07 Apr 2014 No Comments
This winter and spring I have seen at least every other in the streets wearing a parka coat. Parka is classic coat type and belongs to garments, what have always their state in the wardrobe. This parka trend started in fall 2011 and now it has really shown in the streets of Helsinki, as parkas have been on a sale on many cloth business chains for many years.
Short history of parka coats
Parka coats were originally invented by Caribou Inuits, who live in the Northern parts of Canada. Coat type was developed and used by military of USA in 1940′s – 1970′s. Fishtail parkas were developed to the Korean War in 1948. The name fishtail comes from the fact, that the coat is shaped like a fishtail at the back. Fishtails could be tied around the upper legs to make them be in warm or folded up by using snap connectors to enable the moves needed during the combat. Parkas were designed to be “core” coats, what are alone insufficient to protect against dry cold. They were to be worn with other layers of clothing and that’s why parkas are big at their size.
In 1960′s parkas became the iconic clothes for mod subculture in UK, because they were excellent to protect smarter clothes under the parka from dirt, when mods drove with their scooters. Parkas were cheap and there were a lot of them on sale in army surplus shops (Wikipedia.org/Parka).
Parka coats had big presence on fall 2011 runways, for example Rag & Bone, Altuzarra, Jean Paul Gaultier, Philip Lim, Jason Wu, Mulberry and Alexander Wang presented their versions for spring 2012. Parka trend continued on fall 2012 and become the most trendiest coat for men for winter 2012/2013. On fall 2013 parka coats were presented by Just Cavalli and Tommy Hilfiger. Trend continued every year and became a huge trend – and this spring’s most hottest coat is parka. That trend shows, parka coats are everywhere in Helsinki now.
Designed parkas has been called luxe parkas. Trendy detail in parkas has been leather sleeves after another coat trend of last years, black woollen material with black leather sleeves. Above left in the picture there’s one example of leather sleeve parka without specified brand told taken from Ebay. There’s always lots of ribbons hanging from parka coats, because of the tightening possibilities and history of the coat told before. On the right picture above there’s my leather parka, where I used shoe laces as ribbons on waist and hem, because they last in use and have clean ends.
My leather parka
I made this leather parka with same pattern as I did brocade parka for ethical collection with wool lining. There’s very different starting point for designing into Natja K. Ethical Collection F/W 2014/2015 than trends, but for brocade parka there was parka trend on it’s part behind the design decisions. I’m still working for the collection and let’s say that it is “Slow Design” among Slow Movement, because I have done a lot of more urgent things during last months. The clothes made of remnants take multiply time to do than clothes made of normal pieces and I have made of it also a bit stressful challenge to myself. Slow Movement advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down a life’s pace and it is good to remember when I’m working – and not all the time to the collection, but for something else.
Above in the picture there’s the additional materials for the coat, bought mostly from Eurokangas and Stockmann. On the right there’s parts of the star shoe laces, what I bought a couple of years ago to use for details in clothes from Milan. I used them as ribbon of the hood and I had to add a piece of another ribbon between them, because there was only those snippets left. I used also broken recycled zipper for details on coat’s sleeves.
I’m very satisfied for the result. Leather coat lasts a lot of use staying clean. This parka is neat enough for using it to client meetings at falls and springs. The coat is definitely very me, black leather with zipper details and green leopard lining.