Some of our favourite threaded jackets
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to the embroidered jacket. A garment which seems never to go out of style, its beginnings are said to lie with an American serviceman stationed in Japan during WWII. On the hunt for a special memento, he took his regulation bomber to a local tailor, asking them to embellish it with some traditional embroidery. They obliged and, voila, the “souvenir jacket” was born.
It’s impossible to say whether this origin story is simply a fabrication, but either way it tells us something: how the enduring popularity of embroidered jackets lies in the clash of the everyday with the artisan, the breezy shape and style of a casual jacket disrupted by the associations of luxury and craftsmanship imbued by embroidery.
Here are some of the brands putting their own interesting spin on the classic garment.
Kenzo are known for their heavily embellished clothing, with recurring motifs that frequently feature richly coloured tigers, leaves and flowers in the vein of a traditional souvenir jacket. For this shell jacket however, they have opted for something simpler. A light shape modeled on a classic parka, this piece features simple white embroidery on the back, tracing the outline of graffiti style lettering.
Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci has leaned even more heavily into the outre Italian style the brand is known for. Michele draws his inspiration from a dizzying pool of influences, and that means his pieces often feel like an explosion of references. Embroidery has been a key feature for the past few seasons, and this decadent denim jacket exemplifies the new Gucci sensibility.
Neatly embroidered logos are often found on t shirts or jackets, but a recent trend has been taking that small detail and blowing it up for maximum effect. Rather than sitting across the breast as a small nod to the label, the embroidery on this Balenciaga jacket is scaled up and expanded across shoulders, making a very bold statement.
Japanese brand doublet are known for their playful approach to design, using innovative techniques to play with our perceptions of clothing construction. Embroidery is a key component of their collections, and they often heavily layer dense stitching for a 3D effect that feels totally unique. Another technique they have pioneered is carefully printing onto embroidery after it has been stitched, as with this track jacket, giving a collage effect to the pieces.
After the Beatles’ iconic Yellow Submarine film was remastered and re-released, Stella McCartney was inspired to create a collection featuring the iconic imagery that her dad’s band created. The collection features a number of embroidered pieces, including this sumptuous velvet bomber that is perfectly accented by the vibrant colours of its Yellow Submarine scenes.
This Saint Laurent jacket embodies the Parisian blend of style and rebellion that the ultra-cool brand is known for. Rendered in a silk-like acetate for a luxurious feel, the embroidery on this bomber references the brand’s 1971 couture show, with rose detailing that is a nod to the intricacy of that collection, and lettering on the back stitched to look like the scrawl of graffiti on a left bank wall.
Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten use embroidery in a more traditional way, creating opulent patterns that are more dynamic than any printed fabric could be. This piece was inspired by 50’s couture, and the large scale embroidery elevates an already elegant evening jacket to new levels of sophistication.
Maharishi is another brand known for their love of embroidered detailing, and this classic souvenir jacket features their signature dragon symbol, which crawls up the back and snakes its tail around the ribs. This kind of embroidery is unmistakably luxurious, and takes a simple bomber jacket and turns it into a statement piece that customers will feel happy to invest in.
Want to create your own embroidered jackets? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting a number of clients in the coffee trade, as well as clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.