Mister Freedom® MULHOLLAND “DRIZZLE-KING”, Cachou Cotton Canvas, mfsc FW2019, Made in Japan.

“Is cycling just a little thing with you, or are you serious?” Triumph Ad (1965)

Photo Yoshi Miyazaki (Seven Bros) ©2019

Mister Freedom® “Mulholland DRIZZLE-KING”, cachou cotton canvas.
FW2019 mfsc SURPLUS Catalog.
Made in Japan.

Back in 2009, we released a British-style riding jacket, part of a “Speed Safe Clothing For Modern Riders” story, the original Mister Freedom® Mulholland Master. That first model, issued in chocolate brown jungle cloth, was followed by a black version, re-released and updated in 2016 as part of the mfsc Anniversary Collection. That same year, an indigo jungle cloth model was also introduced.

The “Mulholland DRIZZLE-KING” is our 2019 interpretation.

A few words on the roots of that classic design first, to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”…

Today a familiar silhouette in fashionable menswear, the origins of the classic “A7 jacket” arch back to the mid 1930’s. The jacket’s design, with its instantly-recognizable slanted chest pocket and rain-proof flaps, emerged out of the UK. Originally developed by J. Barbour and Sons for the military, the jacket would later be associated with typical British motorcycle oil cloth riding gear. Similar styles from competing motor-cycling apparel brands were subsequently made available, such as wax cloth pioneer Belstaff‘s versions.
By the 1960’s recreational motorcyclists around the world, and select professional racers alike, had adopted the ‘European’ style riding gear fashion. In 1964, the US Olympic Team would give the British motorcycle jacket its Lettres of Coolness during the International Six Day Trials (ISDT), with a little push from one of the official members, rider number 278…

We got the “Mulholland” name of our humble interpretation of that classic garment from one of Los Angeles’ iconic highway, a scenic stretch of asphalt turned playground for Californian motorcycle riders, automotive speedsters and local midnight cruisers.

The Mister Freedom® Mulholland Masters pattern borrows heavily from vintage UK apparel, but also blends in elements of classic US military gear such as 1940’s paratrooper outfits (M-42 type) and early BU. Aero US Navy flight jackets (M-421a type). Our interpretation combines old school British moto style with American coolness, keeping the 1960’s vibe while giving the garment a contemporary fit.

Our Mulholland Master iterations have always been heavy jackets, confined to the closet for most of the year in Southern California. So we thought of adding a somewhat “light” version for 2019. We initially considered stripping the design of some of its intricate details (diamond elbow patch, complex pocket patterns, “sandwiched” lining, etc…), but decided against it. The Mulholland would stay the Mulholland, and no corners would get cut! The Japanese factory that had been producing the Mulhollands since 2009 initially turned down doing another run, but eventually agreed to the challenge again. Design-wise, we merely edited-out the removable snap-on chin strap, which proved to mostly be used as a Lost & Found staple anyways!

To shave off some of the bulkiness and weight of the early Mulholland models, we decided to substitute the heavy jungle cloth with the 13 Oz. ‘cachou’ cotton duck canvas of our popular Conductor Jacket, and to replace the traditional corduroy lining with the eye-pleasing cotton woven plaid previously featured on the Dune Buggy Jacket. The result is still a hefty coat of about 4 Lbs (!) but a bit more versatile and So Cal-friendly, without falling into the contemporary fashiony versions.

WAXING: We are only issuing the DRIZZLE-KING in its raw, untreated form. The canvas is not water-repellent, and some owners might opt to wax the jacket as a DIY project. We will soon publish a brief video recap of the waxing process of an early DRIZZLE-KING prototype on the MF® Youtube account, but please be warned that it is a real endeavor! Waxing is also a commitment, as once you start you have to finish, and there’s no un-waxing the garment. The “waxed look” is also an acquired taste, we’ve heard it referred-to quite poetically as the “homeless look”… Keep in mind that your seat companion on the plane might not get all the vintage oilcloth and cool ISDT references!
For the bold we wants to proceed, considering the potentially amazing-looking results and rewarding patina, we recommend pure natural beeswax (about 2 Lbs.), a heat gun (hair dryer won’t cut it), a bucket of elbow grease, and a lot of patience. Note that, after curing overnight, the waxed jacket will be stiff as a board if you use pure beeswax, as opposed to the usual petroleum-based commercial thornproof dressing.

