Ask any stylist, question any fashionista and demand an opinion from any designer: for sure, the white shirt is on everybody’s essential list for a stylish wardrobe. And when I came across a brand which has only white shirts in its offer (beautiful and carefully crafted from cotton), like these British designers do at in-grid, I couldn’t resist finding out some more.
“We are in-grid and we make white shirts for women made in England. Our story started a few years ago when my partner Adam and I discovered that we both had an interest in functional and simple design. Our conversations turned into samples and after time in-grid”, say Katie Timothy who is, with Adam Barclay, partners of in-grid, a collaboration of their talents in tailoring and graphic design. Their project is simply beautiful. Or simple, yet very beautiful! Because on www.in-grid.co there are a lot of white shirts. Just shirts, just white, but with delicate and minimal details which transform every one of them in something different and special, different buttons and interesting slits, with cuts reminding of summer breeze or the northern forests… My quest of finding a favorite one was hard, indeed. Therefore, between busy days on Christmas and work on their new website look www.in-grid.co (with an on-line shop included, hurray!), Katie Timothy and Adam Barclay told me the story of the… “white shirts only” brand.
Why only shirts?
There were two things that were very important to us when starting a brand. Firstly, we wanted to make our product from design to production in the UK. And secondly we wanted to focus on a single product in order to develop and perfect this product so it was the best it could be. Adam and I share a love of detail driven design and white shirts through a process became the perfect canvas to work from and practice those details.
It’s hard to work as a “creative duo”? How do you manage to be, always, on “the same page”, concerning the designs, the collection, everything else?
Through trust. It is important to trust your partner in a “creative duo” and to allow each other to run with their ideas in every sense of the business. It is also important to take criticism and to listen to your partners view point. All lessons that we have had to learn ourselves throughout this process.
How long did it take you to put a collection all together? And what was the hardest thing to accomplish?
The design process took us a year. We wanted to take our time and really develop our product. To work on our idea, then the cut, to the design details and fabric choices. I would say the hardest part of this process was to stop and trust our design decisions, and be confident that what we had created was right.
What is your favorite piece from this collection? Why?
(Katie) My personal favorite at the moment is the V Neck Kimono Shirt. It takes you from dawn through to dusk and I always feel comfortable in it. I do find this changes for me however depending on the weather, what I’m doing or my mood! That’s the beauty of a white shirt.
What inspires you when you think to design a new piece?
Like I said, we are detail driven. This sums our process up rather well. We always get excited about the smallest and most intricate part of a shirt, we then begin to build our cotton walls around this detail.
Practical exercise: propose a styling starting with one of your shirts for…
A opera concert – the Simple shirt tucked into a high waisted full length ballerina skirt.
A black tie event – the Rounded Collar shirt with a boyfriend jacket and cigarette trousers.
A pop concert – the T Shirt with your favorite pair of jeans.
A wedding – the Tunic Shirt with a pair of brightly collared cropped trousers.
A cocktail event – an oversized Long Shirt worn as a dress.
Your all times favorite designer is… Kenya Hara.
Your shopping secret address? Black in Copenhagen.
Your favorite city for inspiration? Well it’s not a city but we find a lot of joy in traveling round the Lake District, Cumbria, England.
Your fashion icon? Marlene Dietrich as she knew how to rock a white shirt!
Your favorite look including a white shirt? A white shirt paired with Navy suite trousers styled with your favorite coat and trainers. Simple.
in-grid, White shirts for women, Made in England, www.in-grid.co, Instagram @in_grid_studio
Photography: Anton Rodriguez, Adam Barclay