To feel ready, up for any activity and protected against different weather conditions in the clothes you wear is something many urban hobby athletes dream of. Over the past decades the line between casual and smart dressing in our society has gotten increasingly blurred and an active, healthy lifestyle has become something of a status symbol. Along with this, sportswear, running shoes, raincoats, and all sorts of high-tech materials have made their way from the outdoor and gym departments to the catwalk, and everything in between.
Reaching that level of multifunction in a garment without compromising its fashion grade is an ongoing experiment and challenge in the fashion world. In Sweden this type of clothing has a great fan base, partially due to our history of preferring a casual minimalist wardrobe where a garment should preferably be useful in multiple situations, but also naturally due to our weather conditions where a good jacket always is considered a sensible investment. This autumn, Swedish fashion house Filippa K has paired up with the Italian luxury brand Monobi to create what they call a capsule-collection for their men’s department, starring classic jackets in high-technological materials. We asked designer Alexander Schaper a few questions about it.
- I got inspired by classic high-end umbrellas. They have a great benefit, they are easy to understand and have a beautiful architectural shape. They combine natural and technical materials and everyone has one.
B: In what context or situation will you be in need of the jackets? What environments and situations has inspired you?
A: The idea was to be prepared for any winter or autumn weather conditions without looking like wearing a classic rain coat or down jacket. We created styles that work in a more professional but also in more casual urban environment.
B: For whom are the jackets created?
A: The jackets are for men that want to look modern and fashionable yet do not want to compromise on the benefits technology.
B: Speaking of design, what were the inspirations for the different models?
A: We looked at military garments and asked ourselves how should a trench coat, anorak or field jacket look like today. We kept distinctive elements of each garment but modernized them to become a contemporary piece of garment.
B: How did you choose the different fabrics and materials for the jackets?
A: We wanted the benefit of membranes, foils, downs and such yet we wanted to create a new perception of functionality and style. None of both should dominate the other. Therefore we combined different material ideas together and bonded e.g. premium wools together with functional membranes or tight weaved cottons with insulating metal foils.
B: Why do you think we need high-technological, more functional material in urban clothing? Has any of the expectations or demands changed by the consumers on the quality of clothes? In that case, what do you think is the reason being?
A: I rather think that in these days we have the possibilities to manufacture the things. It is great to surprise with something that might look familiar but offers extra benefits. Wearing your wool coat to work and knowing that even if it starts to rain you won't be soaked is great…
B: In the future, could you design such a collection but for women?
A: I think that is such a interesting area to explore. there is a big lack of functional womenswear that does not look like outdoor or hiking clothing. I would love to create technical garments that are still emotional and flattering for women…