The Mulholland “DRIZZLE-KING” is designed in California by MISTER FREEDOM® and produced in Japan by SUGAR CANE Co.

SPECS:

FABRIC:
Shell: Sturdy and crispy 100% cotton duck canvas, 13 Oz., selvedge, brown ‘cachou’ color, milled and dyed in Japan.
Lining: Cotton/linen blend woven plaid, indigo and white tartan.

DETAILS:
* Freely inspired by vintage classic British motorcycling apparel, 1940’s US Paratrooper jackets and other vintage military coats.
* Four front snap flap ‘rainproof’ pockets and one rear snap flap pocket, for maps/tools/documents. Top right pocket secured by concealed “Conmatic” zipper. Pockets lined with plaid fabric.
* Inside chest pocket.
* Belted, featuring a solid US-made brass police garrison buckle. (For the rowdy type, that removable belt can also turn into an instant weapon, should you and your cycle survive an encounter with a texting ‘n driving genius, for whom turn signals and rear-view mirrors are purely SUV decorative options.)
* Italian “Fiocchi” brass snaps, original manufacturer of Italian military snaps, along with their cousin counterpart Company DEWEY.
* Heavy-duty 1950’s-type US mil-specs oxidized black metal TALON zipper front closure.
* Wind flap secured by snaps.
* Stand collar with adjustable buckle strap, corduroy-lined.
* Diamond elbow patches, M-421A BU. Aero US Navy jacket-style.
* Adjustable gusset wrist snap closures.
* Tonal stitching, cotton-wrapped poly thread.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The DRIZZLE-KING come raw/unwashed and is cut so that the measurements match the labeling after an initial cold soak/line dry.
We recommend our usual method for raw cotton garments:
* 30-40mn cold soak with intermittent hand agitation, in minimally-filled washing machine or bath tub.
* Spin dry cycle (if using a machine).
* Hang dry.

I wear a comfortable 38 in this coat and all other Mulholland models, with room for a thick shirt or wool sweater underneath.
We have taken the measurements to the best of our abilities. Refer to our sizing chart and remember that measurements are from the outside of the fabric.

CHART

CARE:
Please DO NOT attempt to wash this jacket in a home washing machine! You risk ruining both machine and jacket, as the DRIZZLE-KING weights a ton when wet.
Activities and frequency of wear will obviously dictate when cleaning is needed. Please use common sense with spot cleaning, or take the jacket to a professional eco-friendly cleaner. Remove the belt before cleaning.

The DRIZZLE-KING can also be hand-washed in a tub filled with cold water. Use eco-friendly detergent. Hang to dry.
IMPORTANT: Treat your zipper as you would a vintage one, rub wax to lubricate at times, and use common sense rather that brute force to zip and unzip, making sure tabs line-up when zipping.

If you have opted to wax your jacket, washing it will remove some of the wax and void the rain-proofing benefits. The jacket will have to be waxed again.

Available rinsed/pre-shrunk.
Sizes
36 Small
38 Medium
40 Large
42 X-Large
44 XX-Large

Soon available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles red brick HQ, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2019

Mister Freedom® “Chemise Poilu”, FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” Collection, Cotton Dobby Stripe. Made in Japan.

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.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage French military uniform shirts, Old World fancy tailoring and early utilitarian shirting.

FABRICS:
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.

DETAILS:
* 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.

SIZING/FIT:
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’.


CARE:
Launder when needed. Machine wash on gentle cycle, cold water, minimum eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.

Available RAW/unwashed.
SIZES:
14½ (Small)
15½ (Medium)
16½ (Large)
17½ (X-Large)
18½ (XX-Large)

Available from our Los Angeles red brick HQ, from www.misterfreedom.com, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support,

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2019

 

Mister Freedom® Liquette M35, FW2019 mfsc “Pioupiou” Collection, Indigo Linen and Pin Stripe Ticking. Made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® FW2019 mfsc Liquette M35: Indigo Pin Stripe Ticking model.

