Mister Freedom® “Chemise Poilu”, Cotton Dobby Stripe.
FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” Collection.
Made in Japan.
The Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co “Chemise Poilu” is the second shirting installment of the mfsc “PIOUPIOU” collection, a concept previously introduced in this post, loosely inspired by World events of the first half of the 20th Century.
The Grandfather of the M35 – the khaki uniform shirt issued to French troops in 1935 and the inspiration behind the MF® Liquette M35 – was a flannel pull-0ver collarless shirt introduced in 1878. Issued in stripe or small check patterns, that M1878 garment might seem like an odd choice for an official piece of WW1 uniform, even for the fashion-conscious French Army État Major! However, the civilian-looking shirt was concealed under a fully-buttoned tunic, and was only worn on the outside during rest periods, or chow time at camp.
When military tunics started featuring open collars the mid 1930s’s, the need for more ‘appropriate’ shirting became evident. In 1935, the M35 with its elegant and fashionable “Col Aiglon” was introduced, in a range of drab khaki colors. That specific Aiglon collar shape was a key design feature of our recently-released take on the M35, somehow demilitarized by our choice of fancy indigo linen and workwear stripe ticking fabrics.
The MF® interpretation of the M1878 is a departure from the vintage originals (see photo below of an authentic WW1 striped model and its characteristic period black ink chest marking), with their rudimentary pattern and tent-like dated fit. We actually pulled-out an old original mfsc pattern from the vaults for the body, the Chemise Hirondelle from our “Les Apaches” days of 2011. After tweaking pocketing and collar patterns, it morphed into a new shirt matching our Pioupiou story.
A key element was also the choice of fabric. We sourced out fancy shirting textiles from contemporary traditional bespoke tailoring catalogs and settled on two distinct cotton Dobby stripe fabrics. The white one is a striped combination of herringbone twill and sateen weave. The “Bleu Horizon” (sky blue) one is not a mere colored version of that, but a striped combo of sateen and poplin weave.
Interestingly, our fabrics are strikingly similar to vintage swatches included in a 1915-1916 supply catalog from the “BRÜNER WOOLEN Co, Importer and Manufacturers of Fine Tailors Trimmings”, preciously preserved in the MF® archives. The swatches are described as “French (and English) Mercerized Sateen”. The militaria collector will note that our pick of luxurious fabrics for the 2019 MF® Chemise Poilu is quite the departure from the utilitarian striped/checkered twills of authentic M1878 shirts, but you get the drift.
Shirring on the cuffs and back yoke also add a touch of fancy tailoring. Genuine bone button with subtle variations in color are an extra vintage reference to 1900’s shirting.
We adapted the collar of our 2011 Hirondelle to a stand collar band type, and revisited the pocket shapes to accommodate a mobile phone, more popular today than pocket watches. The curvy and mirrored pocket flap shape dates back to when we were getting quite creative with them!
The characteristic ‘dangling’ cloth tab at the bottom of the button placket was initially conceived to fasten to one’s breeches waist button in the old days, to guarantee shirts stay tucked-in. We kept the nod to the 1910’s-30’s, but added a button to secure the tab on the shirt, understanding this was a 100 year-old obsolete feature. Get creative and submit a potential use for that tab to the HQ, for a chance to be featured on the MF® store IG feed!
This release wraps the Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” epic collection.
The MF® Chemise POILU is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
For in-depth research on WW1 French uniforms, we recommend “L’Armée Française dans la Première Guerre Mondiale” (ISBN 10: 3902526106) from this publisher, and publications from Histoires & Collections.
An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage French military uniform shirts, Old World fancy tailoring and early utilitarian shirting.
Two distinct cotton Dobby stripe option:
a) White: Fine 100% cotton, white background with woven blue and black pinstripe, alternating herringbone twill and sateen weave.
b) Blue: Fine 100% cotton, “Bleu Horizon” (sky blue) background with woven blue and navy stripes, alternating poplin and sateen weave.
* Pull-over type, with front expansion pleat.
* Stand collar with chin strap.
* Genuine bone buttons, with subtle variations in natural colors.
* Original mfsc pocket shapes and flaps.
* Unbalanced chest pocketing. Elongated right pocket fits average mobile phone.
* Tab on button placket to secure to breeches’ waist button.
* Cuffs and back yoke shirring.
* Contrasting shirt tails, longer in back and rounded in front.
* Inside triangular side gusset reinforcement patches.
* Original mfsc “Pioupiou” woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.
Both fabric options of the MF® Chemise POILU come raw/un-rinsed.
We recommend the usual protocol for cotton shirts before wearing:
* Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
* Spin dry and line dry.
Both versions will fit the same following the above procedure. I am usually a Medium (15½) in mfsc shirting, and I opted for a Medium in both fabric options, for a comfortable somewhat ‘period’ fit with a ‘vintage’ silhouette partly due to the extended rear shirt tail.
Extra (quite attractive) seam puckering will happen if using a heat dryer (on low), and will also result in extra (minimal) shrinkage as the seams pull.
We recommend getting your usual mfsc shirt size, but please refer to sizing chart for measurements, reflecting a 30-40mn cold soak/spin dry/line dry process. The raw measurements are given for reference only, as the numbers that actually matter are post soak. We do believe that, according to frequency of use, washable garments should be laundered when needed, and not kept ‘raw’.
Launder when needed. Machine wash on gentle cycle, cold water, minimum eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Available from our Los Angeles red brick HQ, from www.misterfreedom.com, and fine retailers around the World.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
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