Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The panther jacket - a design classic

It doesn't matter how hard film makers attempt to portray late 80's/early 90's Britain. They're never going to get it right unless they put one in ten of all people in a black bomber jacket, with a wild panther emerging from the darkness emblazoned on the back. That's the lengths they need to go to, because every fucker use to own one of these jackets. I'm pretty sure they use to get them from the market for about £10 or something, but this was just about the most common item of clothing at the time, appealing to all ages, sexes, shapes and sizes. Strangely nobody in my family had one, and nobody i was friends with owned one, but they were everywhere like some kind of an epidemic.

These things survived probably up until about 1998, when you'd still see the odd thread bare example here and there. Maybe a Dad would come to a school play or a parents evening and it was the only time he ever left the house other than work, so he got dressed up and put on the panther jacket. That kind of thing. But other than boot-sale goers and the odd special needs kid here and there, they'd pretty much died out altogether by this stage.

I've checked eBay and Google images (for months), but you can't find an example of this jacket for love nor money. So it seems as though it's destined to become the stuff of legend, lost in the sands of time forever. I'm really only posting this to see if anybody else remembers these or if they've been forgotten already.

Occasionally, if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, in a small town somewhere or at an indoor market, you may well be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of somebody still proudly wearing a fully intact panther jacket in public. These kind of occasions are pretty much the type of thing that make my world go round.


videotime said...

Christ Conroy,
first the white dog mess and now this.
I was on a drinking boys holiday in france with some friends last year, and we were driving through a small town, when suddenly across the road I spotted the black jacket panther painted on the side of a small building (maybe an electrical box), it was airbrushed and looked exactly like the jackets.
I pointed it out but nobody knew what I was talking about.
I used to see them everywhere. I think some club bouncer company has a similar design.

Conroy said...

i would have had to photograph that fucking black panther street art! If by some slither of a chance you remember the town let me know i'm planning a road trip all the way across france and through spain. Im not going to go look for it but if i happen to pass that way i'll keep my eyes peeled for that type of stuff, I'd love to see the guy who actually designed that panther airbrush art in the first place