Sunday, December 06, 2009

Equipment shirts by Christian Restoin

I’ve just heard that the cult shirt label Equipment is to be revived for next season. The line has serious style credentials: it’s owned by Carine Roitfeld's partner Christian Restoin. (The couple met when Carine called in some Equipment pieces for a shoot.) It was because of Carine that Restoin shut the label: when she was appointed editor-in-chief of French Vogue in 2001 he decided to concentrate on Carine’s career.

When I first worked at Vogue House in the late 90s, it seemed as though every woman had an Equipment shirt in her wardrobe. Sold at Harvey Nichols and at their eponymous Sloane Street store, the shirts were made of silk, washed, knitted or satin and came in two cuts, loose or slim.

Throughout the nineties they were a wardrobe staple – the Princess of Wales wore them, and they were regularly featured in editorial. They weren’t cheap: I think the average shirt cost about £150 ten years ago.

Packed away somewhere I still have my military styled skinny fit black silk knit Equipment shirt, with a central placket, white buttons and shoulder straps, which I used to wear with black cotton & Lycra Joseph trousers and high heeled ankle boots. My mother was a huge fan too and she’s selling a fabulous silk leopard print one here on eBay at the moment.

Equipment leopard shirt