The bomber jacket MA-1 was the uniform of the Air Forces of the United States for more than three decades before turning to an icon of pop culture and fashion. A lot of male clothing modern is based on the designs for the military of the past and the history of the MA-1 is an excellent example of how the costumes military go to the wardrobe and construction.
Already long time since this jacket style bomber crossed utilitarian military for the convenience of the day-to-day. Your design is so striking that if combined with certain pieces, is a reminder of a subculture specific.
A few clothes embody the hardness male as a bomber MA-1. And a few pieces of clothing meant so much to so many. From its origins in the military to the status of a uniform, skinhead, passing by the gay culture and even the fashion sophisticated.
The history of the MA-1 is a great example of how a jacket military goes through transformations until arriving in the hands of all.
The History of the Bomber Jacket MA-1
To understand the MA-1, let’s start talking about the jackets bombers that came before her.
The bomber jacket A-2
The bomber jacket A-2 Bomber is one of the jackets most emblematic of the United States Air Force, having been used in the Second World War. It is one of the first uniform with the silhouette that we know today as “bomber”.
Although the design would differ a little between manufacturers, all jackets A-2 had some distinctive features:
- The specifications called for horse leather
- Patch Pockets with flaps and snap closure on both sides
- Crew neck style shirt
- Straps on the shoulders
- Fists and waist elastic
- Back without stitching to reduce tension in the piece
- Silk lining lightweight or cotton
If you want to know more about this jacket I would highly recommend this guide on the bomber jacket type A-2.
The demand for more jackets required a substitute for more inexpensive and available than leather. Were made short experiments with cotton on jacket B-1 until they are in option synthetic.
Jacket Type B-15
When the planes began to fly higher and with more frequency, the leather and the cotton lost its utility. This need led to the creation of the first bomber synthetic jacket B-15, the precursor to direct the MA-1. This was one of the first times that the nylon was used in clothing. Before the material was restricted to applications such as parachutes and other equipment.
The official name is Jacket, Flying Intermediate Type B-15. Intermediate means that were ideal for early spring, autumn and winter. These jackets were an instant success among the aviators, because they were less bulky and considerably more comfortable inside the cockpits increasingly tight of jet fighters.
The B-15 brought about several other modifications. The collar by the non-serving only to heat the pilot; when raised and secured with a strap, she held the oxygen mask. Other developments, which continued into the MA-1 are the pen pockets on the left sleeve, the pockets are diagonal (easier to put your hand when sitting), and belt loops to stand in the way of oxygen mask. Some of these details are still present in the jackets of flight today.
Release of the Jacket MA-1
The jacket MA-1 came at the end of the 50’s and built on top of the practicality of its predecessor.
The MA-1 original were made with a nylon exterior and high quality nylon lining. Between these two layers, there was a material of wool double-face for thermal insulation. After a few years, the interlining of wool has been replaced by a filling in polyester fiber, which was the jacket lighter.
There are two major differences between the MA-1 and B-15. The fur collar was removed because it interfered with the new parachute. By the 1960’s, she went to the sera reversible with orange lining shiny. If the plane ever crashes and the pilot to escape with life, he could reverse the jacket to facilitate the rescue.
The design of the MA-1 has undergone some minor modifications over the years and became very popular in the circles of civilian and military because of the practical considerations in its design.
Changes in the MA-1 over the years
- The first models had a clamp to the front that the pilot could use to secure her oxygen mask when it was not in use. The advances in aviation and the oxygen systems of the helmets become unnecessary to the dock, and the front tab was removed.
- The first jackets had loops on the sides to hold the wires that went from the radio to the helmet of the pilot. When improvements on the radio made it unnecessary, the loops were removed.
- The first jacket flight MA-1 were used by the Air Force and had the emblem of the Air Force of the United States in the two sleeves. This was dismissed in the MA-1 later, when the jacket began to be used by other branches of the armed forces.
All these changes were extremely functional, and every detail has a purpose distinct. Pocket utility, originally called the pocket cigarette, involves 8 sewing operations with specific purposes.
Here are some photos of the bomber jacket MA-1 in their natural habitat to wake up your imagination:
The jacket MA-1 in fashion and pop culture
The MA-1 is a piece too complex and iconic, having appeared in several subcultures from your military edition starting in the 50’s.
In the beginning, the MA-1 was part of the wardrobe of the working class. A replica was cheap and functional. The style passed from father to son, along with practical advice, how to put on a new jacket under the mattress to reduce the silhouette swollen.
A tiny cult of proto-Mods the favored in Soho in the early 60’s. Then, the only initial adopted it as part of your dress code strait, often in the wine color, which the USAF never issued.
Later, when the culture skinhead music has been converted to extremism nationalist, a simple jacket was able to incite fear thanks to their associations truculentas. For a long time, was dressed by neonazistas and hooligans truculentos. Someone approaching, wearing a MA-1, meant problem.
