Outdoor Gear Is More Than Just A Fashion Statement; It's A Way To Stay Warm And Dry
G. Bruce Boyer
From the Print Edition:
Demi Moore, Autumn 96
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Leave it to the Italians to design the perfect blend of fashion and function. Two of the world's leading textile and clothing manufacturing firms-- Ermenegildo Zegna and Loro Piana--have introduced new fabrics this year, the results of advanced research in material technology.
Zegna has been a world leader in prestigious fabrics for most of this century. Since the 1960s, it has been producing its own line of handsomely tailored clothing and sportswear. This spring the firm introduced its "Yachting" collection of outerwear--from winter to summer--made from a new cloth called Microtene 10.000. A superthin polyester fiber is used to produce a yarn of extraordinary lightness--much finer than silk, a mere kilo of it would stretch around the equator--which means it can be densely compacted, allowing it to be both porous and virtually waterproof.
The fabric has a very pleasing peach-skin feel, the result of an emery-polished finish, and the garments perform exceptionally well in the wet and cold. The various jacket styles are so handsome they can serve admirably as outerwear around town.
The firm of Loro Piana has created another breakthrough cloth. Its truly remarkable patented "Storm System" all-weather fabric guarantees warmth, lightness and protection from wind and rain. Loro Piana used its expertise in spinning, weaving and finishing techniques to exploit the natural thermal properties of the finest cotton, wool and cashmere. Then, working with U.S.-based Gore Technologies, a world leader in the field of synthetic polymers that developed a special microporous membrane for an all-weather lining, Loro Piana created a new generation of outerwear fabrics.
These fabrics have been taken up by such fashionable firms as Faconnable, Brioni, Canali and Armani for raincoats, parkas, sports jackets and other outerwear, as well as a line from Loro Piana that includes riding and field jackets (originally designed for the Italian equestrian team). This is sumptuous, high-performance gear, guaranteed to retain a dry and elegant appearance even in the most challenging weather.
--GB Custom Shooting Suits
If you were thinking of having a nice tweed shooting suit custom made, the chap to see is Leonard Logsdail, an English gentleman and one of the finest tailors on Savile Row, but now practicing his art of bespoke cutting in New York City.
"We used to do tweed shooting suits on a regular basis in London, and I still do several every season over here," says Logsdail. "We prefer what I call 'working tweed,' stout 18-ounce thorn-proof cloth that can stand up to the rigors of the hunt. The second criterion is comfort: we provide bellows pockets, bi-swing back, suede gun patch, throat latch, even an inside hare pocket with a waterproof lining in the jacket if the customer wants. And since the swing of the gun is the most important movement in the field, we want to make sure the back rides free and that the sleeves are slightly longer for breaking in. On the plus fours we can do strap-and-buckle knee fasteners or Velcro, whatever the customer wants."
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