Mister Freedom® FW2019 mfsc Liquette M35: Indigo Linen model.

Mister Freedom® Liquette M35 (Book: Gazette Des Uniformes HS #21 “Les Equipages des Chars de Combat Français 1935/1940”)

Mister Freedom® Liquette M35, Indigo Linen and Pin Stripe Ticking.
FW2019 mfsc “Pioupiou” Collection.
Made in Japan.

The Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co Liquette M35 is the next installment of the mfsc “PIOUPIOU” collection, recently introduced with this post.
We are tapping into the Interwar period for this number, as the inspiration for our liquette (obsolete French colloquialism for men’s shirt) is the Chemise Modèle 1935, a pull-over shirt part of the French Army uniform, issued to soldiers during WW2. If our loose interpretation is not a straight-up replica, we still must give all tailoring credits to the anonymous designer commissioned by the Ministère de la Guerre at the time.
The specific collar pointy shape is known as “col Aiglon“, a design marking the beginnings of shirts showing under the tunic. The collar, designed to be complimented by a tie, is secured by three buttons, and features an attractive arcuate shape in the back. The pull-over pattern of the M35 has seen several modifications through the years, and if we opted-out of the epaulettes of the 1941 model, we incorporated the front expansion pleat of the 1940 model.

Those into nerding out on this stuff can refer to the excellent books released by Histoires & Collections, such as the out-of-print “1940 Le Soldat Français” by Olivier Bellec (2010).

Our shirt features the two box-pleat flap front chest pockets of the original M35 military shirt, a pocket pattern known as “Pli Watteau” (Watteau fold), a contemporary reference to the back pleats of the Robe à la Française of the 18th Century, an extravagant fashion detail French painter Antoine Watteau often featured in his work.

The side gussets are the small patch style typical of French shirting of the period, and are featured both on the shirt tails and cuff slits. Front and rear tails are of contrasting shapes and length, and we left them a bit longer that contemporary un-tucked fashion dictates, as a period reference.

We opted for two fabric options for our 2019 version of the M35. The first is an old mfsc classic, an indigo stripe ticking previously featured on the Reno shirt of our Men of The Frontier days in 2012. Although stiff and crispy at first, this fabric ages beautifully and softens rapidly with wear. The original ticking we had milled at the time for our early western-wear shirt was actually duplicated from a vintage pair of WW1 French military private-purchase oddball jodhpurs from the MF® archives, still on display at the HQ, not too far from a genuine Pantalon Garance specimen.

The second fabric option has absolutely no place in a Fall/Winter selection, but it was too beautiful to pass when it came up during fabric sourcing R&D. It is an indigo-dyed lightweight 100% linen plain weave shirting fabric with the attractive slub, crisp and drape typical of natural fiber linen. This gives the MF® M35 a very elegant touch, somewhat of an Italian fashion meets safari & military. This is an unintentional geographical reference as Il Duce was to bet on the wrong horse in WW2… As did Japan for that matter.

Note that this indigo linen textile is quite light sensitive so the indigo linen M35 should be stored away from the sunlight. With normal wear and regular home laundry cycles, both options will evolve into an interesting palette of blues.

The MF® Liquette M35 is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
A pattern inspired by 1930’s French military uniform shirts.

FABRICS:
Two distinct options:
a) Indigo pin stripe ticking, 100% cotton, selvedge, 4.5 Oz, milled in Japan.
b) Indigo-dyed plain weave, 100% linen, lightweight with a slight sheer, milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Pull-over type, with front expansion pleat.
* Button-down pointy collar “Col Aiglon”, with rear arcuate shape.
* Two box pleat “Pli Watteau” chest pockets.
* Inside reinforcement patches for side gusset and cuff slit.
* Shirring on cuffs.
* Rounded front shirt tail and extended square back tail.
* Painted metal buttons.
* Original mfsc “Pioupiou” woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
Both fabric options of the MF® Liquette M35 come raw/un-rinsed.

