Nigel Cabourn x Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher and Nigel Cabourn have a fair bit in common. Not only are they both proud Northerners who’ve made their mark on their respective industry by marching to the beat of their own drum (or tambourine, in Liam’s case), but they also both have a well-known penchant for military parkas.
Liam (the notoriously outspoken Mancunian singer/songwriter who first graced eardrums with the band Oasis back in the early 90s, and whose most recent solo album, Why Me? Why Not. was released just a few weeks back) has one of the most envious collections of serious winter jackets and utilitarian outerwear known to man.
From those early black and white 35mm photographs of his old band, shot around the industrial areas of Manchester, to the images from his recent solo tour – it’s rare to see a snap of him where he’s not draped in some form of hooded smock.
As for Nigel, he’s been collecting, designing and generally thinking about parkas and military garb since the late 1970s. In fact, a range based around a vintage British Royal Air Force jacket given to him by Sir Paul Smith was one of his first major successes all the way back in 1979.
In simple terms, when it comes to parkas, Liam wears ‘em, and Nigel makes ‘em – so when Liam, a long-time Cabourn-fan, approached Nigel about making something for his impending tour, getting their heads together to create some new versions of this classic garment made perfect sense. The result of their mind-meld is the Liam Gallagher x Nigel Cabourn Long Smock and the Reversible Smock – two quality parkas of the highest order.
The parka has a special place in both our lives,” says Nigel. “I’ve been designing my own take on this great functional piece of clothing for decades now and Liam has been collecting and wearing parkas on stage for a large part of his 28-year music career. It’s definitely something we’re both passionate about and I think this shows in the parka we’ve produced.”

The Nigel Cabourn x Liam Gallagher Ventile Smock Collection launches at HANON October 21st.

The Long Smock takes design cues from a 1940s over-the-head US Army anorak found in Nigel’s extensive collection. This rugged beauty caught the eye of both Liam and Nigel thanks to that sizeable kangaroo pocket on the front and the off-centre three-button collar. Both highly-distinct, functional details of the day, designed for purpose — that also happen to look really, really good.

To bring things up to date a bit, they added a dipped hem, made the jacket a touch longer and added a few more colour options than the general issue olive drab. There are also some big zips up the sides for ease of entry — a very useful detail. As you’d expect from two people who are particularly particular when it comes to parkas, the attention to detail is second to none, and trimmings come in the shape of waxed cotton drawstrings (three, to be exact) and some nice and chunky wooden stoppers.

Then there’s that Ventile fabric. Ventile is one of those mysterious words which crops up a lot in the world of old military jackets. It’s basically an incredibly densely woven cotton which swells when wet to create a water-resistant barrier and keep you nice and dry. It’s also got a pretty intriguing story…
Designed in the 1930s by the aptly titled British Cotton Industry Research Association at the Shirley Institute in South Manchester (a strong-armed stone’s throw from where Liam grew up in nearby Burnage), it was originally devised as a hard-wearing fabric which could be used to make firehoses. Meanwhile, RAF pilots forced to eject from their aircraft over the North Sea were being plunged into icy waters and had only a few minutes to live. Something warm and water-resistant was required — and, as you might have predicted considering the subject of this article, Ventile was the solution.

Good stuff then. We should probably also mention that these jackets were made in England — in the Macintosh factory in Lancashire, to be precise. This place has been making top-notch outerwear for the last 20 years and is the same factory that makes Nigel’s Cameraman Jackets.

Nigel Cabourn x Liam Gallagher Ventile Smock 
Vintage Orange / Yellow / Army Green / Black
Price: £895.00

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