A Raincoat Straight Outta PRL
It often happens that even after hard and sad times, precious and nice souvenirs remain. Clothes are no exception here - the trenches of the Great War left behind a trench coat, World War II resulted in adoption of modern dress (and to a smaller degree, suit) cuts and the Vietnam War gave us the M65 jacket… Now it turns out that the period of the Polish People's Republic (PRL) resulted in a great, functional raincoat!
We have never thought that our collection may one day include something directly inspired by the technical clothing straight from the Polish People's Republic times. Well, this story definitely deserves to be told from the beginning!
No, we did not find a grandfather’s coat in the attic or a mysterious garment hidden somewhere deep in our shop. We also had no plans to recreate an item of clothing that our favorite actor wore in a niche movie. Nothing like that! It started much more mundane, in a pretty standard way for our industry - with fabric.
During the Milano Unica fair, we found an unusual sample. On the one side - literally - our attention was drawn to the classic, navy blue wool with an intriguing weave. On the other - an unusual, highly saturated yellow that did not look as if it was here by an accident. What is this?
A moment and everything is clear - it was fabric from famous Cerruti weaving mill, a top level functional fabric! Contrary to typical technical fabrics, it is not any polyester/polyamide/other synthetic or blend, but a pure wool backed up with a breathable membrane that significantly increases its water and wind repellent properties - so much that it can equal standard rain jackets. Or even beat them. Bingo!
We came back to Poland with a larger sample and a question looming in our heads: "what could we make out of it?". We knew that the cloth had to be used well, but we didn't know how exactly. Our seamstress, Mrs. Halinka, somewhat on purpose and a little by accident, mentioned orthalion raincoats. Specifically those that were popular here in the communist times, being used both by civilians and the police - therefore tested in difficult conditions. Now it was an idea!
Now shortening the story a bit, we go straight to the moment when we end up with an original vintage coat (bought somewhere on the internet) in our RTW factory, inspecting it closely. Although the fabric from which it was made was just bad, the make rough and the quality at a hopelessly low level, there were many smart features that were met with admiring "wow" by our main cutter. Well, this was the techwear for its times... but still worth drawing from today!
Bearing this in mind, we decided to go full on and add a very vintage yet extremely useful garment to our collection. The raincoat is full of precisely-designed and useful details, drawing on the original and borrowing the vast majority of them from the OG: an interestingly-shaped collar, a spacious hood, deep pockets, practical length - all of this cut from the already mentioned fabric by Cerruti, which passes the shoddy nylon from the 80s by mile.
It is thanks to the fact that originally the form was strictly subordinated to the function that this cut is so universal. It will successfully protect all the layers underneath from harsh weather conditions, whether it be a suit, a coordinated set or just a sweater and jeans. Simply a coat of first choice for rainy days, no matter the occasion.
The fact that the navy blue goes well with almost everything does not need to be further explained - so we will only add that in this case the yellow membrane underneath beautifully adds depth to the top layer every time the light hits at the right angle. This creates an interesting melange, thanks to which even in combination with other shades of navy blue the color palette will not be monotonous.
See if you will also fall in love with the (probably) most practical item of clothing in the history of Poszetka the same way we did!