We recommend the usual protocol before wearing:
* Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
* Spin dry and line dry.
* Wear briefly before fully-dry to set creases (does not apply to the indigo linen model), then hang until fully dry.

Both versions will fit approximately the same following the above procedure. Both indigo linen and indigo pin stripe ticking fabrics are so distinct in texture, weight and drape that they will feel completely different, but technically fit the same.

I am usually a Medium (15½) in mfsc shirting, and I opted for a comfortable Medium in both fabric options. The fit picture features a Medium M35 in both fabrics after one cold soak/line dry, and a bit more shrinkage and fabric torque/puckering is to be expected down the line.

CARE:
Launder when needed.
a) Indigo pin stripe ticking model: Treat as a denim shirt. We recommend turning indigo blue/denim garments inside out to avoid marbling during laundering. Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
b) Indigo linen model: Treat as a delicate fancy shirt. Un-button collar before laundering. Hand wash or machine wash on gentle cycle, cold water, minimum eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.

Attractive patina will potentially develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
Please note that indigo might cause color transfer, and potentially “bleed” on light-colored garments, furniture, and skin.
The indigo dye of the linen M35 model is particularly light-sensitive and the shirt should be stored away from sunlight.

Available RAW/unwashed.
SIZES:
14½ (Small)
15½ (Medium)
16½ (Large)
17½ (X-Large)
18½ (XX-Large)

Available from our Los Angeles brick & mortar HQ, from www.misterfreedom.com, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support,

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2019

Mister Freedom® Pantalon “Le VAILLANT”, FW2019 mfsc “Pioupiou” Collection, Indigo-dyed Linen-Cotton and SC401 “Hawaii” selvedge denim. Made in Japan.

Á la soupe! (1914)
Photo by Jacques Moreau from the book “1914-1918 Nous étions des hommes” Courtesy Edition de la Martinière ©2004

Mister Freedom® FW2019 mfsc Pantalon “Le VAILLANT”: Indigo-dyed Linen-Cotton model.

Pantalon “Le Vaillant” (2019) and worn “Le Valseur” (2017), cut from the same indigo-dyed HBT Linen/Cotton.

Mister Freedom® FW2019 mfsc Pantalon “Le VAILLANT”: SC401 “Hawaii” selvedge denim model.

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co Pantalon “Le VAILLANT”.
FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” Collection.
Made in Japan.

We introduced the historical background of our FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” collection with the recent release of the Mécano Jacket. The “VAILLANT” is the matching bottom that completes this jacket/trousers ‘fictitious’ set.

As mentioned in that intro, the flamboyant red trousers (the infamous Modèle 1867 Pantalon Garance) flashed by the pioupious at the onset of WW1 proved fateful for many. Well-adapted for gun smoke-filled battlefield of the 1830’s (the trousers original design dated back to 1829), when the vibrant red color helped French soldiers spot comrades amidst thick black gunpowder clouds, these fancy trousers proved totally unsuitable for the modern international warfare of 1914.
As soon as October 1914, the French Minister of the Armies ordered thousands of indigo-blue light-weight canvas work trousers (of civilian origin and designs, as worn by mechanics and blue-collar workers) to be requisitioned, dispatched to soldiers, and urgently worn over the Pantalon Garance. This triggered last minute production of tens of thousands of indigo blue overalls…

As an anecdote, I remember scoring a very large amount of similar work trousers in a Paris flea market (Puces de Montreuil), sometime in the early 2000’s, when the Parisian Puces promised more than Bob Marley T-shirts and used fast fashion junk. It must have been around 06:00AM when I spotted a dealer unloading bundles after bundles of blue pants from his truck… Surviving the initial heart attack, I suggested he’d leave them inside, and painstakingly cut a deal. And hour later, I was loading my rental car with about 150 pairs of NOS 1920’s-40’s indigo buckle-back vintage work pants! Some specimen from that lucky haul have survived after all those years, and are now part of the Mister Freedom® HQ archives. These are completely generic and very similar to the hastily-produced indigo overalls issued to French Poilus in 1915, and probably share the same manufacturing factories.

