Saturday, August 6, 2011
Dress of the Day - Trench Coat
Dress of the Day: Humphrey Bogart in trench coat, Casablanca (1942). This is a classic look from a classic film. Bogey in his trench, together with fedora and cigarette, is one of the iconic images of this coat. The trench coat is ubiquitous in 1940s Hollywood - worn by private eyes and gangsters alike in films noir and by both Allies and Nazis in war films.
The trench coat had a long history by the time Rick told Ilsa they'd always have Paris. Two British firms claim they invented the trench coat first - Aquascutum and Burberry. In the 1850s, Aquascutum developed a water repellent wool fabric which was used in a forerunner of the trench as a raincoat in the Crimean War. By 1901, Thomas Burberry had created wool gabardine and proposed a raincoat design to the British War Office. The coats became an optional item for officers in World War I, where they helped in the miserable conditions in the trenches, hence getting their name. Officers bought their own trench coats, and other ranks were not allowed to use them. Some of the straps and rings were used to carry equipment. After the war trenches became widespread for civilians, and remain a classic style to this day.