Author Alexis Walker, Introduction by Nicola Pelly
A chronicle of the pioneering and subversive brand Parachute and its influence on the evolution of fashion in the 1980s and beyond.
From its beginnings inspired by New Wave subculture to its position as an international fashion sensation, the Parachute brand from Montreal was recognized for its visionary, bold apparel and innovative concept stores.
Avant-garde in attitude and design, Parachute brought together high and low, the establishment and the underground. The clothing was defined by androgynous looks, oversized silhouettes, elevated essentials, and graphic references to past and future, from exaggerated trench coats to “space samurai kimonos.” Together with a considered retail presence, which combined an industrial aesthetic in the stores with exuberant photography campaigns, the brand created a vision for street fashion that is keenly relevant today.
Walker explores the history of the brand through hundreds of images, many never published, including personal photography from the founders of the label alongside striking editorial and campaign imagery. A go-to label for stars like Madonna, Peter Gabriel, and David Bowie, Parachute both encapsulated the exuberance of the 1980s and signaled the future in clothing and retail.
Uniquely designed with ephemera layered over photographs as if in the founders’ own scrapbooks, this is a definitive insight into a highly influential cult 1980s brand, and a key reference for fashion historians and designers alike.
The text for this book is in both English and French.
About The Author
Alexis Walker is associate curator of dress, fashion, and textiles at the McCord Stewart Museum in Montreal.
Nicola Pelly is one of the co-founders of Parachute.