NOS 1920’s-40’s French utility pants loot, surviving specimen of a Parisian flea market lucky find in the early 2000s.

Before fashion designer Paul Poiret got commissioned to draft new outfits for French infantry troops (source here), leading to the familiar Bleu Horizon woolen uniforms issued at the end of 1915, civilian garments were often adopted by weary Poilus, as seen on period documents. Indigo blue mechanic overalls, drab corduroy (Velour d’Amiens) or coutil hunting jodhpurs, civvy leather brodequins, non-regulation stripe flannel shirts and jury-rigged sheepskin ponchos, hand-knit wool scarves sent to the front by anguished mothers and wives… All this, added to raw material restrictions and to the chaos of war, definitely made for an eclectically-clad bunch on the battlefields.
Check out the photographic works of Jacques Moreau in the book “1914-1918 Nous Étions Des Hommes” for vivid, rarely-seen hi-res visuals of Poilus in the field and in their daily life, chronologically documented. Fascinating.

Design-wise, the pattern of our Pantalon “Le VAILLANT” (French spelling for the word valiant) is inspired by late 1800’s utility and uniform trousers, the afore mentioned M1867 Pantalon Garance, and the classic white HBT linen M1882 bourgeron chore fatigues. Again, our rendition is a wearable hybrid and not a replica.
If we kept the traditional expansion gusset/cinch strap, we added two rear welt pockets, as pants without rear pockets are a bit hard to pull-off in 2019. Then came the pocketing/lining challenge… a tailoring puzzle skillfully solved by Mr. Fukutomi, Toyo Enterprise’s talented pattern-maker! We are partial to no open seams/no overlock in general, so the inside of our garments often become an elaborate textile origami of folded fabrics and seams.
We played with fabrics and pocketing patterns to let both indigo and white stripe tickings compliment each others, a concealed visual treat for the vintage clothing aficionado and tailoring connoisseur. The MF® Advertising Dept suggested “With the Pantalon Le VAILLANT, impress with what’s inside the trousers!“, but it probably won’t fly.
Anyways, the pocket openings are decorated with arcuate stitching, typical of turn-of-the-Century Old World tailoring. We also added thin belt loops for practicality, since suspenders are not everyone’s cup of tea. The extended button waist tab is a period detail. The button fly facing is cut from indigo-dyed poplin, for another serving of visual stimulation and a guarantee of interesting patina down the line.

Just as its Mécano amigo, our “Le VAILLANT” comes in two distinct fabric options. The first is a deep indigo-dyed linen/cotton herringbone twill (HBT), an old mfsc favorite with very rewarding patina potential. This linen-cotton blend fabric we developed a few years ago was inspired by late 1880’s French Firemen uniforms. It has been previously featured on the ValseurVeste Belleville and Gilet Gadjo  of the 2017 mfsc Gypsy Blues collection.
We also thought an “Americanized” version would be an interesting hybrid, so we are offering the “Le VAILLANT” in a sturdy 14 Oz. “401 Hawaii” selvedge dark indigo-dyed denim twill. This blend of 50% cotton and 50% recycled sugarcane fibers is milled in Japan exclusively for Sugar Cane Co. The “401” will be familiar to MF® OGs, as it was featured on the right leg of the original mfsc UFO, aka “7161” Utility Trousers released in 2006. This is the first time in 13 years that we are using this beautiful fabric again, with its characteristic subtle indigo shade variations in the yarns, its interesting denim nep, and attractive slub.

The 401 denim “Le VAILLANT” option is complimented by early workwear-style metal tack buttons with dull aluminum finish, while the HBT model features genuine bone suspender buttons.

Finally, our original FW2019 “Pioupiou” woven label design features a hardy and mighty Zouave (zouzou in military jargon of the period), and is a reference to La Coloniale and its often eluded 590,000 man-strong participation in the Allied victory of WW1. The specific grayish blue color of the label is a reference to the classic 1915 “Bleu Horizon” afore mentioned.

The MF® Pantalon “Le VAILLANT” is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage French military late 1800’s utility and uniform trousers, such as the Modèle 1867 Pantalon Garance, and the classic natural HBT linen M1882 bourgeron.

