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WHY WE LOVE IT - Sept 15, 2021

Even though this vest came from a men’s collection, I see it as a unisex piece.

Words by Eugene Rabkin, ANT/-D/RECTOR

I’ve always been intrigued by garments that are constructed differently than their purpose would intend, garments that are not what they are. For example, one of my most favorite pieces in my wardrobe is a Comme des Garcons H+ cotton poplin shirt that’s constructed like a perfecto. It looks great under a 3/4 formal coat, which I tend to favor in the fall. Such a fit often gets a double take from people, because they don’t expect a biker jacket to be worn under a coat. I get the same vibe from this Rick Owens leather harness vest. Essentially, what you are looking at is a bag that’s meant to be worn instead of being carried. As someone who likes to keep his hands free on the loopy streets of New York, I was immediately attracted to this piece while we were doing our Rick Owens buy. It works well in the summer, because it looks infinitely better than your cell phone and your wallet bulging out of your skinny jeans, and in the winter because it makes for a brilliant layering piece, either over a knit or under / over a coat, giving a punk kick to any tailoring you want to combine it with. (I guess by now you are sensing a theme in my own dressing habits – a love for tailoring as craft and a look, combined with a deep fear of looking like an “adult.”)

Even though this vest came from a men’s collection, I see it as a unisex piece. It has a historical connection as well, perhaps unwittingly. Few people know that the precursors of women’s bags were essentially pockets with a sling that women wore over their pocketless dresses. I see a glimpse of that history here. And if you are a Rick-loving couple and you’ll have to make a schedule for who gets to wear it when, I think it’s still worth it.