Every movie has secret ingredients. Art directors who’s brilliant eyes design the visual palette of a film. Cinematographers who capture the magic of light and shadow. Costume designers who blend fabrics with their imaginations. Stunt coordinators who create thrilling action that takes your breath away. Special Effects wizards, who make the impossible real. Craftsmen. Artists. Professionals. You may not know their names, but their skills bring magic to the dream of light and sound that we call movies
STEVE McCOLGAN is one of those names you may not know. But you have seen his recreations of historical military clothing in many films. Each piece painstakingly researched. Every item deconstructed from an original and repatterned. Buttons, zippers, hooks and hardware sourced and recreated. Fabrics remilled, then dyed to original specifications. The result is the past made real. Perfect recreations down to the smallest details of uniforms that friend and foe wore when facing each other on battlefields long ago. Here are some of the films that he has brought his magic to…
THE ARMY AIR CORP A-2 LEATHER FLYING JACKET
The single most famous and coveted jacket in the world is the Army Air Corps A-2 leather flying jacket. Tens of thousands of men wore them in the battlefield skies over Europe and the Pacific during the Second World War. Those same veterans brought them home and wore them for decades after. Many passing them down to their sons, and more than a few daughters. Dashing. Practical. Virtually indestructible. Growing softer and more comfortable with time. The passing years lending it a patina that enhances its beauty. If you ever owned one, you miss it. If you never owned one, you want one.
THE HISTORY OF THE McCOLGAN A-2
In 1989 Steve McColgan designed and produced his initial run of A-2 leather Flying jackets based on originals in his own collection. They were licensed under the label of L&T Trading Company and sold exclusively to the Japanese collector’s market.
In 1991 he introduced his own label. The Steve McColgan Clothing Company of Newport Beach, California. He was the first manufacturer to offer “hand aged” leather A-2 jackets that appeared to be lovingly preserved heirlooms, complete with custom painted “warbird” art on the back panel and authentically embroidered WWII squadron and group patches. This limited production of hand finished jackets lasted only two years. By 1993 they were gone. If you were lucky enough to have acquired one, it is now a collector’s piece in its own right.
In 2013 Steve McColgan was contracted to once again produce A-2 leather flying jackets for the upcoming motion picture UNBROKEN, directed by Angelina Jolie. The film tells the harrowing true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. McColgan was tasked by the director to outfit the entire crew of Zamperini’s B-24, “Superman,” with the Australian made variant of this famous flying jacket. This film assignment rekindled Steve’s love of the A-2 leather jacket, and so, after a twenty year hiatus, the Steve McColgan Clothing Company has decided to produce a limited run of this legendary flight jacket for the collector’s market!
PACIFIC THEATER A-2 “Australian Contract”
While most A-2 jackets produced in America during the Second World War were constructed of horsehide, jackets subcontracted to Australian firms for resupply to American forces in the Pacific Theater were made of LAMBSKIN or STEERHIDE, as horses were in short supply “Down Under.” For authenticity reasons lamb and steer hides were chosen exclusively for the production of jackets for this film.
TANNING PROCESS. As during the war years, only raw unfinished hides, known as “natural crusts,” were chosen. 1½ ounce for lamb, and 2 to 3 ounces for steer. They are then finished in three authentic colors: RUSSET, CHESTNUT, or SEAL BROWN. The color is lightly hand sprayed over the natural crust, as were the originals, so that the dye lays on top rather than permeating all the way through. Over time, as the jacket acquires creases and wear, the natural color beneath will begin to reemerge, exactly like originals.
QUALITY. These jackets are in every detail as authentic and luxurious as A-2 jackets produced in England, Japan, and Australia, but for a much more reasonable cost.
Even size 36 – 50. $499.00
Customs sizes available. POR.