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Workin’ It With New WKSHP Tees









Rather than focusing on traditional T-shirt silhouettes (V-neck or crewneck, for example) with formulaic prints along the bodice, Los Angeles-based brand WKSHP seeks to reinvent the way the woman’s tee is perceived so that, rather than a layering staple you conceal underneath sweatshirts and jackets, it’s transformed into the center piece of an ensemble, the very piece you want to show off. Co-founder Christina Carter, then, stresses the importance of nontraditional cuts that feel fluid and convey a sense of movement and ease — cropped hoodies feature swooping backs with tail-like hemlines; boxy tees feature exaggerated necklines that allow you to wear them off the shoulder, at a slight angle; sleeveless tanks feature sporty racerbacks and swing style hemlines; and asymmetrical silhouettes abound on short-sleeved tees and sleeveless tanks. Cozy, lightweight fabrics are also prioritized so that pieces seem to graze the skin, rather than feeling stiff or cumbersome. And, of course, modern graphics that reference everything from tribal artifacts like dreamcatchers and woven textiles to Art Deco-inspired mosaic prints, designs mirroring cosmic phenomena, and marbled, geometric, or color-blocked patterns with a Bohemian twist. Fusing urban, Bohemian, and surfer aesthetics, WKSHP pieces  function as conversation starters, anchoring any outfit.

For Fall/Winter 2011, WKSHP released such edgy, versatile pieces as the Art Deco Lace Top ($52 at ShopExcessBaggage.com), pictured at top, a semi-sheer, periwinkle blue top with neon cyan dots positioned in vertical rows, diamond shapes, and arrow formations that repeat constantly to create the illusion of a woven overlay. The extra soft tee, made of rayon, features a cropped cut to reveal just a hint of flesh along the waistline, a slouchy neckline that extends to the collarbones, and a rounded hemline with longer sides.

Those who prefer a warmer autumn color pattern will appreciate the Antique Delight Top ($52 at BoutiqueToYou.com), pictured second from top, which boasts a boxy shape with tux tailed hems at the side, wide sleeves, and a blueprint-like outline with mustard yellow and brick red box shapes adding some pop to the design. When paired with a maxi skirt and some booties, the Antique Delight Top feels like a modern treasure.

One of our favorite designs is the Queen Elizabeth tee ($54), pictured third from top, a boxy cropped tee that also features an uneven hem line and is adorned with a gradient lavender, purple, and lilac pattern  along the sides of the bodice and all over the wide sleeves. Along the sides of the tee, you’ll find mirror images of arched shapes that, at first glance, resemble floral petals or headdress shapes but, upon further inspection, conjure up images of the reticella lace shapes used to craft the ruffs of regal figures such as Queen Elizabeth I. Facing in opposite directions, the shapes are joined at the center by  a square shape formed with interlocking circles. Vines, meanwhile, undulate from the sides of these shapes, culminating in rosebuds.

Though most of the pieces in the collection consist of short-sleeved or sleeveless tops, a few sweatshirts were thrown into the mix — among them the WKSHP Thundercloud Hoodie ($69 at SaltAndSeaweed.com) pictured last above. Made of 96% rayon and 4% spandex, this lightweight sweatshirt features a slouchy hood with drawstring tabs, banded sleeves, and an asymmetrical cut that’s longer along the back and the front. A beige-tinge gray color, the hoodie features bright red triangle shapes arranged to create a larger, tribal-flavored pattern that’s whimsical and chic.

Look for WKSHP tees at Planet Blue, Free People, Wasteland, Fred Segal, ModCloth.com, Singer22.com,  and BoutiqueToYou.com.

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