The History of The Gurkha

A Luca Rubinacci-designed collection wouldn’t be complete without the iconic Manny trouser, which is why his exclusive line for The Rake is brimming with stylish iterations, made using the finest vintage cloths. As these trousers are pioneering interpretations of the military design called the Gurkha, we examine its full military history on
Anthony Eden inspecting troops in Egypt, 1940 (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

When delving into the origins of classical menswear, practically everything you single out will have its roots in military dress. A slew of stalwart garments have been forged in the crucible of battle. The Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815, despite its purpose of stopping the advances of the First French Empire, was an exhibition of refined military attire. Monarchs of all four European superpowers were obsessed with how their soldiers dressed. However, as the Battle of Waterloo was in its pomp, the British Military in the form of the East India Company was occupied in a very different conflict – a less sophisticated battle, that became the bedrock for the popularization of the Gurkha pant – a recently revived design in ready-to-wear, thanks to Rubinacci’s creative and ingenious interpretation of the military style.

The Gurkha trouser takes its name from Nepal’s elite soldiers and the Gurkhas themselves in turn derive their name from the Nepalese kingdom of Ghorka. It was at the Gorkha military fort of Nalapani in 1914, that British forces first came into conflict with the Gurkhas. Despite the British far exceeding their opposition in terms of numbers and resources, they were shocked at their resistance. Fused by bravery, intricate knowledge of the terrain and superior stamina borne out of living most of their lives at high altitude, the Gurkhas held out at Nalapani. Undeterred by complete exhaustion of food, water and ammunition, they chose not to surrender, instead fighting their way out of the surrounded fort and escaping to the hills.

The buying window for this pre-order collection is now open and will run for 2 weeks, closing on Wednesday 22nd September. Garments will arrive 8 weeks after the buying window closes. Please email for further information.


    Freddie Anderson


    September 2021


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