‘Our white shirt is like the little black dress for women: an iconic must have’
Bourrienne Paris X sells eight styles of men’s shirt, inspired by the pioneering spirit of Les Incroyables
Charting the evolution of the humble white shirt from the 15th to the 20th century, Bourrienne Paris X is a distinctly unique outfitter for the 21st century. The label is based in the street-front space of Paris’ Hôtel Bourrienne in the 10th arrondissement – a building of the Directory period constructed in the late 1790s – and sells only one thing: shirts. And only eight different kinds.
The brainchild of hotel owner Charles Beigbeder and designer Cecile Faucheur, Bourrienne Paris X is a paean to the Incroyables; the pioneering thinkers and writers who frequented the hotel; the likes of Victor Hugo and Bonaparte who mused in the drawing rooms, clad in their white cottons.
These eight shirts are crafted with exactitude. The designs are woven in organic Californian and Egyptian cottons (two-ply poplin) and linens from Normandy (heavy and opaque), and span modern to classical shape and detail. Think officer or French collars, minimalist or pleated bibs, and hand-prepared gathered sleeves. Essential classics are available too, with each style approached with a clean, contemporary cut.
‘Our white shirt is like the little black dress for women: an iconic must have,’ Faucheur explains. As with the LBD, the key is in the fit. Whether you choose the I or II shirt – ‘the basics’, or the period-inspired VI with its spotted jacquard bib – you can choose between two fits. The ‘adjusted’ fit, as Faucheur explains is neither ‘straight, nor extra fitted, but somewhere in the middle’, while the ‘larger’ has a softer, longer shoulder line and length. The roman numeral you choose will largely depend on your capacity for romanticism – and there’s a shirt for every man on the scale. §