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An icon reimagined. The story of the Parka.

Parka London in Conversation

Words by Parka London
Photography by Daniel Benson and Liam Bream
CATEGORY - IN Conversation
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Protect, shelter, function, utility, military, fur lined and stylish, all make up the core of why the Parka exists and how for centuries it has been reimagined and repurposed for our lifestyles. The new AW17 collection has stripped back this iconic stalwart to its humble beginnings and reimagined it into the perfect coat to become the centre of our modern wardrobes, a go to piece whatever the time of year or season.

ICONS REIMAGINED
ICONS REIMAGINED

Humble beginnings – The word ‘Parka’ actually means ‘animal skin’ and origins from the Arctic regions around Northern Russia and Alaska. Originally the indigenous Inuit’s made parka coats from seal skin to keep warm from the extreme arctic climates whilst hunting, kayaking and to transport their young. Usually long in length with a fur lined hood and roomy proportions to ensure insulation and protection… it was also treated with fish oil to help keep it water resistant.

The Military Parka (War changes things) - Move forward to the 1940s and the Parka has evolved. Retaining some of the qualities of the Inuit parka, the fur lined parkas coats were introduced as military issue during WWII to keep the soldiers protected from the winds, and insulated against the cold weather conditions on the fields all the way into the 1950’s.

THE MINA OVERSIZED MILITARY PARKA REIMAGINED FOR HER TODAY
THE MINA OVERSIZED MILITARY PARKA REIMAGINED FOR HER TODAY
‘The word ‘Parka’ actually means ‘animal skin’'

The war is over With the ending of WWII there is a liberation in the air and the Parka goes along for the ride and becomes free to take on a new role to become a staple for for a new modern way of living. In the late 50’s the Parka was adopted by the Mods, using the surplus of Military parkas left abandoned from the war and turned the humble parka into a utilitarian coat to provide the ultimate protection from the elements and to keep their clothes from getting dirty when riding their scooters.

Laid back luxury - In the 60’s the Parka became a symbol for the movement in the UK. Mods decorated their parkas with badges and patches of their favourite bands and memorabilia, and passionately styled their loved vintage old military issue parka with smart tailoring and an iconic Vespa or Lambretta scooter! From this time into the 90's and early 00’s the Parka evolved again, adopting a more contemporary style famously displayed by the Gallagher’s brothers, Blur and bands of the time of the Mod Revival and Brit Pop culture .

THE PARKA LIBERATES AND INSPIRES OUR OUTERWEAR PIECES
THE PARKA LIBERATES AND INSPIRES OUR OUTERWEAR PIECES

Today, Parka London is continuing on the trend of reimagining the iconic parka into a staple for our wardrobe and stripping it back to why the parka exists – protect, shelter and iconic style. For AW17 we are celebrating modern icons, and humble beginnings, with the luxurious and utilitarian space of Bevin Court as a complimentary backdrop to the collection whilst our Parka guy Bradley and Parka girl Alexandra take on the day, no matter the weather, with the perfect outerwear.

Inspired by the humble parka, the AW17 collection, for both men and women, is first utilitarian and functional, set in our signature minimalist aesthetic of our shapes and then finished off with lavish attention to the details to ensure the finished garment is something that can be treasured for season after season, and is the centrepiece of your wardrobe perfect for your modern everyday life. Reimagining icons for everyday.

MODERN ICONS FOR HIM - COMPTON
MODERN ICONS FOR HIM - COMPTON
MODERN ICONS FOR HER - CONNIE
MODERN ICONS FOR HER - CONNIE

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