THE BOMBER JACKET
During WWI, most airplanes did not have closed cockpits so pilots needed to wear warm and resistant garments with quick-drying properties. When the U.S. Army officially established the Aviation Clothing Board in September 1917 it began distributing heavy-duty leather jackets with high wraparound collars, zipper closures, flaps, snug cuffs and waists, at times lined with fur. In the other words, the bomber jacket, more technically identified as the A-2, the G-1 and the MA-1, depending on the period. Who didn’t fall for a sexy bomber-clad Tom Cruise speeding around on his bike in Top Gun?
Stylishly landing on the catwalk, the likes of Gucci, Dior and Valentino have relaunched this icon of bygone times to buzzy effect. Reinventions served up in multiple variations on the theme – from ornate, as in splashed with floral patterns or delicately embellished with fluttering butterflies, to simple solid versions to leather and felt combos. A subcultural symbol worn by skinheads, punks and rockers, the bomber brims with a utilitarian chic allure becoming a must-have fall silhouette.