Some silky rayon to counteract all the expedition cloth, this shirt was offered Fall/Holiday ’86-’87, variously in khaki, ivory, wine, black and sage.
This shirt is discussed (but not named) by Patrica Ziegler in the Wild Company memoir. “Whenever we passed through Paris, a must-stop was the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt—officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen but known to everyone as Les Puces (the Fleas). There we found a shirt of cool blue. The two patch pockets, cuffs, and collar were handstitched at the edges. It draped over my arm like fine silk. I checked the label: men’s S, cotton and rayon, made in the U.S.A. Not natural, not French, but we bought it anyway. I wore it out to dinner that night with my Serengeti Skirt, feeling a bit of a traitor to my natural-fiber credo, but I was smitten. “So make it in cotton,” Mel said. “Won’t drape the same,” I answered glumly. “Well, what is rayon anyway?” and he looked it up. Turns out, rayon is a seminatural fiber manufactured from cellulose. That was enough to ease my conscience.”
From the catalogue: “The woman in the fedora leaned conspiratorially across the little table. “You must remember this,” she whispered. (Actually, she said “zis.”) “A shirt is just a shirt. You put it on one arm at a time, n’est-ce-pas? And you button it up ze front, comme ca. But zis shirt–ahhh.” She smiled her world-weary smile and trailed carmine fingertips over the silky rayon twill of her sleeve. “Zis is not only a shirt. It is a rendezvous on ze Orient Express, a Piaf song in a smoky little boite, a border crossing at midnight…with no documents. Vous savez?” We savvied. And thought, privately, that it’s also a shirt that makes a woman look capable of picking up the tab at Tour d’Argent. Which is just what we let her do.”
Pictures below from a September 2020 ebay auction.
Black version courtesy Julie Higginbotham