Vintage car, vintage ruins, vintage film, vintage British Warm
Excerpt from Zurlini’s 1972 film La Prima Notte di Quiete. Elegant cinematography, great compositions and score no? But because this is supposed to be a blog about classic menswear you, dear reader, and me will now focus on the clothes, more specifically, the outerwear worn by ‘the Professor’ played by Alain Delon (roll neck) and ‘Spider’ played by Giancarlo Giannini (tie). The story of La Prima Notte di Quiete is set wintertime in the coastal tourist town of Rimini and the beige/camel colour coats worn by the main characters form a visual motif seen throughout the film. A sartorial stylistic movie thing-ey also used by directors like Sergio Leone (dusters), Jean Pierre Melville (trench coats) and Tarantino (black suits). The Professor is usually filmed wearing a roomy, moth bitten polo coat, love interest Vanina Abati is seen in a sleek feminine trench coat and last but not least; Spider and his oppurtunistic gambling friends are typically seen sporting British Warms.
A British Warm is a military style coat not seen anymore today, but reasonably popular up until the early eighties in Great Britain, as worn by member of the officer corps in/off duty or after having retired from active service. But also on the Continent, as worn by people who bought the coat from army surplus, like our Spider in the film excerpt above. If my memory serves me correctly style writers Bernhard Roetzel and Paul Keers included the British Warm in their canons of English style. The ‘recipe’ of the coat is simple, a short camel coloured six-on-three double breasted coat, made of sturdy utilitarian cloth (wool cavalry twill or melton), with leather buttons and epaulets on the shoulders.
And because no post on milstil is complete without some pictures of people you can only aspire to be like: Prince Charles, Field Marshal Montgomery, Winston Churchill, Prince Bernhard and some anonymous Scottish officer donning a British Warm. Hey, at least you can
copy ehrrrr ‘emulate’ their style, provided you can find a vintage piece or get a BW made bespoke, as far as I know there are no makers that do prêt-à-porter versions left.