What you need to know about the BURBERRY Trench-coat.
Burberry invented garbadine in 1879
The Burberry fashion house was founded in 1856, and it owes everything it is today to Thomas Burberry and one original design intended to keep the rain out.
Flashback to 1879: young former draper's assistant Thomas Burberry invented a special type of fabric for a comfortable and rain-resistant coat. The fruit of his labours was gabardine, a tough, tightly-woven and water-resistant fabric.
The success of Burberry's water-resistant fabric was phenonemal. Orders flooded in, the first major client being the British Army. Using his own designs for officers' coats made 13 years beforehand for the War Office, Burberry added shoulder straps and metal rings to his gabardine coat, and the trench coat was born.
After the war, soliders still wore their trenches with pride
When the soldiers returned from the front after the war, they carried on wearing their trenches in civilian life. The trench kept its original shape throughout the years and is still made from 26 pieces of gabardine of different sized, with a buckled belt and D-rings.
Traditional trenches have 10 crossover buttons and come in classic colours (khaki, beige or black), with extra lining on the underside (the original coats contained a lining that could be removed and which clung to the legs and body). Traditional raglan sleeves, cuffs gathered with wrist straps and shoulder straps (originally used for attaching stipes, leather gloves, hats or bag straps to) give the trench its unique character and chic.
The trench evolved throughout the 20th century
The Burberry trench was imitated by fashion houses across the world. The trench became popular in the street and on the big screen, but lost none of its charm even as it became assiciated with reactionary movements through the fashion ages.
Punks took hold of the trench during the late Seventies, and the Eighties saw amateur versions of the trench in all styles. For a long time, the trench was associated with intellectual chic because it was classic and never went out of fashion.
It wasn't until 1990, under Artistic Director Roberto Menichetti, that Burberry brought out a new version of the trench, a Thirties-inspired model with the famous Burberry heck incorporated into the design. It sparked a whole new wave of copycat designs.