Monday, 5 January 2015

The Staple: Very Good, Parka


As January dawns, the thoughts of people working in the fashions turn to the upcoming 2-3 months of shows, presentations, catwalks, parties and relentless travel. It's a tough job (no, srsly), and I'm sure there'll be all sorts of thrills and spills across social media and various ritzy locations as the next few months unfurl.

However, January signals two things for most people: 1) it gets very cold and 2) everyone is very poor. Sadly I can't offer any tips on fixing the latter, but for me, every year I return to this jacket for some reason. (aside: January is also my birthday)

I've been in London for, well, this is my 13th year here. So some time. And despite gaining and losing more items of clothing, friends, drinks, colleagues and books, this parka seems to have stuck with me. I bought it as a first year student, living in Max Rayne House on Camden Road (typing those words does indeed take me back). On my walk back from the bus from uni, there was a vintage shop, just by Camden Rd station - now long gone - where I spunked most of my student loan on American college Ts, scratchy cardigans and 1970s kipper ties. And this very parka was a January purchase there.

Why a parka? Well dear readers, I have a confession: I was a noughties indie kid. I went to indie discos across Camden, I loved Trash at the End, I partied at student unions, I was obsessed with the Libertines. It was a fun time. And I must've seen it in NME or read about it in the Face or something, but parkas were cool. I bet Graham Coxon had one. Anyway, I picked this up for about £35, and it was pretty knackered at the time. I wore it relentlessly (with self-ripped and patched bootcut jeans, Puma Roma and a vintage BA flight bag *don't judge, it was 2003*), patched it up, and never quite got around to chucking it out.

Partly because it's so damn warm; it's like wearing a duvet, and it's got those hand-warmy pockets on the chest that are uber-toasty. And partly because, well this is real life. Not sure if you've picked this up from the blog along the way, but I don't go around wearing custom-made Valentino couture, or incredibly rare Miyake samples from 1983. Well, not *that* often anyway. 

I've grown to love this parka, there's something refreshingly honest about it - I love the terrible fake fur on the hood, the bobbled hood, the faded orange lining...it's not trying to be ridiculous, and it does its job well. It's the kind of jacket you can pull on over a T to face a cold winter's night, stuff behind a speaker and party til dawn, and then retrieve and wrap yourself up in it, safe in the knowledge that it's done its job. And yes, I have tested that theory - though not enough recently.

Back to January's shows though, and will I wear it to LCM? Probably not. It's practical for cold tube platforms, and like my walking gear at my parents in the Lakes, knows its place. But then, who knows - this parka has been to stranger places before.

(with apologies for the terrible photo - amazingly there is not a photo in existence in the history of Facebook of me actually wearing this. Oh and also, hope some of you get the Thunderbirds ref in the title...)

***UPDATE*** Turns out I've written about this damn parka before. Ah well, enjoy the update and any inconsistencies in the story. The original post is here.

1 comment:

Matthew Pike said...

Graham Coxon defo had one, that and a stripe tee, brown cords and a pair of Green Flash. I remember it well.

Buckets & Spades