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ONCE UPON A TIME - The Trench Coat

Popularized by movie stars from the 40s, the trench coat is first a military garment created in the late 19th century by a certain Thomas Burberry, before Yves Saint Laurent...

Popularized by movie stars from the 1940s, the trench coat was first a military garment created at the end of the 19th century by a certain Thomas Burberry, before Yves Saint Laurent gave it its letters of nobility.

The trench coat, or literally "trench coat", is a rain coat designed from gabardine, leather or poplin. Thomas Burberry, founding father of the famous English brand, invented gabardine in 1879, an alternative material to rubber, used to waterproof coats and protect them from rain. Twenty years later, Burberry submitted a design for a raincoat specifically for officers to the UK Army Administration Office.




The trench coat was adopted by the army, worn by British and French soldiers during the fighting of the First World War, and even during the Second World War. The trench coat is worn long, over the knees or to the ankles. The pockets are large, to store cards. Raglan sleeves, insulated lining, belt at the waist, cuffs to protect from moisture and epaulet tabs for braids or to hold the strap of a bag. The trench coat is a functional garment above all.




Once back to civilian life, some soldiers continue to wear it. It was popularized by movie stars in the 1940s. We find Humphrey Bogart in trench coat in the famous Casablanca released in 1942. Ten years later, Gene Kelly, Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant will do the same, as well as Peter Falk playing the character of Colombo.




Yves Saint Laurent made the trench coat enter the women's wardrobe in 1962 and gives it its letters of nobility. He kept a double buttoning, shortened and narrowed the waist to fit the female curves. The trench coat comes in several colors, changes material, so as to adapt to all styles, preppy, punk, metal, glamorous, and becomes an essential of the male or female wardrobe.


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