’s pyjamas for the trip, which sparked a conversation about their mutual love for the British brand and men’s style in general. They took the concept to Budd, which ran with the idea.
The Budd archive, which dates back to 1910 when the label was founded, was their starting point. The Penny shirt, with its dainty rounded collar, came about from looking through a box of old collar styles. “We found a round one that we loved. We put it on a small-sized shirt and the proportions were perfect,” says Kasterine. Another was inspired by a mutual friend, the London-based interior designer Rita Konig. “Her father had a Budd dress shirt from the ’60s. It was beautifully worn, a treasure, so we tried to bring it back to life, using all the details we loved.” This became the George style, a bibbed and cuffed dress shirt, which both Bailey and Kasterine cite as their favourite piece from the capsule.
The collection, with its vintage-inspired cuts, is designed to be worn season after season. As Kasterine points out, this timeless approach comes from working with a menswear brand that has more than a century of experience in getting the cut and drape of a shirt spot-on, and not changing that according to trends. “The collection is born from the ultimate shirtmakers, so you’re getting a piece that has decades of evolution behind it, in terms of design and construction. It is a beautiful piece of clothing that will become more wonderful over time.”
The Bailey x Budd collection is available at buddshirts.co.uk
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