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  • Writer's pictureXenia

Down-filled apron/vest

Couple of weeks ago I have envisioned a weird piece of apparel. To begin its story I need to start from prologue about 'Context'.

   Context is an influential part of life, often ignored and not accounted for, whereas I see it as a root of many things and as an important aspect that you need to analyze in any situation in order to adequately evaluate it. But let's narrow it down and apply it to the topic of functional clothing design. Situation in which any piece would be used should be the first thing to analyze. So, very often for me the situation is a single point from which idea springs. I'm lacking something and I invent it.

Now it's time for second prologue: 'Lovely San Francisco weather'.

  San Francisco and its weather happen to be my context for the last two years. Don't get me wrong, I'm in a way greatfull, but the weather is horrible. What am I grateful for though is that the environment is dynamic, read unpredictable. It can be chilly in the morning, hot in he day, on the sun, and still chilly in the shadow, and extremely cold after dawn, especially in the summer;. As well the temperature could be really different in different neighborhoods, you can transition in five minutes from sunny summer to a foggy and windy situation. One last factor, that amplifies the differences in weather conditions, is if you are moving by bicycle, you get more wind and you get cold significantly faster in the colder conditions. As you see, it's a very challenging and demanding environment if you want to stay thermally balanced.

   Now, what was situation and what I came up with two weeks ago. It was that situation where I was coming from sunny downtown closer to the ocean and was not dressed to face cold strong wind. My back was fairly protected by backpack, so heat accumulated there was staying, but whole front of the body was exposed. And a thought of a vest that had only front part came to my mind, a half vest that would be easily put on by snapping around neck and waist of some kind of straps, without taking backpack off. Lack of back part would solve a problem of back overheating under jacket and backpack (which is on 95% of time in the urban setting).

   So long story short, yesterday I've made it.


Fabric: 0.7 oz Ventum ripstop nylon, breathable, windproof, DWR;

Insulation: 800 fill down;

Fasteners: Fidlock buckles (I've got few samples and couldn't resist using them for this prototype).

Field-testing: see the next entry.


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