Time flies, but some things never go out of style. Aviator wear is a staple that has never left our wardrobes and it is the inspiration for Kenzo’s menswear collection this season. Now boarding for immediate departure!
The bomber jackets, aviator uniform trousers , lace-up boots, flying jackets with sheepskin-lined collars and aviator shades popularized by pilots have made their mark on fashion ever since the glory days of flying took off in the 1920s. Off the tarmac, aviator wear has established itself as a constantly updated classic. Fall/Winter 2013 sees the traditional palette of brown, black and navy blue expanded, with pea coats and double-breasted jackets decked out in sky blue shades and cloud prints. The fighter pilot camouflage print looks more celestial than army surplus, with nylon skinny pants inspired by parachute silk. The iconic backpack of parachute-toting aviators is dropping in all over the place this season, recreated in strap-fastened backpacks and referenced in belts made of straps and clips. Fur-lined lace-up boots – less iconic, but just as essential unless the daredevil aviator wanted frost-bitten feet – have been colorfully updated in graphic styles, with faux laces and zips rendered in strips of fabric. Despite the dizzying number of flying hours under their belts, these updated classics are looking anything but fatigued in a fresh take for this season.
Therein lies the eternal appeal of aviator wear. An authentic back story is borne out by authentic materials: leather, sheepskin and tinted lenses were intended to withstand enemy attacks and harsh weather conditions. Modern-day top guns can recreate the distinctive and manly look emanated by the daredevils and servicemen of yore, who wore their flying gear like a second skin, sometimes for weeks at a time... Like the biker jacket or army jacket, aviator gear bestows on its wearer the values of an intrepid and invincible adventurer – albeit one whose adventures are mostly confined to the realm of the imagination. The aviator’s unwavering appeal spans the decades: he is a model of authenticity and resistance, and lives to beat his own record. Comfort and ease of wear are key to the eternal popularity of this truly timeless look, a classic that is at home in any era and has more than earned its stripes. Kenzo’s fresh take on classic aviator getup is on standby to equip modern-day Charles Lindberghs, Howard Hughes and other high fliers this season.