Thursday, June 18, 2009

Urbanity, Technology and Primitives






Primitivism by its nature connotes a naivete, or lack of skills or knowledge as compared to a modern norm. Today's modernity is tomorrows primitive, simplistic childishness. The truth is modernity can only really go so far. The human body doesn't change its shape. Paradigms are altered by technologies and advancing materials. The great leap forward in leather came fast on the heals of the invention of the sewing machine. Before the collaborative efforts of the sewing machine, individuals had to make their own clothing. Sitting at home copying some European model of a dress or jacket, or inventing a pattern that fell nicely on the human physique the designs were intuitive and often involved practicality and issues like saving materials and keeping seams simple for ease of sewing.
With the 19th century spike of Jewish immigration to North America, people with tailoring as their skill set powered a drive that created the new technology of the zipper, sewing machine and other such innovations. This powered the engine of a commercial "schemata" business. A man or woman with many languages, a small apartment and a couple of machines could start designing and producing small lines of clothing for the waves of new immigrants and industry growing in North America. This was a golden time of innovation, where designs and ideas were discovered and helped create and standardize the roots of modern clothing. Just check out these primitive designs, there almost seems to be design progression in the clothing and its complexities.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Mysterious D-Pocket: Myths and Legends









The most amazing jackets I have seen over the years have a d shaped pocket on the front. This pocket configuration almost never shoes up on European jackets. I makes me wonder who came up with this design feature first? It shows up on the earliest jackets of the 30s. I asked the founder of a motorcycle jacket company about the "d pocket" and he referred to a jacket that he produced in the forties as having a curved patch pocket with a zipper, lol. Legend and common terms for this pocket often refer to it as a map pocket or a gun pocket. It often looks to have the perfect shape to hold a pistol, with a surface pocket to hold ammo. Others use map pocket implying that navigational papers might be stored there. The canvass jacket in the pictures is an actual WW 2 Japanese flight jacket with what was referred to as a "map" pocket. Patch pockets typically appeared on early jackets as a simple external pouch or wallet like device. Perhaps unique to North America the instinct to attach an external money pouch translated into the simple d pocket. What ever its origins, it is one of the coolest features of the North American Leather Jackets!