Thursday, 23 July 2009

Brioni and the RCA: The Travel Jacket

The Travel jacket reimagined. Robert Huth's winning design was judged to have best expressed Brioni excellence.

Regular readers will know that I have something of a soft spot for student design competitions (the CSM's 1960s film challenge anyone?), so I am kicking myself that the second year partnership between Brioni and RCA passed me by until now. To be honest with you, if it hadn't been for a quick visit to Wallpaper this morning, I would no doubt still be in the dark about the partnership and I'm amazed that barely any blogs picked up on it all. (were the happenings in Milan really that interesting?). Last year the fledgling designers took the iconic tuxedo to task and this time round it was the turn of the travelling jacket.

In 1968 Brioni created the first travel jacket for a wealthy Californian globetrotter who commissioned a bespoke piece of outerwear for his countless adventures. This original and innovative garment was made with sixteen pockets and compartments to store a variety of essential items of gentleman’s travel equipment: a compass, plane tickets and passport, as well as cigars, watch and wallet. The jacket soon became an iconic garment for Brioni and this unique jacket has since become a staple fixture in the menswear collections. Forty one years after the first jacket was produced, awards were recently presented to the twelve students from the Royal College of Art for the travel jackets they have designed and created. The students have interpreted and created their own travel jackets, with garments that reflect the concepts of sartorial skill, creativity and stylistic innovation, below are a few of my favourite efforts...

Alan Bennett's design hides all the pockets on the outside of the jacket, using concertina folds achieving a tidy practicality. The jacket also incorporates a rolled-up towel into the collar. How many times have you been away and longed for a clean towel?

Justifiably, Astrid Anderson's design (above) won the Creativity Award. Her creation was inspired by sportswear jackets from her native Denmark and I just can't stop looking at it!

Hanna Ter Meulen’s design was not awarded any prizes but it is still one of my favourites. I remember reading Hanna's diary on The Moment back in February but for some reason this whole project still managed to pass me by. With a cape hidden behind the collar, this design was intended to be as comfortable as possible for running through airports. Having travelled myself a fair bit over the last few months, I longingly look at some of these designs and see that my own wardrobe offerings are somewhat lacking...pockets, I need more pockets!


Barima said...

It's always a disappointment to be aware of an interesting thing after the fact, but at least you're sharing that disappointment with the world ;)

Christianna Ibikunle's idea was what I wished for some of the recent Junya Watanabe jackets that reversed from sportcoats to Baracuta Harringtons, nylon Levi's jackets, blousons and waistcoated versions - that the other side could be detachable. Nevertheless, that collection represents Brioni's mandate perfectly, and for all we know, possibly inspired it with its inside-out travellers theme

I really like Alan Bennett's entry and hope that an accomplished future awaits him

I also noticed that I've merited status as a Style Salvage Approved Blog - cheers!

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