Japanese Souvenir Jacket
Kimonos have come and gone but I have a feeling Japanese Souvenir Jackets are forever.
These collectible articles originated in WW2 when American soldiers wanted to adorn their service jackets with traditional and ornate embroidery, to serve as a memento for their wives and children. Thus a piece like this doesn’t only resinate attachments to Japan and the beauty that the country inspires but it is also reminiscent of America and the 40’s. These days however, you’ll see pieces such as these painted all over the streets of New York.
The endless potential for Japanese souvenir jackets has driven designers such as Isabel Marant, Philip Lim and Valentino to reinvent the traditional statement piece. Countless variations of this same idea exist, differentiated by cut, length, weight and embroidery styles. They’re satin, embroidered, reversible and quite frankly, cool as all hell. I personally acquired one earlier this year and it’s been such a game changer. Perfect over a slinky dress or for exaggerating an oversized, layered outfit.
One of the things I love most about the Japanese souvenir jackets is the conjunction of masculine and feminine traits. Colours pink and cream are often present and balance the baggy, ill-fitting, boyfriend like quality. Which makes it so much easier to transition between the classic NY jeans and t-shirt ensemble to any vintage, sheer or modest dress. My advice, if you’re drawn to girly charm, is to pair it with 40’s styled dresses to heighten it’s ties to WW2.
Blogger, 4th and Bleeker is repping it constantly, and appears to have accumulated quite the collection. Your best bet at finding one is online, as they’re scattered all over the world, unless you want to go hunting for it in the flesh on your next OS trip – chances are you’ll find one.