FABRICS:
Two distinct options:
a) Dark indigo-dyed 15 Oz. blend of 80% linen and 20% cotton herringbone twill (HBT), selvedge, milled in Japan.
b) Sturdy 14 Oz. “401 Hawaii” dark indigo-dyed denim twill, a blend of 50% cotton and 50% recycled sugarcane fibers. White w/ green line selvedge ID. Milled in Japan exclusively for Sugar Cane Co.

DETAILS:

  • Vintage-inspired silhouette with slightly tapered leg and medium-high rise.
  • Traditional rear cinch strap and selvedge expansion gusset with split waist band.
  • Two rear welt pockets, coin pocket and slash side pockets.
  • Decorative arcuate stitch on pocket openings.
  • Spilt outseams displaying fabric selvedge.
  • Thin trousers-style belt loops for wider belts.
  • Suspender buttons:
    a) Genuine bone with attractive finish for the indigo HBT Le VAILLANT.
    b) 1930’s style metal tack buttons with dull aluminum finish for the denim Le VAILLANT.
  • Fly buttons:
    a) Amber brown corrozo for the indigo HBT Le VAILLANT.
    b) Utilitarian donut type with dull aluminum finish for the denim Le VAILLANT.
  • Pocketing: attractive combination of cotton indigo stripe ticking, white stripe ticking and indigo-dyed cotton poplin.
  • Original mfsc “Pioupiou” woven rayon label.
  • Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
Both versions of the “Le VAILLANT” come raw/un-rinsed. We recommend the usual protocol before wearing:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Spin dry and line dry.
  • Wear briefly before fully-dry to set creases, then hang until fully dry.

Both versions will fit approximately the same following the above procedure, although the denim “Le VAILLANT” feels roomier because our mfsc shrink tests are done with heat-dried garments. There is therefore more shrinkage to be expected for the denim version with subsequent washing, or if a heat dryer is used.
We don’t recommend heat drying as this tends to soften garments, ‘break’ the fabric starch, and result in unsightly fold creases or marbling marks. Garment stiffness after a soak/line dry will subside rapidly with normal wear.

Fit: Due to the split waistband/rear expansion gusset pattern, the “Le VAILLANT” have a generous waist. Fully cinching the back strap will take in the waist by about 1 ½ inch. If your waist measures an actual 32 inches, the “Le VAILLANT” W32 will have a generous seat leg and a very comfortable fit. For a slimmer silhouette, if your waistline allows it, sizing down is an option. I usual wear W32 in mfsc trousers, but opted to size-down to a W30 for these, for a tighter seat and tapered leg silhouette.
Hemming: The bottom hem on both models is done using a single needle machine, no special chainstitch machine required. Not a fan of contemporary stacking, I opted to crop “Le VAILLLANT” quite high, above the traditional trousers’ break.
Regardless of the length of your liking, these trousers might look better traditionally hemmed than with Wild Ones denim rolls, unless you go with the full leg silhouette.

Please refer to sizing chart for measurements, reflecting a 30-40mn cold soak/spin dry/line dry process, resulting in minimal shrinkage. 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’.

“Le Vaillant” 401 Denim

CARE:
Launder when needed.
We recommend turning indigo blue/denim garments inside out to avoid marbling during laundering. Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Potential attractive patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
Please note that dark indigo might cause color transfer, and potentially “bleed” on light-colored garments, furniture, and skin.

Available raw/unwashed.
Sizes
W28
W30
W32
W34
W36
W38

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.

Thank you for your support,
Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom® 2019

Mister Freedom® “MÉCANO” Jacket, FW2019 mfsc “Pioupiou” Collection, Indigo-dyed Linen-Cotton and SC401 “Hawaii” selvedge denim. Made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® mfsc FW2019 “Mécano” Jacket, indigo-dyed HBT model.

MF® 2019 “Mecano” and well-worn 2017 “Belleville“, featuring the same indigo-dyed HBT linen-cotton fabric.

MF® 2019 “Mecano” size 38, indigo-dyed HBT model.

