Mr. Peacock has moved frequently in his life, and would always purge and get rid of stuff before each move, but has always kept a few favorite clothing pieces. I’ve had this striped Katherine Hamnett “school boy jacket” (see below) for twenty years—longer than many of my relationships.
When my friend, David, and I first saw these Katherine Hamnett jackets, we knew we had to have them—and decided to get matching jackets (think Oprah and Gayle). We saved our “pennies,” and purchased the jackets from the eponymous menswear store, Wilkes Bashford. Each time we wore them together (or separate), we received such an overwhelming reaction (usually positive) from friends and strangers alike. People always thought they were vintage (they are now), and would ask us questions about the jackets and why we were wearing them. It somehow dumbfounded some people why we were wearing matching striped school boy jackets—we simply liked them. These striped schoolboy jackets became our “uniform” for nite-clubbing, Pride Parades, and at various protests of the time.
Here we are at a Pride Parade at the end of the 80's, shortly after we acquired the jackets. We would sometimes stick "slogans or statements" on the back of the jacket with those peel-off vinyl letters (you can barely see mine on the right side). I don't remember what mine said.
Posing with the late and great artist, Jerome Caja (I’ll talk about him on another posting). We pinned daisies to our hats—David (left) wore a straw boater hat, and Mr. Peacock (right) wore a black bowler, with red plaid piping around the edge. I sold that bowler hat ages ago, although, I wish I had kept it now.
Here’s Mr. Peacock, proclaiming peace, at the March on Washington in 1993. We wore our matching jackets during the actual March, and I wore a denim skirt that I made—like my older sisters and their friends would wear in the late 60’s/early 70’s. You take a pair of jeans and split the seams open and add fabric to create the skirt. I also embroidered a giant peace sign and some other slogans on the back (sorry I couldn't find a photo of the back), ala Obedient Sons. I also, stupidly sold that over a decade ago.
This shot is backstage with the talented performance artist, Arturo Galster, as his alter ego “Patsy Cline.” He would sing with his own voice as Patsy Cline, and perform with his band, the Memphis G Spots—what a great performer!
Sometimes I would just wear a “wife-beater” tank underneath; other times I would be formal with a plaid vest and polka dot tie—I love plaid and polka dots!
Partying with my mother in San Francisco—I wore my jacket (above left) with over-sized black linen pants that I made; watching a band perform in the early 90's, with a red wool shirt.
Posing with the talented artist and performer, Rodney O'Neal Austin. Rodney dressed a bit subdued on this day, and I joked that he looked like my first grade teacher.
Nite-clubbing: I liked to wear the jacket with my favorite t-shirt that had an embroidered matador in red, black and green thread.
Early 1990's: Mr. Peacock with José Sarria, political activist and performer from the historic 1950's and 1960's Black Cat Bar.
I will occasionally take the jacket out of its protective bag and wear it now—but only for special occasions. Each time I wear the jacket, I can feel the energy and vibrations from all of the wonderful events I’ve worn it to, and that makes me happy. I’m looking forward to wearing the jacket this spring and summer on it’s 20th anniversary of our relationship together.
Tartan Scot mentioned he's going to be wearing a navy and red striped school boy jacket he picked up in London this spring (Mr. Peacock spotted it in his closet photo). You can get your own "favorite" school boy jacket here.
What’s your favorite item in your wardrobe that makes you happy?