Recently, I’ve become obsessed with the label Casablanca and lusting after its ornate, painterly shirts. They’re rather like something you’d find in the party scene of a cult film: dense with shape and colour, like a canvas you can wear. I think I’m attracted to them because they are so chic and over the top. They are the exact opposite of what I’ve been wearing recently: you know, that stage of casual, just-out-of-lockdown dressing where shorts trump trousers and flip-flops trump hardback shoes. The Casablanca shirts transport you to somewhere less prosaic: a cinematic mise-en-scène that lights a fire beneath your imagination.
What makes the silk shirt perfect for this fantasy is that it’s synonymous with going out, at a time when going out still has a question mark over it. For men, this type of shirt will always be linked to either Manny Ribera from Scarface or Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. The latter’s famous montage of John Travolta getting dressed in his disco best is anchored by a silk shirt. The pattern on his is deliciously overblown (are they mountains or a marble effect you’d find in your auntie’s kitchen – who knows?), entirely befitting a historical fashion classic. I can’t think about the silk shirt without also reaching for Chelsea boots, flared corduroy trousers and something in velvet to top it off.
The shirt I’m wearing today isn’t quite silk, but its dreamy illustration is truly something to get lost in. The short sleeves align me with another unexpected men’s fashion inspo: Magnum PI. I pair it with indigo jeans and white trainers and I’m ready – if not for a travelogue, then for a staycationing flight of fancy.