What better way to celebrate Vanguard Seattle’s March theme ‘A La Guerre’ than exploring fashion brought to us by the military? Military uniforms have inspired a lot of men’s clothing, from neckties to Doc Martens, not to mention camouflage and epaulettes, and these things continue to evolve with the generations.
One of the more popular items brought to us by the military is the peacoat. Although it comes and goes as trend, it is never fully out of style and should definitely be a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. It originated with European sailors and eventually was worn by American sailors. Peacoats are made out of heavy wool and are usually navy in color, which makes them easy to pair with most outfits. The Balenciaga Double-Breasted Caban Jacket is a great example of a peacoat that will withstand the trends to come. This peacoat is the perfect addition to a wardrobe that is a bit preppy. If you own a lot of blue and white stripes, it’s a must! Rick Owens strikes again with an amazing take on the classic peacoat. It is made out of lightweight wool, making it perfect for the spring in Seattle. The peacoat is elongated and has a slouchy, relaxed feel to it.
Peacoats aren’t the only outerwear brought to us by the military. Bomber jackets, which were originally called “Flight Jackets,” were created for pilots during World War I, when war airplanes didn’t have enclosed cockpits. The first bomber jackets were made of leather and lined with fur, then they transitioned to wool, and eventually to nylon. The great thing about current day bomber jackets is the amount of creative liberty that designers take with them to mold them into something different. Long gone are the sage green nylon jackets with blinding orange lining! For example, the Saint Laurent ‘Baby-Cat Print’ jacket takes a very traditional silhouette and adds their version of a leopard print. The simple alteration takes the garment to a new level, making the bomber jacket cooler than it has been for a few seasons. On the other end of the spectrum, Takahiromiyashita Thesoloist takes the sage green nylon bomber and reconstructs it. They took the bomber and gave it a layered look by introducing two new collars in different styles: one in a baseball style, and one in a deep U shaped scoop. On top of this, they’ve added wool felt panels. Last, but definitely not least Rick Owens has also created his version of the bomber. He took the regular bomber silhouette and elongated it to create a look that is a little punk and typical of his style.
Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer ‘Psych Rock’ collection is mostly 1970s hippie California, but is sprinkled with touches of military inspired jackets. Saying I’m obsessed would be putting it lightly. The black with red and gold accent jackets are reminiscent of the French military jackets you’d see in historical movies. Of course, being Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, they retain his signature rock aesthetic. These aren’t the military jackets of Les Miserables, but the military jackets of a band. After all, music and the military and revolutionaries and fashion are always playing off of each other, and these jackets nod to all of it at once, making them strong statement pieces. Wear them with the confidence they project and deserve.