Mister Freedom® CALIFORNIA Blue Jeans, Lot.64 ??
Special 2016 ELECTION Edition, NOS Cone selvedge 16.5 Oz denim
Made in USA, Fall 2016.
Our popular five pocket Californian Lot.64 pattern gets a special Presidential treatment this Fall 2016! To mark the upcoming 2016 United States Presidential Election, we decided to issue a limited edition Lot.64 “Election” model.
The denim we hunted down for the project is our heaviest ounce to date in the Mister Freedom® five-pocket jeans Sportsman department. This limited batch of sturdy indigo denim twill features a white selvedge ID with a red line. It is New Old Stock, milled by Cone Mills in the USA. Beware, this one is a real bleeder…
The pocket bags are cut from limited yardages of 100% cotton New Old Stock vintage canvas, some printed with stars, some with stripes. The limited exclusive run of Californian Lot.64 “Election” we saved for our MF® Los Angeles HQ features pocket bags using both fabrics, a nice colorful patriotic combo of stars and stripes. Now you too can strip in public with confidence.
Our classic orange & yellow stitching combo features red & white thread accents, noticeably in the waist and bottom hems. For the occasion, the usual MF® leather patch is left unbranded and blank. DIY branding touch for those into displaying their political inclination, pet name or favorite band. The untreated natural leather patch is originally pinkish but will tan to a warmer color and get patina overtime. The fit is our classic Lot.64 silhouette, a straight, slightly tapered leg with a mid to high rise.
In order to generate hate mail (bring it on at firstname.lastname@example.org) we opted for a shorter inseam on this batch, as we had done years ago with the original Californian Lot.54. A deal breaker for many taller individuals, it is also bound to aggravate the BRMC crowd. We decided to limit the length of our Lot.64 “Election” to keep the ‘spirit’ of old hand-me-down blue jeans, often seen worn (and now found) on the short side, a vintage vibe that ‘repro’ jeans rarely convey.
With five pocket jeans these days, opting for no cuffs or a subtle one-inch turn-up in a descent leg length is quite the refreshing touch. A ‘solid leg’ silhouette might also be more suitable for grown-ups not into the contemporary trend of hipster denim stacking and unnecessary roll-up flashing. But, like political opinions, to each his own!
Well, friends, keep it civil this election season… and may the best candidate for America and its Allies win ✌? ?? ¡Go USA! ??
The Californian LOT.64 “Election” blue jeans are designed and manufactured in California by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
Inspired by traditional 1950′s-1960’s era blue jeans, traditional fit, slightly tapered leg.
Heavy weight NOS Cone Mills blue denim, 16.5 Oz., white/red line selvedge ID, sanforized. Milled in the USA.
Pocket bags: Contrasting NOS heavy 100% canvas, printed with patriotic stars and stripes. Note: This denim croaks (bleeds) quite extensively, and will leave indigo blue stains on other pieces of clothing, furniture, car seats etc… This is temporary yet real.
* Vintage five-pocket pattern.
* Button fly.
* Selvedge leg outseams. * Heavy canvas pocket bags, each bag featuring a patriotic print pattern of stars or stripes.
* MF® original white “M” stitch design on rear pockets.
* Unbranded natural cowhide leather MF® patch on rear pocket.
* Twelve types of 100% cotton threads (gauge and color combination) used for construction. Main colors are yellow and orange, with special 2016 Election red and white accents. * Contrasting and un-matching red and white bottom hem chainstitch.
* Coin pocket with concealed selvedge.
* Selvedge button hole placket.
* Hidden back pocket reinforcement rivets, with top pocket reinforcement zig-zag stitching.
* Unlined rear pockets.
* Original silver-color ‘oxidized’ MF® metal cast waist/fly buttons.
* Unmarked copper riveting for reinforcement.
* Original patriotic MF® paper pocket flasher.
* Made in USA
The Californian Lot.64 “Election” comes UN-WASHED.
We recommend our usual method of an original cold soak (30mn to 2 hours), occasional hand agitation, spin dry and hang dry. For the gritty, and for an extremely pleasant experience, wear the jeans while still slightly damp, walk around a bit to get them to shape, crease, and adapt to your body. Don’t sit in the white sofa or rub the walls. Hang to fully dry. They will be hard as a rock the next day, and, for yet another pleasant experience, try to put them on and walk… Good luck.
The 16.5 Oz. denim is pretty much sanforized, meaning it hardly noticeably shrinks. These Lot.64 “Election” jeans are true-to-size, meaning that if you are an actual measured waist 32 (wrap a cloth measuring tape around your waistline), you should get a size 32. For a slimmer seat, I went for a W31 on these, as opposed to my usual W32 in the Californian series.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry (i.e. minimal shrinkage). If these measurements do not work for you, things won’t get better by boiling or hard-washing the jeans… You will just ruin your washing machine and aggravate your wife.
CARE: Wash your jeans when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Machine wash inside out to avoid marbling. Due to the weight and stiffness of the 16.5Oz. denim, be very careful when laundering using a small home washing machine.
Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. This denim crocks (bleeds) quite extensively, and will leave indigo blue stains on other pieces of clothing, furniture, car seats etc…
Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
Available RAW (sanforized) Sizes
W28 x L31
W29 x L31
W30 x L31
W31 x L31
W32 x L33
W33 x L33
W34 x L33
W36 x L33
W38 x L33
The shirt’s classic pattern stays unchanged, a simple, clean cut 40’s-50’s style work shirt.
This season’s Gunpowder Tea HBT fabric is another New Old Stock find we scored, a nice haul of 100% cotton herringbone twill, 8.5 Oz., milled in Italy.