Mister Freedom® mfsc FW2019 “Mécano” Jacket, 14 Oz. SC401 ‘Hawaii’ denim model.

MF® 2019 “Mecano” size 38, SC401 ‘Hawaii’ denim model.

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co “MÉCANO” Jacket.
FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” Collection.
Made in Japan.

This Mécano Jacket release officially launches our FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” capsule collection.

Etymologically, the word pioupiou – as a reference to a young conscript – first appeared in “Le Pioupiou ou la gloire et l’amour”, a 1838 play by vaudevillian Antoine-Francois Varner.

What’s a pioupiou? The obsolete term, pronounced pew-pew, was a happy-go-lucky nickname given to French soldiers heading out to the frontlines on the onset of WW1. The typical French grunt in 1914 was proudly sporting the flamboyant Model 1877 field uniform: Prussian blue wool capote (long coat), red kepi with matching flashy red trousers, the infamous pantalon garance. This stylish combo soon revealed to be quite ideal as enemy target practice in the field, and was soon replaced by the Bleu Horizon field uniform commonly associated with the French Army on the Western Front during the 1914-1918 conflict.

As that “Great War” dragged on, and trenches of the Western Front disclosed their terrifying reality via letters from the front (although censored), homecomings of Gueules Cassées, and Mort pour la France announcements, the cutesy pioupiou sobriquet quickly changed to “POILU” (literally ‘hairy’), ’tough guy’ or badass in period jargon… Despite the initial motivational efforts of the press, the concept of chair à canon soon started challenging the patriotic enthusiasm of the early days, and the ‘glamor’ of the War To End All Wars quickly faded.

By November 11, 1918 casualties in the French Army (impacting about 71% of those who fought in her ranks) reached 1.4M killed, and 4.2M wounded. Within the Allied Forces, France’s KIA numbers ranked second, topped by Russia’s 1.7M and followed by the British Empire’s, a bit shy of 1M. For reference, after joining the conflict in 1917, the loss of lives in the US Army would amount to about 116,000 by the end of 1918.

Last year, 2018, marked the centennial of WW1, with memorials and ceremonies abundantly relayed by the media. In 2013 had begun a collective effort encouraging French citizens to submit letters, photos, artifacts and original documents to be digitized and regrouped as public data. This Devoir de Mémoire (Obligation of Remembrance) made many a-French families dig-up personal archives. Some of the submitted WW1-related documents are regrouped here. Some stunning colorized photos can be found here.

The Mister Freedom® FW2019 mfsc “PIOUPIOU” collection is not an apology of war, nor an effort to romanticize it, but follows a belief in the importance of not forgetting our Past, in an attempt to stop repeating History and its inexorable “Only the dead have seen the end of war” lament ad vitam aeternam.

On a much lighter note, the FW2019 line-up we will gradually be releasing this season is loosely inspired by French military-issued garb of the 1910’s to the 1930’s. It blends period utility uniforms and revisited vintage civilian attire into contemporary wearables, following the usual MF® “might have been” design approach.

The MF® rag du jour is the Mécano Jacket.

If you are after one of the latest holy grail of vintage EU militaria, a Model 1923 double-breasted indigo bourgeron issued to French Army tankmen (tankists) in the interwar period, about as easy to find as a black cat in a coal mine, reach out to our friends and expert vintage hunters Jérome aka le Zouave, Damien from Le Magasin, Arnaud “French Cancan” Beauville, Tom Gruat, …

Not sure if replicas already exist of the M23 bourgeron, but the Mister Freedom® “Mécano” is our non-verbatim interpretation of this early French military chore jacket classic. We started our R&D journey with the pattern of a white cotton twill specimen dated 1916 from our archives (merci Damien.) If we kept the killer curvature of the front double-breasted panels, we tweaked the fit (sure needed it!), changed the cuff pattern and other details. After a dip in the mfsc secret sauce, our project had morphed into a cool wearable.

