THE RESURGENCE OF THE DOWN JACKET

TROPPO GIUSTO

A fundamental, inescapable, functional yet fashionable wintery garment

TROPPO GIUSTO
The quintessential outdoor garment is said to be born over seventy-five years ago in the United States from the mind of one of the outerwear true originators: outdoorsman, inventor, author, and businessman Eddie Bauer. He borrowed the down filling idea from the Russian military and created the first down jacket in 1936. Bauer probably never imagined that half a century later his invention would have become a wardrobe staple for urban youth.

It all happened very fast in Italy during the Eighties, when the down jacket became an icon of the Milanese subcultural movement Paninaro, immortalised in the Pet Shop Boys’ 1986 song and video of the same name. The Paninari appropriated technical and workwear clothing meant for outdoor activities, embracing a brighten-up, multi-coloured Americana aesthetic. At the same time, they rejected the traditional “slow living” of italian culture, starting from the way of eating. Their pastime of choice was loitering around the newly opened fast food chains, and their meal of choice was the sandwich (“panino” in italian), the fastest food available in Italy at that time.

The Paninari also developed their own post-modernist slang, which heavily mixed english words into italian language for the first time. After some popoular TV shows helped to promote their linguistic inventions, the Paninari’s slang became the first linguistic trend to unify large sectors of the italian youth, in a single style of communication that went beyond the social and regional barriers of the past. Thus, a typical slang phrase like “Troppo giusto!” (“Way toooo right!”) would become understandable from urban youth throughout all Italy.
Even though the social and political backdrop of the movement is controversial to say the least – middle and upper-class teenagers who embraces the rise of consumerism and strove to distinguish themselves as living in the fast lane by using access to global brands as a status symbol – Paninari’s aestethic choice is definitely striking, as a direct opposition to the popular punk and also to the new wave aesthetic. While the punks were defined by rebellion and the consequent do-it-yourself aesthetic, the paninari made no attempt to detach themselves from the mainstream. Instead, they were totally exaggerating it with an idiosincratic composition of the boldest brands. Anyway, beyond any other consideration the Paninaro movement definitely marked an important shift, as brands previously used to producing garments specifically for harsh weather conditions entered the sphere of aesthetic function for one of the first times.

In 2017, thirty years after the Paninaro apex, the urban down jacket rises again. From the catwalks to the city streets, the puffer-style jackets today look stronger than ever. A fundamental, inescapable, functional yet fashionable wintery garment.

C.P. Company stays ahead of the pack with an incredibly wide range of garments, from lighter, movement-orientated, mixed-materials 100 grammes down jackets to heavier parkas.

But there’s more, as always. Thanks to a painstaking research work, C.P. Company found Component Dyeing, a really game-changing technology when it comes to down jackets.

The Component Dyeing process made it possible to apply C.P. Company’s signature dyeing process to fabrics and techniques that otherwise would not be possible to garment dye.

The down jackets in Piuma 50 fabric are one example since cotton and down cannot be dyed together, as are the parkas mixing down with Vulcan – thermo adhesives do not behave well at garment dyeing temperatures.Thus, if the down jacket is definitely resurging in contemporary fashion, C.P. Company is already evolving this iconic garment looking for the next progression.

SHOP THE STORY