2004 Sculptural Blouson with Cargo Pockets and 'Shipwreck' Lining
Size 48 (slightly oversized): Best for any size between an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S and a slim IT 50 - 40 Chest - M/L.
Raf Simons Harrington jacket with printed lining from A/W 2004-2005 'Waves'. In excellent used condition. Made in Belgium.
The A/W 2004 'Waves' collection was a bold step forward for Raf Simons menswear. On one hand there was sportswear inspired by contemporary Belgian youth: Nylon jackets, washed jeans, patterned sweaters and hooded parkas evoked images of high school backyards and local raves. On the other, an element of sinister dandyism was apparent in the form of long strong-shouldered outerwear paired with form-fitting rubber jumpsuits. Many the garments' proportions were distorted extensively to create entirely new silhouettes that revealled a new awareness of form for the designer. In the words of Jo Ann Furniss, 'the obsessive youth culture codes of [Simons's] past were turned into clothes that were purely about shape and form.' Peter De Potter explains the collection's conceptual basis:
'The collection explores the idea of conscious confinement and wilful enclosure. Again starting with the concept of an imaginary community outside of regulated society, the whole of the collection evokes the feeling of enlightenment and personal enrichment one can find in extreme but self-chosen isolation. The collection references at random various drop-out cultures that are conceived as likeminded tribes but when examined closely, are in fact gatherings of individuals seeking self-fulfilment through lonely practice. Wave cultures, cultures of rave waves and ocean waves. Eyes closed, alone with music, living only inside music, happily disappearing into the vortex of sounds and emotions. Arms wide open, alone with nature, taking to the sea, drifting away from the shore, fully realising the only options are drowning or surviving.'
This beautiful blouson is indicative of the collection's sophisticated take on everyday streetwear, where mundane designs were transformed to thoroughly modern garments. Based on the classic Harrington jacket the blouson features an elastic waistband, a concealed zipper closure and a large buttoned point collar that can stand up. The cut is slightly oversized, with soft shoulders and fitted elongated sleeves. The front is embellished with an assortment of cargo pockets in different shapes and sizes that create an aggressively layered appearance. The look is strongly complemented by a unique double-faced cotton fabric with a compact structure and a cushioned drape that creates a strong, sculptural silhouette.
The interior -fully lined in black viscose satin- is adorned with a patch featuring an excerpt by Jose Ortega y Gasset from his 1932 essay In Search of Goethe from Within (Pidiendo un Goethe Desde Dentro) accompanied by depictions of an iceberg and Battersea Power Station. The excerpt reads:
'Life is, in itself and forever, shipwreck. To be shipwrecked is not to drown. The poor human being, feeling himself sinking into the abyss, moves his arms to keep afloat. This movement of the arms which is his reaction against his own destruction is culture - a swimming stroke…' (original emphases)
An abundance of avant-garde details add further layers of sophistication to the narrative of the piece: Irregularly-placed buffalo horn buttons in a tonal blue colour disrupt the clean surface of the front placket, while rectangular flaps underneath it add subtle points of interest that are revealed when the jacket is open. The elastic waistband is hand-gathered to give it a ruched appearance. In addition to the pockets on the front, two invisible large pockets are discreetly placed along the side seams. The cuffs are finished with militaristic buttoned tabs. Finally the interior has a single chest pocket and a large pull chain is found on the neck.
A beautiful piece that encapsultes Raf Simons's ingenius streetwear, this jacket is a testament to Simons's reputation as one of the foremost designers of his generation. On such rare occasions, distinctions between fashion and high art seem entirely out-of-place. While being highly collectable and extremely hard to find, it is rather easy to wear and would complement a variety of outfits. Strongly reccomended.