As the weather gradually becomes warmer and more humid, many of us may well be looking for alternatives to the ubiquitous suit and sport jacket in order to simultaneously beat the heat and look well put together. Ideally the garment will be highly comfortable for prolonged wear, versatile enough for a variety of outfits, and of course look different from the standard fare.
This is where Prologue’s Mandarin jacket shines.
The Mandarin jacket is our take on an unstructured, casual shirt-style jacket, with Hong Kong’s rich and storied tailoring heritage providing the base inspiration and concept (in the form of the stereotypical ‘kung fu’ jacket). We modified the Mandarin jacket extensively to make the classic garment better suited to the dress-down culture of the 21st century.
When we were designing the Mandarin jacket our foremost objective was to produce a garment that was able to blend our western-based tailoring experiences, techniques, and principles with a quintessentially Chinese silhouette. Hong Kong’s unique history and geopolitical importance made it a confluence of the East and the West; and through our jacket we wanted to pay homage to our cultural roots while acknowledging and embracing Hong Kong’s modern hybridised culture.
The single most striking feature of our Mandarin jackets, aside from the distinctly Oriental look, is its simplicity. Aside from two simple patch pockets nothing else adorns the jacket, there are no buttons, flaps, or pleats to distract the eye. The jacket’s collar has been designed and made taller so that it can be worn with the collar standing or folded down, with the collar becoming a faux lapel when it is turned down to mimic a normal sport coat.
Our Mandarin jacket’s simple and clean aesthetic belies the technical difficulties we faced when prototyping the jacket, in particular the one piece front and sleeve construction. We were adamant about retaining this feature to honour the original garment and reduce clutter across the fronts. Extra long sleeves that are turned back to form a minimalistic wide cuff further emphasise the Oriental aesthetic while keeping the garment pared.