Friday, February 13, 2009

Buzz Rickson's MA-1 Flying Jacket


In his prescient* 2003 novel Pattern Recognition, William Gibson's protagonist Case Pollard, "a high-tech., super-hip, cyber-chic, anti-fashion sophisticate," wears a minimalist, de-branded wardrobe known as Case Pollard Units (CPUs). She harbors an allergic reaction to branding that helps in her work as a cool hunter, but requires that she wear garments that have had the labels and logos totally removed lest she be overcome with anxiety attacks. In addition to black 501s with the logo ground off the buttons, her signature piece is this World War II-era nylon flying jacket. It is an authentic replica crafted by meticulous Japanese Americana geeks down to the finest details of zippers, pulls, labels, even the correct USAF spec. warm wool fiber inner lining. 

The black MA-1 jacket described in the novel did not actually exist at the time of publication. Buzz Rickson's produced a William Gibson collection in response to demand created by the fictionalized product: the black color-way and lack of airforce patches were not standard issue in 1948. For more obsessively authentic replica vintage workwear, military wear and dungarees, see www.historypreservation.com.

Sidebar: See acontinuouslean for on-going coverage of Japan's obsession with authentic American workwear.

* Pattern Recognition's plot centers around a beautiful, mysterious series of viral videos. It predicts and dramatizes the now familiar Internet meme-osphere.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was interested in the jacket, but it is so expensive! After all, it is just nylon.

Arthur said...

Awesome jacket.

You wanna hope gibson gets royalties.

But either way, its way too steep for a nylon jacket.

Might have to give it a miss. At least until the film comes out and the clones get made.

Anonymous said...

It's a Korean War jacket.

As for it being expensive, well, you need to try one. It's all relative, baby.