Boardroom Bombshell — These Button-Down Shirts Are More Than Meets The Eye!
It’s been a while since we’ve had a great trompe l’oeil moment in fashion — sure, it was cute when guys started sporting black T-shirts with screen-printed tuxedo graphics or, for that matter, when gals started rocking crewnecks printed with jeweled necklace motifs, but once these designs became ubiquitous, they lost the trickery element that made them special in the first place. Luckily, artist Scooter LaForge is infusing some humor and prankishness into the fashion realm through his novel take on trompe l’oeil designs — all the while questioning and disrupting social norms regarding work wear, propriety, and gender.
Teaming up with Patricia Field, La Forge created a capsule collection that features 100%up-cycled vintage dress shirts each bearing a hand-painted tie design. The “Working Girl” shirt ($120 at PatriciaField.com) features a striped fuchsia and magenta tie design created using acrylic fiber paint, each side of the tie seemingly dangling loosely as if it had just been draped around the neck. By adding folds to the tie, La Forge successfully created a sense of movement, while the addition of hand-painted shadows added depth and dimension. Like all the shirts in the Patricia Field x Scooter LaForge capsule collection, the “Working Girl” is a one-of-a-kind creation, and it’s available exclusively in a men’s size Large. If you’re on the teeny side (like me!), don’t sigh or moan — all the button-downs are meant to have a relaxed, oversize, borrowed-from-the-boys feel, and they can easily pass for shirt dresses! This design even comes with removable pearl and jewel brooches at the collar to give it a feminine twist.
Another must-have is the “My Boyfriend’s Bow-Tie Shirt” design ($120 at PatriciaField.com), pictured third above, which features a trompe l’oeil bow tie that drapes over a faux chest pocket containing a pack of cigarettes. The piece has this “morning after” vibe to it, as if the person wearing it had slept with a Don Draper type the previous evening, then snatched his shirt and bow tie — and his Lucky Strike cigs to boot!
The “Like A Boss” shirt ($120 at PatriciaField.com), pictured second from top, explores the same territory as the “My Boyfriend’s Bow-Tie Shirt” but the design was hand-painted on a black dress shirt as opposed to a standard white number, and this piece also features hand-painted matches that seem to float above the cigarette pack tucked into the chest pocket.
If you were always fascinated by Janelle Monae’s gender-bending style, her feminine take on tuxedos, wingtip oxfords, and bow ties, but you could never quite commit to rocking an actual tie, then this is a fun way to play with androgyny through your fashion game — and look like a #girlboss while doing it. And the fact that, form a distance, people might actually think you’re rocking a tie? That’s just a bonus, you mischievous mavens!