The collection of outfits exhibited follow the lineage of mythological clothing. Since ancient times jackets, coats and robes have been inscribed with special meaning and mythological power. Today the MA1 Bomber jacket has been appointed with mythological status, once a flying jacket used in combat, then by mods in the 1960's, right wing skinheads in the 1970's, then queers in the 1980's and '90's; all used in a display of anti-establishment street authority. The Mantle presents the idea that the choice of a US fighter pilot jacket over other combat attire is not just made aesthetic grounds, the clothing is suffused with omnipotence through association with flight, making the wearer a present day Hermes, the protector of travelers, miscreants, harlots and thieves.

The jacket presented in The Mantle video has reached the status of fetish object. Associations between sex, water, air disasters and ritual are drawn together between the video, soundtrack and accompanying fashion show. Little Peggy March's 1960's hit song I will follow him acts as a persuasive guide to the event. The event also includes guidance on donning a life jacket, used to save the wearer from drowning, but in practice used in present day myth making, as the likelihood of survival, after air/marine impact is negligible.


wayward 21: The Mantle

betonsalon, paris, France. 2009


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