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The world of fashion is changeable, but history knows examples when wardrobe items were at their peak of popularity for several decades. We tried to understand the history of the iconic outerwear and understand why some models are still in demand among fashionistas.
Snorkel Park, N-3B Park, or Alaska is the most popular outerwear of the 20th century. In the 50s of the last century, American designers of military equipment created a versatile jacket that protects from cold and bad weather. The prototype of the snorkel park was the traditional Eskimo clothing, which was sewn from skins and impregnated with fish oil.
Alaska had a bell-shaped silhouette, which was determined by the military origin of clothing - it had to be worn over the uniform. The system of sewn-in elastic bands made it possible to adjust the length of the sleeves and the width of the jacket depending on the weather. The addition of "snorkel" (translated from English: "tube") of the park was due to the shape of the hood - in the buttoned form, it protected the face, completely covering it from rain and snow. They sewed clothes from nylon, but over time, cotton with the addition of nylon threads began to be used for production.
In the 1970s, massive sales of N-3B parks began, and then the era of Alaska's popularity began. Clothing makers experimented with detail and color, but the silhouette remained unchanged. The top of the snorkel park was usually made of thick nylon, and the lining on a thick padding polyester was complemented by a large faux fur collar. The ability to keep warm, cheapness and practicality made the park popular. Its popularity waned a bit in the 1980s - due to its availability, Alaska began to be perceived as clothing for the poor, but at the beginning of the 21st century, it returned to stores and to the catwalks.
Polina Ukhanova, head of the exhibition department at the Fashion Museum IEC, believes that Alaska is out of fashion today. They are comfortable, versatile and perfect for both men and women., - the fashion researcher is convinced.
Real biker clothes
The biker jacket, known as the uniform of rockers and motorcyclists, appeared in the late 1920s. The first jacket was officially presented by the American company Shott NYC in 1928, its designer is one of the founding brothers of the company, Irving Schott. In honor of the brand of his favorite cigarettes, he named the model perfecto - in English-speaking countries, the leather jacket is still called that.
Crafted from sturdy, thick leather with a tapered waist, long sleeves, a pleat in the back for free movement and a zip that runs from the left hip to the right shoulder, it has become one of the iconic pieces of outerwear.
The jacket was originally designed for motorcyclists, but the Shott brothers' regular customers included both pilots and police officers. In the 50s, cinematography added to the popularity of the leather jacket. At this time, several films were released at once, where the main characters - bikers and hooligans, performed by the famous Marlon Brando and James Dean, appeared in leather jackets. Clothing immediately became a must-have for rioters and motorcyclists.
Having consolidated its position among fans of cinema, the leather jacket has penetrated into the wardrobes of the musicians. After the appearance of Elvis Presley in a leather jacket, his fans around the world rushed to buy outerwear with a slanting zipper. And then the musicians Kiss, Sex Pistols, Ramones and Depeche Mode also liked the thick leather jacket.
From a classic men's outerwear, the biker jacket has evolved into an item popular with both sexes. Designers continue to come up with different variations of the jacket: they add various details in the form of pockets, fringes, rivets and locks, play with color and cut. But the basic shape of the leather jacket remains unchanged - as it was created almost a hundred years ago.
Jacket for pilots and more
Another iconic jacket that has gone down in fashion history is the bomber jacket. Alpha jacket, flight jacket, bomber jacket - as soon as they did not name the flight jacket, created by order for the pilots of the US Air Force during the First World War.
The windproof jacket became a salvation for the pilots - the arrangement of the cockpits of combat aircraft did not imply the presence of protective glass.
The first mass production of this outerwear was launched in 1926 by Briton Leslie Irwin: a thick leather Irvin Jacket with a lining of sheared sheepskin was fastened with a zipper, pulled with a belt at the waist and had a turn-down collar.
The Americans also developed their own models of bombers: along with warm sheepskin jackets, they released summer, non-insulated, options with pockets and silk, and then cotton lining. By tradition, American pilots applied various designs to their clothes or sewn on insignia - chevrons, squadron emblems.
With the development of aviation, the need for warm protective jackets has disappeared, and bombers have lost their fur lining and collar, they began to be made from lightweight materials - nylon and polyester.
In the 1950s, the jacket had a bright orange lining to make it easier to find the pilot on the ground. Gradually, clothing migrated from the military environment to civilian. The 1965 appearance of Frank Sinatra as an American bomber pilot was the best advertisement for the jacket, but it gained particular popularity among young people with radical views - the garment became the hallmark of football fans and skinheads.
The fashion for military style at the end of the first decade of the 21st century brought the bomber jacket to the catwalk and made it a permanent participant in the collections of luxury brands. At the same time, female models of jackets appeared. Clothes, once created for pilots, have become an element of everyday style and entered the wardrobe of modern fashionistas.
Denim jacket, or denim jacket, is the invention of Levi Strauss, which was originally only the result of altering worn denim pants. The first denim jackets, which appeared in 1910, looked like blouses with one chest pocket and a belt loop for adjusting the width. The denim jacket acquired its familiar look for a modern person in a couple of decades - the jacket has a second pocket and the Levi’s trademark red label.
But Levi Strauss wasn't the only one who wrote the denim story. In 1921, rival company Lee released their outerwear model, the Lee Loco Jacket, designed specifically for railroad workers. The popularity of their jacket came 12 years later, when the company also developed a warmed version, with a woolen lining and a velvet collar.
In the 50s and 60s, this model was in great demand among celebrities - the jacket was worn by Marilyn Monroe and Steve McQueen. Following Lee's success, Levi's have refined their jeans again. The company released the Trucker Jacket with pointed top pockets and added lower ones on the sides.
In the post-war period, the jacket strengthened its position due to its low cost, practicality and wear resistance, and the appearance of Elvis Presley and James Dean in denim jackets at concerts and movie screens added to the clothing popularity among young people.
Today, the denim jacket has become a versatile wardrobe item. Levi’s and Lee are still the denim influencers, with Levi’s Trucker Jacket and Lee’s Storm Rider still the most popular.