The saloo of the MA-1, from the subcultures to the fashion mainstream, was facilitated when the gay community adopted the uniform in the mid-80’s, which made the look more acceptable to the general public. The visual of Jimmy Somerville “Smalltown Boy” personifies this new appropriation of the bomber, with the jeans 501s Levi s shirts and button. Reduced the stigma of homophobic of a uniform which was being used by a movement of the extreme right.
With its style inspired by the streets, the Buffalo Collective, created by the stylist Ray Petri, continued this change. The version of the high fashion of the ideal stereotypical male, subtly subverted that image Top Gun ultra-male.
In fashion, appearances, and the most iconic of MA-1 were the patches post-punk in the Spring / Summer 2000, Raf Simons, the visual harmony of the Helmut Lang autumn / winter 2003, both inspired in the roots of the rebels of the jacket. Since then, this bomber was also the interpretations with the proportions unexpected Rick Owens, and where would be YEEZY without them? As well, numerous versions are produced each season, silhouettes and different fabrics each time more luxurious. With all his attitude for men, and the simplicity that defines an MA-1 also explains your appeal of the androgynous.
The MA-1 in pop culture is a statement of belonging and hardness. The functional design and the history of men’s MA-1 will continue to inspire the youth movement as groups find new ways to adapt it. As this continues to happen in the streets, the prevalence of MA-1 on the runway and in art it just becomes a subplot in the narrative most of its relevance.
Today the jacket is produced by various brands, and there are millions of people using variations of MA-1 in the whole world.
Suggestions of brands to buy a jacket MA-1
The simplicity of the MA-1 sustains its appeal of the utility, and explains why the original is so copied until today.
The quality of the materials, a jacket for $20 on eBay varies little in relation to the official version. But as with any classic fashion male vintage, there is a scale of authenticity.
At the top of the market are the replica MA-1 of The Real McCoy and the limited editions of the Buzz Rickson, both of Japan. Copies of the premium of the MA-1 immortalized by the character of William Gibson, Cayce Pollard, in his novel Pattern Recognition.
The MA-1 Cayce represents the one-piece blank for a character that was anti-fashion. When seen in the context of someone who seeks to be anonymous, reflects the ease with which the jacket has been adopted and adapted by several people and groups. Its great appeal is because anyone can style it.
The silhouette is always seen on the streets and in the collections of numerous brands. These are generally divided into two groups, those which seek to reproduce the manufacturing and the details of the jackets original and other that work new designs, maintaining the details more striking. I’m going to start with some models that are “authentic”:
MA-1 William Gibson
The first model that I want to present is probably the best MA-1 of all time. Is the “William Gibson” the Buzz Rickson. This jacket is the reproduction a definite MA-1, but a color that never existed.
The jacket is black is because it was inspired by a character in the fiction book “Pattern Recognition”, William Gibson. It is said that the Buzz Rickson has spent over a million dollars to start production, a process which included up to the customization of the zips in the original format of the jacket.
The level of detail and finish in this jacket are all things whimsical.
MA-1 the Real Mccoys
Then this model of The Real McCoys, a mark “repro” determined to faithfully reproduce the clothes of the past. The price will go up and these products are sold to a niche that is very specific. This jacket is whether you want a modern piece that is totally faithful to the spirit of the original.
MA-1 Alpha Industries
The second option is to line Reissued, MA-1 from Alpha Industries. She has a modeling updated, more slim and a little longer. The reviews of the product say the quality is very good, showing a very good value for the price. Who likes the jacket more “puff” on the side you can select the normal template.
A good choice is a jacket from the brand WTaps, who specializes in modern interpretations of military parts.
The “fit” is more fair and the green of this jacket is one of the most beautiful I’ve vi.
Starting the line of jackets creative, the MA-1 of the Needles Rebuild
In the line of replicas is also this MA-1’s Needles ‘Rebuild’. It is made with fabrics and parts desconstruidas jackets original. She has the orange lining that I mentioned in the post yesterday.
The following are some collaborations and interesting models to inspire…
Stone Island Shadow Project
BAL x Alpha MA-1. The detail on the back of this jacket is very cool:
Reigning Champ, combination of mesh with MA-1. Warm and comfortable
Undercover x Fragment. The MA-1 black, non-conventional, are quite popular at the moment.
Goodenough x Alpha MA1. With the detail of the knitting on the arm.
Finally, models minimalist and the other more creative, go beyond the original ideas. These are a few jackets that became classics of modern in the fashion world and if you find one, vintage, and found a treasure.
Helmut Lang “Bondage” MA-1.
These are quite faithful to the design, but have the handles in the back that can be used to hang the jacket the same as a backpack. This is a way cool add the vision of the stylist without impair the jacket. I also found the white very different.
Rick Owens FW 07
Rick left the jacket even more minimalist
Issey Miyaki MA-1 deconstructed.
Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist
Details that remind of the overlap of the jacket over a shirt.
How to use a Jacket MA-1
There are several ways to use a MA-1. It is quite difficult to get wrong. You can make a line inspired by vintage military, can use a more minimalist/modernist, or you can mount a more visual streetwear. The “fit” ideal also varies depending on taste. A lot of people like the jacket as well largona, and others prefer a modeling updated.