2005 Broad-shouldered Military Jacket with Architectural Pleats
Size 48 (unmarked): Best for any size between an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S and an IT 50 - 40 Chest - M/L.
Raf Simons oversized field jacket from A/W 2005-2006 'History of My World'. In excellent used condition with minor fading. Made in Belgium.
A/W 2005 was one of Raf Simons's classic seasons, focusing on reworked military shapes that gave a dramatic dimension to the designer's razor-sharp tailoring. Besides looking comprehensively stellar, 'History of my World' was a turning point for the Raf Simons aesthetic; it marked the transition from layered, subculture-inspired streetwear (clothes for boys) to an impeccably tailored modernist vision (clothes for men). Tim Blanks writes:
'Simons expanded on his poignant, futuristic vocabulary, which embraces a radical new shape. The presentation [...] made its point with a baggy-trousered, cropped-jacket silhouette that focused attention on a loose, gathered waistline. A lot of the clothes had military or uniform connotations [that] rang a little sinister. But, like the shoulder and elbow pads on his Jacquard knits, they were surely just reflecting the essentially combative nature of Simons' designs. If you're not thinking about these clothes, they're not working.' (our emphasis)
Military outerwear has been a consistent point of reference for Simons's designs: On one hand, his early work often engages with and subverts depictions of discipline, masculinity and order - concepts closely tied to martial culture. On the other, he also appears to be interested in the ways the strict principles of formal uniforms are distorted when worn by young people, such as the teenagers that were casted as runway models during the early years of his career. Collier Schorr's 'Base Portraits/Barracks' photos from the Raf Simons Redux publication precisely capture this idea: a young man stoically wears an 'Eisenhower' jacket from WWII. Instead of creating an image of pristine masculinity as originally intended, the jacket's square proportions engulf his narrow frame, highlighting the appropriative act occurring when a slender-framed teen wears a garment from a bygone era that was created for someone possibly older and bigger. It is this nuanced and profound appreciation of the experience of youth that characterises many of Simons's creations.
Designed around the same time as the Collier Schorr photos, the jacket features a wide-shouldered cut that tapers considerably towards the waist for an innovative top-heavy silhouette reminiscent of vintage military uniforms. The design is inspired by mid-century military tunics and features a strong shirt-style collar, large patch pockets and a belt on the waist. Thoughtful details such as the symmetrically placed snap buttons on the collar and a zipped compartment on the top of the front placket create a thoroughly modern feel. At the back, beautifully executed pleats add further volume to the structured silhouette while subtly echoing the design's regimental origins. The result is a serious statement piece that combines traditional form with avant-garde experimentation.
The fabric is a robust cotton canvas with a rigid drape that complements the architectural construction. A horizontal seam defines the waist area on the front while defining the shape of the back, where a sharp inverse pleat flawlessly transforms into a single vent. While adding a strong point of visual interest, the knife pleats on the sides of the back have a bi-swing function that allows the arms to comfortably stretch forward. Similar inverse pleats decorate the front pockets, while knife pleats are placed symmetrically on the buttoned cuffs. Precise geometrical topstitching decorates the upper back. The matte gunmetal hardware complements the deep black fabric, while the interior is unlined. All interior seams have a flat fell construction, while the neck features Simons's signature metal pull chain.
A thoughtfully finished and beautifully constructed piece, this jacket is an enticing reminder as to why Simons is one of the most celebrated designers working nowadays. We strongly recommend it.