[DEEP DIVE] ATLANTIC PARKA
Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE". In this series go behind the scenes to trace the genesis of our favorite Engineered Garments items. In this installation, we took out our magnifying glass to take a closer look at the Atlantic Parka, lightweight outerwear inspired by 60s and 70s Californian outdoor apparel, imbued with an Engineered Garments twist.
America's roaring economic growth and precipitous rise in living standard during the wake of World War II was a boon to many, but as the overriding sense of victory faded and the routines of everyday life returned, new problems were laid bare - suburban sprawl, racial segregation, and societal conformity. For some, the atmosphere of glorious renewal turned into stifling monotony. Alienated post-war artists and thinkers banded together in downtown New York City and formed the Beat Generation, whose work dealt with themes of obscenity and who rejected mainstream culture wholesale.
The movement broke free of its metropolitan birthplace in the 1960s and migrated west to the remote hamlets of Northern California, home to some of America’s most beautiful places. Tucked among the fir trees, these free-thinkers mingled Buddhist ideals and hallucinogenic drugs, with local conservationist notions - giving birth to the hippie movement.
Adherents of this social revolution combined their love of the great outdoors with higher-consciousness thinking, crafting highly innovative gear for climbers and hikers, pioneering advances in lightweight fabric and water-resistant technology. Companies like The North Face, Sierra Designs, Class Five, and Western Mountaineering all trace their roots to this explosive time period.
As we have discussed before, the Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki’s fashion journey began with magazines like “Men’s Club” and “Popeye”, whose pages were brimming with clothing from the West Coast. One might ask, “How did this culture become so dominant in Japan?” Ahead of America’s 200th anniversary, the United States Congress created the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration on December 11, 1973 to organize a countrywide celebration. Among these undertakings were several overseas projects aimed at promoting international friendship, including subsidies trips for Japanese journalists. Given its proximity to Japan, Californian culture naturally became the dominant style.
With this item, Daiki draws inspiration from the unlined spring parkas produced by these Californian companies (the name Atlantic Parka is a cunning nod to EG’s New York roots) which were typically produced in lightweight and breathable PC poplin, and featuring gentle khakis, powder blues, and soft greens - incidentally a similar color palette to Engineered Garment’s Spring Summer 2022 Collection. A companion to the Fall Winter Field Parka, elements like the raglan sleeves, leather stoppers, and oversized shape remain constant, while a slew of pockets are updated each year.
This season’s iteration sports five flap pockets arrayed across the front. The two largest pockets are placed symmetrically near the parka’s hem, while a pleated pocket appears on the front right, and two asymmetric pockets on the left breast. In addition, there are two zip pockets for extra storage - one on the right sleeve and one across the back. The drawstrings allow for a custom fit, and the cinch-able sleeves and adjustable hood feature satisfying snap buttons.
Engineered Garments items which take their cues from outdoors brands - like the Field Parka, and Convertible Parka - are always special: the Atlantic Parka is no different. But, this item is not merely a reproduction of old designs. Depth can be found beneath the parka’s outdoorsy exterior, as Daiki continues to experiment with workwear, military, and American Traditional styles - apparent in the seasonal fabrics and yearly modifications. A rich product, filled with history and intention, the Atlantic Parka is a tasteful distillation of the Engineered Garments ethos.
The Atlantic Parka is available the following fabrics:
- Black Cotton Duracloth Poplin
- Khaki Cotton Duracloth Poplin
- Olive Cotton Ripstop
- Brow Poly Fiber Leopard Print
- Multi Color Polyester Floral Camo
Available in-store and online at nepenthesny.com