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jacket detail 1987.139
jacket 1987.139
jacket back 1987.139
jacket shoulder 1987.139
punk jacket 2005.19

Unisex clothing has a long history stretching back to the loose cloth garments of the ancient civilised world, like the Roman toga or the Greek chiton. More recently, however, the sexes have had very different clothes, and only with the arrival of jeans, t-shirts, track-suits and trouser-suits have men and women again dressed identically. Even here, the type of fabric and cut, and the choice of accessories, can often mark out an outfit as peculiarly "male" or "female".

The maker of this customised denim jacket intended it for his girlfriend, but they split up before he could give it to her. It would have been worn with black leggings, and the donor himself had a jacket very similar which he wore with black leather trousers. In this instance, the couple would have exhibited their close relationship with their similar jackets, and even the attached slogans and badges could be changed week by week in a synchronized statement. This was a distinctly young and predominantly black, post-punk "Rap 'n Rock street style. Applied brown leather cuffs and an astrakhan yoke are joined by a range of embellishments like cords, metal studs, safety pins, woven and plasticised badges, and ephemera like toy cars, buttons, transfers, a casette tape and a whistle. Such a street "look" harks back to mainstream punk styles of the later 1970s (see other jacket below).

Full item descriptions:

"jacket" [1987.139], Belle-Fortune, Mr Brian
"motorcycle jacket (punk)" [2005.19]