The journey of the Peace Jacket began about three years ago when artist, Regine Bechtler, first came across an old military uniform jacket at a German thrift store. She was struck by the wonderful texture of the fabric and the high quality of the stitch work. It seemed a shame that these types of jackets had only been seen from the very utilitarian perspective of shielding a soldier from the elements and identifying him as a friend or foe before now. Despite its oversized, masculine fit, this jacket had the potential to become a veritable work of art.
The title of this collection, Peace Jacket, has a clever dual meaning. Many different pieces of recycled material come together in a completely unique composition to create wearable art that also promotes peace and environmental sustainability.
“I don’t want camouflage to always be a pattern of war; I want to demilitarize it. It is beautiful in its own right,” Regine says, “It may not really match with anything, but that is part of its appeal for me because it therefore goes with anything. For me it echoes of the very essence of survival.”
The many different splashes of color, the wild array of lace and buttons, as well as the bold slogans emblazoned across the surface of the jackets are reminiscent of a powerful revolution for a better world.
The accessories, appliques, buttons, etc. come from all over the globe. No two jackets are ever the same. They are altered and hemmed to create flattering waistlines and then are bedazzled and bedecked with an exceptionally careful eye for aesthetics.