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MWD: ICONS OF OUTERWEAR

24.02.15

Each season, Reiss men's design team are inspired by many diverse points of reference, reaching both backwards into the past and forwards into the future to create pieces which feel perfectly relevant for the modern man. In this week's Menswear Diaries, discover how icons of outerwear have influenced our SS15 men's coats and jackets.

THE MAC

Renowned for its unrivalled rain repelling properties, it comes as no surprise that the mac was conceived in the rain beleaguered British Isles. The garment is a triumph of style and practical design and continues to offer its wearer the fusion of solid sartorial credentials and peerless practicality.

Though today’s iteration of this menswear classic may seem as though it sprung from necessity perfectly formed, the road to creating the mac was one paved with many challenges. First conceived by Charles Macintosh in the early 19th century, the earliest versions of this design combined a wool fabric with a melted rubber solution, giving rise to the world’s very first waterproof fabric.

While this fulfilled the basic requirements of Charles Macintosh’s vision, the solution’s odour and reaction with the underlying fabric meant that the original coat lacked longevity and was far from ideal to wear.

Fast forward some 150 years - by way of the utilisation of rubber vulcanisation - and the mac became not only extremely useful for its wearers, but impressively natty too – a fact attested to by its presence in the wardrobes of both the most stylish and practical of men.

ON REISS

For us, the mac’s charm lies in its sheer simplicity. That means for SS15, the Earlsworth bright blue mac stays largely true to all the things so appealing about the original design. That’s not to say however that our design team haven’t been inspired to give this classic a contemporary new spin. Realised in bright blue, the Earlsworth mac’s searing colour lends a bold new aesthetic, while a concealed button placket offers a clean, minimal finish.

THE BIKER JACKET

Whereas the bomber jacket's sense of sartorial rebellion is distinctly youthful, the biker jacket has long been associated with a more rugged brand of anarchy. Gracing the backs of motorcyclists, punks and rockstars alike, the jacket's appeal is undoubtedly multi-fold.

The jacket's origin can be traced back to early 20th century America, where leather manufacturer Irving Schott was asked to devise a jacket which would enable bikers to withstand both biting winds and precarious falls. The resulting garment is menswear history and continues to spawn iteration after iteration.

Part of the biker jacket's success lies in its ability to look just as good beaten up as it does freshly pristine. Therefore, it's no surprise that the leather biker jacket has become a sartorial stalwart for generations of stylish men.

ON REISS

Prizing luxury as well as utility, in the Montebello black leather biker jacket Reiss' design team have fused the shape of the garment with a luxurious fabrication. For a modern sensibility, the jacket's sleeves are cut from softer leather, while sizing proportions have been slimmed down for a leaner aesthetic.

THE BOMBER JACKET

The bomber jacket is beloved for its ability to bestow youthful cool onto its wearer, and although adopted as a marker of rebellious youth by successive generations, the design’s origins in fact lie in the history of aviation.

Created for wear by the US air force and navy pilots, the style has practicality woven in to its DNA. Widely considered as the definitive version of the bomber jacket, the MA-1 is still worn today by style aficionados. Instantly recognisable thanks to its nylon green outer and orange lining, the garment is characterised by its zip sleeve pocket and ribbed sleeve cuffs and hem.

Though designed with function in mind (the original jacket had to withstand high altitude temperatures), the bomber has transcended utilitarian origins to become a beacon of off-duty style.

ON REISS

In the Cannes cobalt blue bomber jacket the Reiss menswear design team have taken the garment's core design ethos and reworked it into a youthful yet sophisticated SS15 staple. Features such as the garment's sleeve pocket have been forgone to leave in their wake a pared-back design which feels relevant for right now.

Discover Reiss SS15 coats and jackets