ORIGINS: BM1-9 OKAYAMA SMOCK
The story behind our Okayama Smock, a jacket based on a vintage U.S. Navy Salvage Parka.
U.S. NAVY SALVAGE PARKA
Designed for the summer drop of 2023, the BM1-9 is a modified smock inspired by a vintage US Navy ‘salvage parka’. Officially called a ‘Decontaminate Smock Parka’, this functional garment can be found in different styles under names as ‘salvage’ or ‘gunner’ parka. The salvage parka in the Applied Art Forms vintage archive stems from World War II and was designed as a protective garment, to be worn over other uniforms in the event of a gas attack.
Because salvage parkas were supposed to be used only once, they were designed as tools rather than clothing. Its large silhouette enabled workers to put it on fast, but also allowed room for movement with layers of clothing underneath. The large hood was designed to fit over a gas mask but has a small, circular opening so as not to allow any particles to enter the garment. Extra-long sleeves prevented contamination from entering at the wrists, and strings circling the wrists, face, and hem provided a way to quickly adjust the fit. These fastenings were made of cotton cloth, as opposed to hardware, because the salvage parka would be disposed off after a single use. No labels were used either: bar tacks on the chest indicated the size of the garment.
BM1-9 OKAYAMA SMOCK
Applied Art Forms modified the vintage salvage parka to create the BM1-9 Okayama Smock. By adding an exposed zipper to the front, we created a lightweight, roomy jacket with a relaxed fit with dropped shoulders and large hood, that can be worn as a statement piece over any summer outfit.
Featuring the large, diagonally placed patch pockets of the salvage parka as well as added side seam pockets and two large inner pockets that close with signature A/A/F life vest buttons. Hem, sleeves, and hood can be adjusted with a specially designed tape construction that was inspired by the string fastenings on the US Navy smock. Made from shell fabric, the tapes can be tied tightly or worn hanging loose to create different A/A/F silhouettes.
MADE IN JAPAN
We wanted to use 100% cotton as a nod to the vintage sample and chose a high-density Japanese canvas from the Kowa mill in Okayama, Japan. This strong, durable fabric is lightweight and has a soft yet smooth touch. Opposed to its single-use inspiration, the BM1-9 is designed to get more beautiful with wear – and last a lifetime.
The BM1-9 Okayama Smock is made in Japan. We launched a limited batch of smocks in unique ‘Safety Yellow’ colourway, inspired by the same vintage rescue vest that inspired our signature tape button constructions. The BM1-9 in Covert Green is now also available with hand-stencilled numerals, made upon order at the A/A/F studio in Amsterdam.