The Mécano comes in two distinct fabric options. The first is a deep indigo-dyed linen/cotton herringbone twill (HBT), an old mfsc favorite with very rewarding patina potential. This linen-cotton blend fabric we developed a few years ago was inspired by late 1880’s French Firemen uniforms. It has been previously featured on the Valseur, Veste Belleville and Gilet Gadjo  of the 2017 mfsc Gypsy Blues collection.

We also thought an “Americanized” version would be an interesting hybrid, so we are also offering the Mécano in a sturdy 14 Oz. “401 Hawaii” selvedge dark indigo-dyed denim twill. This blend of 50% cotton and 50% recycled sugarcane fibers is milled in Japan exclusively for Sugar Cane Co. The “401” will be familiar to MF® OGs, as it was featured on the right leg of the original mfsc UFO, aka “7161” Utility Trousers released in 2006. This is the first time in 13 years that we are using this beautiful fabric again, with its characteristic subtle indigo shade variations in the yarns, its interesting denim nep, and slub. This Mécano option is complimented by early workwear-style metal tack buttons with black painted finish, while the HBT model features genuine bone buttons.

Finally, our original FW2019 “Pioupiou” woven label design features a hardy and mighty Zouave (zouzou in military jargon of the period), and is a reference to La Coloniale and its often eluded 590,000 man-strong participation in the Allied victory of WW1. The specific grayish blue color of the label is a reference to the classic 1915 “Bleu Horizonafore mentioned.

The MF® Mécano Jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage French military chore jackets aka bourgerons, specifically the early M23 version issued to tankmen and armored vehicle mechanics.

FABRICS:
Two distinct options:
a) Dark indigo-dyed 15 Oz. blend of 80% linen and 20% cotton herringbone twill (HBT), selvedge, milled in Japan.
b) Sturdy 14 Oz. “401 Hawaii” dark indigo-dyed denim twill, a blend of 50% cotton and 50% recycled sugarcane fibers. White w/ green line selvedge ID. Milled in Japan exclusively for Sugar Cane Co.

DETAILS:

  • Double-breasted pattern with attractive front panel curvature.
  • Late 1800’s uniform back panel tailoring.
  • Stand collar pattern.
  • Double button cuffs with indigo-dyed popeline facing.
  • Two front bottom pockets.
  • Two concealed chest pockets, passport and phone size, mfsc striped ticking fabric.
  • Buttons:
    a) Genuine bone with attractive finish for the indigo HBT Mécano.
    b) 1930’s style metal tack buttons with black painted finish for the denim Mécano.
  • Fabric selvedge featured in the rear panel center splicing seam.
  • Original mfsc “Pioupiou” woven rayon label.

SIZING/FIT
Both versions of the Mécano come raw/un-rinsed.
We recommend the usual protocol before wearing:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Spin dry and line dry.
  • Wear briefly before fully-dry to set creases, then hang until fully dry.

Both versions will fit approximately the same following the above procedure, although the denim Mécano feels roomier because our mfsc shrink tests are done with heat-dried garments. There is therefore more shrinkage to be expected for the denim version with subsequent washing, or if a heat dryer is used. We don’t recommend heat drying as this tends to soften garments, ‘break’ the fabric starch, and result in unsightly fold creases or marbling marks. Garment stiffness after a soak/line dry will subside rapidly with normal wear.

Both Mécano Jackets are considered true-to-size, and we recommend wearing your usual mfsc jacket size. I am usually a medium/38 in mfsc jackets, and I opted for a comfortable 38 in the indigo HBT and denim Mécano. Please note that the drape on both fabrics is very different, resulting in a subtle difference of silhouette.

Please refer to sizing chart for measurements, reflecting a 30-40mn cold soak/spin dry/line dry process, resulting in minimal shrinkage.
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’.

Mecano indigo HBT

Mecano 401 Denim

CARE:
Launder when needed.
We recommend turning indigo blue/denim garments inside out to avoid marbling during laundering. Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.

Potential attractive patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
Please note that dark indigo might cause color transfer, and potentially “bleed” on light-colored garments, furniture, and skin.

Available Sizes:
34 (X-Small)
36 (Small)
38 (Medium)
40 (Large)
42 (XLarge)
44 (XXLarge)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2019