Last weekend, it was the happy coincidence of stumbling on to a discount code to procure that beloved Suno jacket. This week, it's another jolly accident that proves all things that turn up via a UPS man generally come good. Michael Angel's care package of mind bending prints had one exception - this beaut of a latex* coat shown as part of his S/S 11 collection. "Beaut of a latex" coat? It isn't quite an oxymoron but it does feel weird to refer to a latex garment as a thing of beauty. All credit to Angel who picked out this particular opaque and cloudy latex that has none of the tight and sweaty attributes of your average latex garments.
Frosted plastic turned up a year later in Celine's current resort 2012 collection as well as in Angel's own resort collection because he had cited the S/S 11 coat as a bestseller and therefore reused the material in a more structured trenchcoat. "Who would've thought that latex would do so well?" jokes Angel. Who'd thunk it indeed?
RCA graduate Itziar Vaquer also turned to matte plastic in his final collection, working with its slightly rigid properties to emphasise an angular silhouette...
The coat with its swingy shape and wide collars feels like any other pieces of heavyweight outerwear except without the softness of a lining and sort of solves the conundrum of wearing a coat without wanting to cover up what's going on underneath. With this cloudily transparent layer, I'm now faced with a host of possibilities of what can go underneath it. How will various prints and colours look with a creamy overlay? It will be a childsplay process of trial and error.
Angel must have been reading my iMac desktop because I did in fact have a bunch of plastic trench and outerwear pics saved up in one folder as I had planned on doing a mini post about one particular cheapie option of the plastic outerwear. These slightly more lightweight, flyaway plastic coats seen at Jil Sander's S/S 12 menswear show (and now available online at an eyewatering price...) immediately reminded me of Muji's ever-present cutaway and portable raincoats. For a mere £9.95, you have yourself a decent protective layer from potential downpours and the bonus of adding a little plastic to your outfit even if rain wasn't beckoning. I bought my first one back when I was in Uni and I took to wearing it with chunky jumpers, vintage slip skirts and banged up old Converse.
It now comes in four colours (clear, khaki, grey and black) and are all pleasingly matte as well as giving you the option to shorten the sleeves and length with useful cutting guidelines.
Admittedly, now that I've experienced Angel's sturdy latex that is more of a legitimate coat, it's hard to go back to Muji's plastic option. Still, even if I didn't have the fortune of receiving Angel's coat, I still would have suggested that being trapped in plastic a la Jil Sander is made easy thanks to Muji. Lo and behold, in Stockholm last August, I spotted a guy running around in the Muji raincoat to go with his appropraitely Nordic fash-y ensemble so it probably isn't only me who sees something beyond a portable rain cover in this Muji classic.
In a similar way to the cloudy latex in the Michael Angel piece, the Muji clear plastic also blurs and mutes whatever is going on underneath, which in this case is a fascinating printed cotton bomber jacket from London duo Fanny & Jessy's S/S 12 collection. They worked with illustrator Lynnie Zulu on this tessellated print, inspired by the faces of Eskimos and Native Americans.
**EDIT** This is why I love Style Bubble readers. Someone very rightly pointed out the possibilities of people being allergic to natural latex and called me up on even suggesting such a garment. I'm glad to say that team Michael Angel have replied to say that the coat is in fact 100% Polyurethane (synthetic), referred to loosely as 'latex'. Who'd have thought that we'd be having a small dialogue about the intricacies of synthetic/non-synthetic latex?