31 Ways of Looking at a White T-shirt

31 Ways of Looking at a White T-shirt

In fashion, there are certain staples that never go out of style--a pair of straight-leg jeans, a navy blazer, black heels, a little black dress.

And, of course, there's the plain white T-shirt.

It's clean and classic and something a lot of us live in, whether we wear it alone or as a layer or on a Saturday or to sleep in. In everyday style, it's a blank canvas on which we can base an ensemble. Chances are, you've transformed one to fit your personal style.

The artists behind the Project White T-shirt have transformed 31 white T-shirts into pieces of art, together making a statement about how we can both be individuals and a connected society with the clothing we wear.

Curated by Triple-Major, Project White T-shirt is a traveling art exhibition featuring deconstructed, repurposed and reimagined white T-shirts from 31 international designers. Each of the pieces in the show are being auctioned at the project's Web site; all of the auction proceeds will go to Designers Against AIDS, a nonprofit group dedicated to raising AIDS awareness in international media and toward the general public via elements from pop culture.

It's also, according to project coordinators, "an evolution": "For decades, a T-shirt has been a functional article that covers the torso. But how will it evolve? What will the process of evolution create? Project White T-Shirt challenges dominant notions of fashion and draws the connection between different forms of art. Its goal is to expand possibilities and creativity through the most basic article of clothing: the white T-shirt."

Designers creations address the inherent artistry in fashion by allowing the clothing to "transcend the limits of clothing as form." Today, we're taking a look at five of the pieces in the exhibition, which will be on display in June at Wut Berlin in Tokyo. Accompanying the looks are palettes from COLOURlovers' own White group, whose members create color schemes with one of the most versatile colors.



Anntian designers Anne Hilken and Christian Kurt, inspired by half-man-half-horse centaurs, turned the idea of human-style clothing for animals on its head by creating a T-shirt for a horse that could also be worn by humans.

[bruno Pieters]


bruno Pieters, the creative director for Hugo Boss' Hugo line, applied his trademark layered organza to a traditionally structured T-shirt to addnew texture.

[Complex Geometries]


Complex Geometries' Clayton Evans, no stranger to creating basic pieces that can be worn multiple ways, created two connected T-shirts to highlight the white T-shirt's ability to connect different cultures.

[Doktor Doktor]


Doktor Doktor's Unni Håkansson and Andreas Andersson combined their initial concepts--pyramid studs and the Michelin mascot--into a single marshmallow-covered piece. Too heavy to actually wear, the T-shirt is "a symbol of the price you pay for good taste."

[Slow and Steady Wins the Race]


New York's Slow and Steady Wins the Race offered a set of three T-shirt pillows, each showcasing the shirts' collars, sleeves and material. Both the T-shirts and the pillow forms offer support and comfort, inspired by the project's support of Designers Against AIDS.



Curator Triple-Major's T-shirt, with traditional Chinese sleeves, has various snaps and zippers, allowing the shirt to be worn a number of different ways--and allowing it to live up to its name, the "Confu-shirt," or "A Confusing Shirt for Confucius."

What would you do with a white T-shirt? Would you add color? Would you use only shades of white? Find more inspiration in palettes from members at large, and leave your ideas in the comments below.





Header by Pelican Avenue for Project White T-Shirt.

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 Comments
White is a tricky colour to use, but this is a really good demonstration of it! I love white t-shirts!
Ah, a white shirt. What a great project.

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