Object Lesson: White Noise

There are few things in fashion than can be improved upon. For guys, a crisp white shirt ranks high on the list of items not to be messed with. Perhaps right up there with the pea-coat and desert boots. You know, if it ain't broke... But international design collective Surface to Air has a different perspective on the basics, or, in fashion terms, the Classics. Rooted in reinvention, their vantage point is always unexpected, enlightening, and refreshingly left-of-field. But the result is always a minor revelation, and in menswear, that really says something.
Case in point is their latest creation, The white Vent Shirt, a timeless oxford that's been unconventionally overhauled, yielding an altogether smart and successful fusion of sportswear, outerwear, and formalwear. From the front, it's a finely tuned button-down; from the rear, it resembles the shape and structure of a windbreaker with a detached panel that adorns both front and back. The result is as pleasing as it is functional, giving this piece a new-found breathability that's more than welcome when the city steams up. Aerodynamic and of-the-moment, this piece represents a sartorial nod to the future—which is definitely a 12 on our Beaufort scale.
Surface to Air "Vent Shirt" shirt, $158, is available at Odin, 199 Lafayette Street, New York City, 212-966-0026.
Surface to Air writes the book on a brand-new classic.