Back in May we featured the most exciting collaboration of the year. Style Salvage favourite Aitor Throup was asked to design the anniversary edition of C.P. Company's most iconic jackets, the 1000m Goggle Jacket. Last night, I was able to examine it up close and I've still got a smile on my face today. Ever since I encountered his mind blowingly good graduate collection back in 2006 my heart races every time I see or hear his name mentioned. Since graduating, Aitor continues to push the boundaries of technically advanced clothing and utilitarian menswear in to fresh and exciting directions. Back in April, the exciting design talent curated an exhibition to showcase the Goggle Jacket's past and present at the International Furniture Fair in Milan way back in April. Of course I was able to see much of the exhibition virtually, thanks to the wonders of the Internet , but I longed to see the showcase of design innovation up close. Thankfully an even stronger and more impressive exhibition has opened up at the RCA and I was fortunate enough to see it last night. The exhibition is now open to the public for a limited period of two days (today and Saturday, 10am until 4pm both days) so you'll have to be quick!
The Mille Miglia Car race, was a one thousand miles open-road endurance race that started in 1927. From 1977 until nowadays, the name was revised in 'Mille Miglia Storica', with all competing cars being pre-1957. In 1988 C.P. Company sponsored the race and for this special occasion Massimo Osti exclusively designed and produced, as a promotional piece for the Mille Miglia competitors, the very first Goggle Jacket. The Past and Future exhibition features twenty archive designs including this very first jacket. A way to celebrate C.P. Company's route through the different steps of this iconic item which, season after season, has been subject to continuous experimentation and evolution. This marvellous exhibition is a story of materials, special treatments and shape research.
As mentioned every time I jot down the designer's name, I was fortunate enough to listen in to his conversation with Sarah Mower at the V&A last Summer and during this chat Throup's face lit up and his passion took over as soon as he started talking about this iconic jacket. Growing up in Burnley in the 90s, Aitor first became aware of the jacket adorning the backs of the football casuals. Anything connected to Massimo Osti had the most aspirational value for the terraces. As a long term fan and collaborator with C.P Company, Aitor was the natural choice for the brand to approach to redesign the anniversary edition of their cult jacket. For his own innovative design, Throup has analysed all of the original elements of the first Goggle Jacket and has looked deep into the aspects of postural anatomy. He has gone deeper than the aesthetics and functional approaches of previous designs and has created a garment even more focused on the concept of driving. Aitor Throup had this to say on the 1000m Goggle Jacket: "I have taken a literal approach to driving ergonomics and functionality, with the aim of creating a piece which is even further informed by its driving concept than the original." The most distinguishing features are goggles, watch viewer window and detachable driving pouch. Aitor truly has pushed function and ergonomics and this is evident as much in the design process as it is in the finished design. I'm certainly not aware of any other driving jacket whose shape shifts in to a driving position when required!
The look of the past and the future. Two looks used in the recent issue of i-D.
For Aitor Throup the brand has not had the respect and attention that it's iconic designs deserve. This exhibition will surely change a few people's perceptions and understanding of C.P. Company. If you are unable to make it down to the RCA in the next couple of days, hopefully my excited ramblings combined with the below video help. Thanks to James Yeomans, Aitor Throup and the whole crew at C.P. Company, Being Hunted were able to provide us with this great time-lapse video that will show you how the installation was set-up...