Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Warriors

The Warriors (1979) has transcended the label of ‘cult classic’ to now simply be regarded as ‘classic’. A barebones plot, but briskly directed by action maestro Walter Hill, this gang warfare movie was never so much about the fighting as the clothes.

During the memorable opening credits sequence for example, admire the matching yellow satin jackets, striped jersey sweaters and army coats worn by the gangs as they march the subways of NYC as if strutting the runways of Milan. Frankly, by today’s standards, it can all look faintly comical. Though in the late seventies, when downtown New York was something of a no-go area at night, even a man wearing denim dungerees and roller boots could be frightening.

The Warriors themselves are sartorially restrained compared to the other gangs. Light wash denim or twill and signature leather vest (apparently fake in real life) with either bare chest or singlet was the uniform. They referred to their leader as ‘War Chief’; so the western vibe was definitely cultivated as the gang’s mantra.

Clearly such custom made livery in real leather would have cost The Warriors a fortune. It is unlikely the gang could have afforded two or three of these vests, let alone the nine they actually needed. This is not the point though; they represent the group’s uniformity and loyalty to each other. That and the fear these ‘colours’ instil in anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path.

The Warriors vest and logo...any resemblance?
Tan leather vest (or ‘pleather’) with black and cream diamond braiding. Five button fastening to the front, ‘Warriors’ and Native American headdress and skull logo patches stitched on the back. Two outside braided pockets.
(Incidentally if you’d like a Warriors vest for swaggering down your local Maccy D’s, replica-versions do occasionally appear on eBay for $150-200. As do the Baseball Furies’ stripy knickerbockers – should you ever feel brave enough.)
the controversial shirt...does it look like the HA logo or not?
This example was found in Dontown Sao Paulo @ Galeria do Rock

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