The bomber takes flight – with a twist

Competition has arrived for the bomber jacket’s ubiquitous boxy blazer that’s no longer humble. Once the exclusive domain of skateboarders and film fans Superior gunthe single-zip clasp has been given an expensive makeover by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele and designer Miuccia Prada, with major brands churning out elevated versions just in time for the arrival of Top Gun: Maverick on movie screens.

Like Tom Cruise in the delayed film sequel, the bomber jackets hitting runway stores in Paris and Milan are barely recognizable, with flight badges sewn onto nylon replaced by vivid prints and outrageous embellishments on silks. and organic cotton.

Chadwick agency model Holly Magson wears a Gucci bomber jacket and matching skirt from the Gucci Love Parade collection.Credit:Chloe Paul

“It’s definitely about taking a higher approach and using interesting materials,” says Natasha Gordon, designer of Australian brand Clea. The bomber jacket was the centerpiece of Gordon’s first collection. “It’s about taking the clean, modern properties of the bomber jacket and updating them. I use double sided jacquard so it can be worn to the office with a matching skirt or paired with jeans for a more laid back approach.

The origin story of bomber jackets begins with the US military in the 1950s, when they were developed to replace the bulky fleece-lined leather jackets worn by fighter pilots. The MA-1 is considered the model, with high quality nylon providing insulation in the cockpit, a knitted collar allowing room for a parachute harness and a single zipper aiding comfort in warmer conditions on the ground. . The orange lining was developed for the iconic sage green jackets to help with visibility for rescue missions.

In the late 60s, the jacket was adopted by homophobic skinheads in London as their unofficial uniform, before the queer community and bands such as Bronski Beat retaliated by picking it up in the 80s. of house music, sports stars and movie stars from Superior gun The era followed, but this season’s luxury upgrade took it to new levels and new prices, with Prada’s sequined version going for $6,700. At this price, it is taken off the street and installed in VIP rooms.

Bombers far down the track.  Australian model Julia Nobis in Prada Fall/Winter 22 ready-to-wear;  Versace Fall/Winter '22 ready-to-wear;  Off-White Fall/Winter '22 ready-to-wear.

Bombers far down the track. Australian model Julia Nobis in Prada Fall/Winter 22 ready-to-wear; Versace Fall/Winter ’22 ready-to-wear; Off-White Fall/Winter ’22 ready-to-wear.Credit:Getty, A.P.

“I’ve had a thing for a bomber jacket since the early ’90s, when I wore my homeboy boyfriend’s military version with floral dresses and Doc boots,” says publishing editor Justine Cullen. relaunched australian In the style magazine. “For me they never really lost their appeal, but there’s no doubt they’re the jacket shape of the moment, Net-a-Porter alone has 81 different styles this season.”


“The perfectly oversized Prada Re-Nylon version is the modern classic, but there’s fun to be had with more experimental shapes this season too – cropped, leather, puff-sleeved, satin, endlessly fun colors. They’re versatile and practical – most are waterproof in some way, handy for those La Niña times – but the real joy is how they add an immediate youthful freshness to any look. a bomber jacket casually thrown over a dressier, grown-up outfit and heels; it just makes everything so much less contrived.