I was drawn in to the H&M cameraman yesterday while at the mall. I previously knew off the authentic version but not much about the details. After purchasing the rip-off I went home and educated myself more on the heritage of the original NC cameraman. After my research I realized that my conscious will not likely let me keep the cheap rip-off...so it will be going back to the store.
But I did manage to take a pic this morning for any interested parties. Fit seems good, details and quality are surprisingly solid as well. The top blue part is pretty bright though.
Thanks for the post and being so candid with your thoughts
It looks great but then it should, its designed by one of the greatest menswear designers alive and I do agree with you - whatever the cost and however it feels in terms of quality and fit, you will always feel as though you are wearing a fake.
Save up and invest in a genuine second hand or new Nigel Cabourn Cameraman/ Rangoon coat, wear it with pride, get it grubby, sweaty and worn in and pass it down to your progeny as one of the most iconic outerwear pieces of the early part of the 21st century.
Now I am getting carried away !
The thrill of the hunt for a particular garment in a particular size and at the right price is all part of the passion
I'll be doing a second Cabourn blogpost shortly, this time about the Mallory and Tenzing jackets. Lots of good historical info to go with them, such as the story of Mallorys ill-fated Everest attempt in 1924, and the video of them finding his body near the peak in 1999 (still wearing all his tweed etc). Tenzing of course was Sir Edmund Hillarys sherpa when they successfully reached the peak in 1953.
So why is there no Hillary-jacket? Or does that just not sound right? :-)
Anyhow, hoping to get a bit of brainshare going on re. these two jackets, any obscure or not so obscure info around? Anyone have an example of the really early versions?
The 2003 'Ascent of Cabourn' book Eric showed earlier has what is probably the earliest type of the jacket that is currently called the Mallory. Back then it was simply called 'Sherpa jacket' and later would be known as the Tenzing jacket. More interesting is the apparently authentic old black and white picture showing a sherpa wearing a jacket with the patches that would define this Nigel Cabourn classic. In this early version it still has four pockets like a military jacket that resemble the ones on the Cameraman jacket. These don't seem to be bellowed, but I can't be sure from this rather poor scan. maybe Eric can take a better picture?
The clothing Mallory wore is rather well documented since his well preserved body was discovered on the slopes of Everest in 1999.
His clothes were examined, reproduced and used to determine their effectiveness. They were nothing like the Mallory jacket we know and love, but a mix of several layers that provided warmth (wool insulated), maneuverability (silk reduced friction between layers and a special pivoting construction of the underarm seam allowed a great range of overhead movement) and resistance against windchill (tightly woven cotton gabardine was quite windproof).
For some great information get this pdf: furtech.typepad.com/links/files/Everest.pdf
An image of mountaineers testing replica 1924 Everest expedition outfits (quite dashing, you'll agree).
The Nigel Cabourn jacket does however somewhat resemble a jacket Mallory is seen wearing here on his less challenging climbs in Wales.
Considering a Hillary jacket in the Cabourn collection, I guess this is the Everest Parka. Although its other moniker 'Antarctic' Parka is more correct as it is based on the Fairydown coat Hillary wore on the 1958 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. This Cabourn jacket also incorporates some design features found on the beefed up version of the RAF parka that inspired the NG 'Taffy' cold weather parka.
I've not seen any photos of Mallory (or Tensing) wearing a jacket with shoulders protected by ventile (or anything similar).
No you are right, the only source for the patch design is from the photo of the sherpa wearing a wool suit type coat with kevlar patches.
This was a Tibetan equivalent to a donkey jacket but kevlar instead of leather to protect the jacket from wear from carrying equipment and supplies.
Nigel used this as his inspiration for the unique placement and design of the Ventile patches.
Of course having waterproof ventile patches to the shoulder area of the jacket makes it more showerproof to some extent and the elbow patch does help wear on the jacket so overall as well as being a unique design the patches could be considered functional.
I got caught in a very heavy shower when I first wore my AW09 Tenzing and it did dry out very quickly and is despite my best attempts to wear it out doing lots of activities - it still looks good as new.
Interestingly the Tenzing was a garment that Nigel carried over to the Debenhams Utility range after the 2003 Ascent release and for those that were lucky enough to spot this classic and buy this jacket then, it had a really nice sliding military button feature.
On a related note, I was walking through London on Sunday and came across this gallery http://www.chrisbeetlesfinephotographs.com/. It was closed unfortunately but it had what looked like a great exhibition of photographs from Scott's Antarctic expedition. Hopefully going to find the time to go in this weekend but I thought it may be of interest to some people here too.
I think I've accidentally stumbled on on a real find which Mr Cabourn might not even know about
If my hunch is correct this could be amazing news for all real Cabourn oficionados
It involves the Cabourn Antarctic/Everest parka which is inspired and is a near replica of the jacket that Sir Edmund Hilary wore on his Antarctic expedition in around 1957-58.
Nigel Cabourn went over to the Hilary museum which has the coat to study it and although he has always made it clear it wasn't the coat that Sir Edmund Hillary wore to the top of Mount Everest it was part of his collection to mark the 50 year anniversary of that important event and has bourne the name 'Everest Parka'
The Antarctic/Everest parka has been a major NC garment since 2003 with versions recreated in the Utility and Authentic range.
OK I'll get to the point
In 1965 (6-7 years after the Antarctic expedition) Sir Edmund Hillary took his son Peter exploring in the Himalayas and up to quite a high level of Mt Everest
And here is a photo taken at Khumbu on Mt Everest from that trip
Thank you and good night
(bows low and accepts rapturous applause in Rupert Pupkin style)
Thanks for the picture, I think you are quite right to compare it with a donkey jacket. This is also a garment designed to withstand hauling heavy loads, similar to the sacks draped around head and shoulders that have been used to load and unload cargo from ships in European ports since medieval times.
As such the patches are a very functional addition to clothing worn by the porters of the expedition, the Sherpas. Mallory, as a key British member of the expedition would of course not be expected to carry the loads their porters would haul up the mountain.
The design of the Mallory jacket seems to be a mix of Norfolk and Sports jackets with a bit of military flavour in the lower pockets. This is entirely fitting since these kind of jackets were the standard garment for outdoors activity in the late 19th and early 20th century. In its evolution it seems to have gravitated slightly more towards the sports jacket style and away from the norfolk.
The Hillary picture is a great find. Hard to tell if its the same style of coat as the one in the Trans-Antarctic expedition, but it certainly looks similar. The outer shell of the original was ripped extensively during this expedition, as can be seen in the documentary and picture below.
It's a shame Edmund is sitting down in the picture, since I would think a finger length parka like the arctic one and what he seems to be wearing is not practical for mountaineering. Very intriguing. Edited by taiAtari - 3/10/13 at 2:29pm
You are right of course, it might refer to the patches on the early sherpa/tenzing/mallory jacket (could be the material before Cabourn used ventile patches). You can't tell from that picture but it is part of a description of that jacket. Or who knows, Kevlar might be quite a common Sherpa name.