Camouflage print says a lot about a place. The way modern camouflage patterns and colors are developed is ingenious while being practical at the same time. According to our high-powered Internet research skills, Australian camouflage uses analyses from aerial photographs and interprets those photos into disruption patterns and colors to help conceal the wearer in any Australian terrain from bushland to jungle. We at Monster Vintage do not recommend trying to blend in to any environment using camouflage shirts, especially outside of their place of origin. These colors certainly would not work in Oregon! Click here to see more views and sizing information.
When you find a piece of clothing like this, you also find someone’s story. Sometimes, you also find how that story relates to history! In researching the place names on this jacket, I learned that Misawa, Japan was the starting point for the world’s first trans-Pacific flight. (Source: “Then and Now“) After World War II, it served as an Air Force Base and the Navy also had a presence there too. This jacket tells the story of someone called “Chi Chi”, who was in the 6920 Security Group for two years in the 1970’s. Looking at the patches and the embroidery, you get a better idea of this person’s hobbies and activities:
Whoever Chi Chi was, he loved sports: Basketball, baseball, and he was apparently from California. From the map on the back of the jacket, you can see how far to the north Misawa is: At the northern tip of the main island (Honshu) in the Aomori prefecture. The fleece lining on this jacket likely helped keep Chi Chi warm in the winter, as it can get pretty snowy in northern Honshu. Another way to warm up in this region of Japan is to visit an onsen (hot springs bath), but there’s no patch for that.
If you’re interested in history and souvenir jackets, please find more detail views of the other patches here.
New York Fashion Week seemed to breeze by this season with a quiet serenity. Maybe it’s due in part to our still-soggy economy. Perhaps the horrific death of Alexander McQueen added solemnity to the week. Whatever the reasons, we saw many a staple of the past, redefined a bit to reflect our current garment tastes. The New York Times caught wind of the resurrection of military inspired couture and recalled the flurry of designers who embedded a dose of field jackets, parkas, anoraks and camouflage print. Whether short bodied wool officer jackets or longer, khaki double-breasted trench coats, we’ve got an amazing array of authentic vintage military gear. As popular as epaulets, gusseted cuffs and field patches are these days, you’re bound to find a garment that fits your rank.
This little baby is AMAZING, especially given my affinity for military and marching band jackets. She’s designer, and from the 80’s and dripping with GOLD! And padded, embellished shoulders? Come ON! So fresh and modern still, considering that Philip Lim, Balmain and Marc Jacobs have all done reworked military jackets in recent years. It’s very “In loving memory of Michael Jackson,” dontcha think?
The price tag for this baby is pushing $500, which is still less than it’s modern designer counterparts and a very lovely find!
xoxo, Sally “Forward March” Mulligan