Original Design 08: Stone Island FW87 Jacket x Filson Double Cruiser
I’ve had this vintage Stone Island cape jacket for a while and always was curious about the origins of its unusual design. Paul, the author of the Osti article for Bright Magazine, has the same jacket and shared some insight to the mystery of the design. Click below to read more.
Stone Island FW87 Jacket x Filson Double Cruiser
By Paul Dezentjé
An early Stone Island winter jacket (FW87) was clearly based upon the Filson Double Cruiser, an absolute American classic by an all-American outdoor brand. The double cruiser came forth from the Cruiser, a patented American Classic, originally in wool. Stone Island’s version came in raso ray, with a warm polyamide inner jacket, and was available in at least three colour combinations.
Clinton C. Filson’s Cruiser Jacket was patented back in 1914. It still is available today, even in a denim version. The original Cruiser was designed for timber cruisers and made of the famous Mackinaw wool. Men working in timber lived a hard outdoor life, working in the timber industry, traveling through the woods, regardless the season. Their jacket was often their home and only shelter against the elements. The Cruiser provided warmth and was, at the time, quiet weatherproof.
A Cruiser is a half-length, straight jacket that should reach just over the hips. It has a foldable collar and button closure. At the front side, there are four pockets: two on each side of the chest and two on the thighs. Distinctive for the Cruiser are the additional pockets sewed on the left side basic pockets. The upper left pocket has a row of pencil slots; the left lower pocket has a smaller additional pocket. All four pockets are secured with a buttoned flap. The back has a large pocket with side entries for maps, closed with two vertical flaps. This pocket is in fact a double layer at the back. The Cruiser remained popular, with its multiple front pockets and the full double back, with its a huge back pocket.
Later Filson came up with a warmer version of this jacket: the Double Cruiser. Invented to protect from even more freezing weather, hail, storms and winter blasts, it had an important addition: a one-piece cape over the upper-half of a basic Cruiser style. In other words: this coat had an extra layer over the shoulder, breast and upper half of the back, including full double sleeves - all made of heavyweight wool. The Double Cruiser has al the same pockets, but the openings of the chest pockets are covered by the cape; a very typical view for this jacket. The same goes for the back, where the cape opening falls over the upper part of the map pocket. A typical view too. Taking a look at the Stone Island winter jacket, the design connection between Filson’s classic and the Stone Island jacket is clearly visible. Execution and materials differ.
The original Cruiser and Double Cruiser have no liner. Osti added a liner (the inner jacket) to his winter version, with a large collar that makes the complete jacket look like the Filson Woolpacker, the second Cruiser offspring. The large collar is the most distinct part of this woolen Filson coat. Main function here is to provide additional warmth and ultimate weather resistance; the soft shearling wool collar makes the difference. The outer jacket of the 1987 Stone Island coat is a modern version of the Double Cruiser, but becomes an eighties version of the Filson Woolpacker as with the inner jacket attached to it.
Osti made the Double Cruiser more functional, using his up to date lightweight rubberized water resistant cotton (Raso Ray, aka Raso Gommato) for the outer jacket and feather light, super warm polyester and polyamide for the inner jacket. The inner jacket was a fully wearable jacket, with side pockets, zip (YKK) and storm flap with marked buttons. It even had a thin hood, rolled-up in the collar, and adjustable with white ropes with a heavy, black rubber coin with the compass logo modern additions compared to the old school originals. This jacket is typical for the late 1980’s Osti in every way, and an example of Stone Island at its best. The jacket is fashionable in a modern way, highly functional, durable and deluxe in execution. It was inspired by a true classic, but not a simple remake because it was adjusted to modern times using topnotch materials, superb color combinations and smart detailing.
In his waterproof Stone Island design (note that Osti, like many others, did not use Gore Tex) the cape over the shoulders and the sleeves was an extra layer that provided protection against rain leaking through seams. Although the material became wet in enduring rain or very hard rain showers, the double layer really extended the water resistance of the garment. Also, it protected against wind and made the coat warmer. In very cold conditions, which we do have in The Netherlands, the collar of the inner jacket can be put up and closed at the front with a snapped strap. The outer material of this collar is made of a steel blue, rough material to keep cold out. The inside of this broad collar is soft and warm against the skin of the face and dries very easily. The combination of these materials made the collar functional; the collar of the outer jacket proved additional support when put up. The only thing that I experienced to be not perfectly thought-over, are the wide-open cuffs of the inner jacket. These should hade been knitted cuffs, to prevent wind blowing in. otherwise, this was a hell of a jacket and still is, almost 25 years later.
Like its originator, this Stone Island jacket is a jacket to hide in. In 1987 this one was like a shelter for City Cruisers. As far as I know, the jacket was available in green (with a black inner jacket), in red (with a yellow inner jacket) and in yellow (with a sky blue inner jacket). It is said that there was also a cream-white one with a yellow inner jacket. Stone Island also featured a summer variation of this coat, available in navy blue and one in denim, featuring the old style stitching of brand name and compass on the back, but without the cape.
If you enjoyed this, check out more Stone Island military influences in the Original Design section.
About the Author:
Paul Dezentjé(1968), Netherlands, divides his time between being a freelancer writer and being a teacher in Dutch/marketing/business at a school for young professional musicians and dancers. In 2010 he wrote an article on his hero Massimo Osti, for Bright Magazine.
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