The dark greenish grey color is very similar to an old mfsc favorite introduced when we played Cowboys ’n Indians, during our “Men of the Frontier” days of 2012. Inspired by 1900’s vintage textiles from the Old World, that HBT cotton-linen fabric had been milled in Japan, and was featured on the Faro sack coat, waistcoat and britches. It was also later used on the Sportsman Slacks.
Our Fall 2016 Workman shirt features a color very close to its handsome predecessor. It differs in weight and fiber content, however, much lighter and 100% cotton. The reverse displays a very slubby surface, with somewhat of a ‘brushed’ texture. The yarn appears to be sulfur-dyed, as the core is left natural.
NOTE: We tested a sample Workman Shirt (featured in the photos) with a full wash cycle (cold water + eco detergent), followed by heat drying, and were quite surprised to see the dark greenish color age so quickly. Colorfastness pretty low. After just one wash, and although still 100% solid and strong, the new Workman Shirt had the patina of a garment that had built the Transcontinental Railroad. Instant gratification for some, unfortunate flaw for others… As a vintage clothing-inspired brand, we’re not exactly into ‘rugged’ faux-vintage artificial patina, but really dig the fading properties of this fabric nonetheless.
Our Sportsman “Workman” shirt is designed and manufactured in California by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
PATTERN: Original MFSC pattern, inspired by classic 1940’s-50’s workwear shirting. FABRIC:
New Old Stock 100% cotton herringbone twill, gunpowder tea color, 8.5 Oz., low colorfastness, milled in Italy.
DETAILS: * Classic vintage workwear style.
* Contrast amber color corozo wood cat-eye buttons.
* White cotton popeline button placket facing.
* Traditional double chest pocketing, button closure.
* Tonal stitching, 100% cotton
* Side gussets.
* Chainstich construction, “Sportsman” green color on the inside.
* Made in USA.
SIZING/FIT: This explains how we size our garments. The Workman Shirt HBT ‘gunpowder tea’ comes raw/un-rinsed and will shrink to tagged size after a rinse/dry process. We recommend an initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry. The “Workman” shirts are true-to-size with a fairly trim ‘uniform’ silhouette. If you are generally a Medium in mfsc shirts, you are a Medium in the Workman.
Please note that the shirt worn inside as a layer on the fit picture is one of the MF@ RANGER Shirts, in a light-weight and very thin madras check fabric option.
Please refer to sizing chart for measurements.
CARE: Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails, like after shoveling coal for 9 hours. Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. DISCLAIMER: This specific HBT fabric is not colorfast and its appearance will ‘age’ and look ‘worn-in’ after the first full cycle machine wash. Delicately hand washing might minimize the fading of the fabric.
Mister Freedom® Continental Sportcoat, Vest and Trousers NOS Cacao Chambray, NOS Indigo Cross Hatch Twill mfsc Sportsman Fall 2016 Made in USA
Immediately following the release of the limited edition Continental “Player” three-piece leisure suit, here is more Continental goodness from our Made in USA Mister Freedom® Sportsman catalog this Fall 2016.
To show the Continental’s versatility, and for elegant mix ‘n match options, we took the Continental from doing the Hustle in Las Vegas to doing the Ska in Kingston. Our original suiting patterns get a late 50’s – early 60’s textile treatment this time. The result is old school yet timeless, you get the flavor. Style tip: To amuse the children, compliment the Continental with a hat that’s too small and a walking stick. Endless laughter and tears of joy guaranteed.
The Mister Freedom® Continental is versatile.
Back to the dancehall.
To enhance your ability to shake-a-tush rock steady-style, we are bringing on two handsome fabrics recently dug out. These vintage New Old Stock textiles are another lucky score, courtesy of our MF® team of relentless savvy treasure hunters.
So, besides the snazzy “Player” denim, the new fabric options for our Fall 2016 Continental triad are:
A)Cacao Chambray (brown warp & white weft), 100% cotton plain weave fabric, about 9 Oz., milled in Italy.
Only the Continental Trousers and Vest are released in Cacao Chambray. B)Indigo Cross Hatch Twill (dark indigo warp and black melange weft), 100% cotton twill, about 11 Oz., milled in EU.
Only the Continental Sportcoat is released in Indigo Cross Hatch Twill.
The Continental Sportcoat, Vest and Trousers are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in California, USA, by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
PATTERNS: Original sportcoat, vest and trousers Mister Freedom® mfsc patterns, in an original MF® classic blend of 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s vibes and silhouettes, mixing European and American styles.
FABRICS: A) Cacao Chambray (brown warp & white weft), 100% cotton plain weave fabric, about 9 Oz., milled in Italy. Lining: NOS fancy woven stripe 100% cotton twill (ivory white with brown stripes), milled in Europe.
B) Indigo Cross Hatch Twill (dark indigo warp and black melange weft), 100% cotton twill, about 11 Oz., milled in EU. Lining: NOS fancy woven stripe 100% cotton plain weave (ivory white with blue & grey stripes), milled in Europe.
“INDIGO CROSS HATCH TWILL” Continental SPORTCOAT: * Unstructured silhouette. * Lightweight and soft, perfect traveling companion. * High button front. * Navy blue corrozo wood butons. * Half shoulder floating lining, 100% cotton NOS fancy woven stripe twill. * Side hip pockets with flaps. * Pocket openings reinforced on the inside. * Tonal 100% cotton stitching, clean caballo flat-felled seam construction, green color “Sportsman” signature chainstitch on the inside. No open edges or overlock. * Made in USA.
“CACAO CHAMBRAY” Continental VEST: * Six-button front.
* Two slanted box-pleat patch pockets with buttoned flaps.
* Full matching back with cinch strap, European-style metal buckle.
* Dark amber color corozo wood buttons.
* Full lining, 100% cotton NOS fancy woven stripe twill, no open seams.
* Tonal 100% cotton stitching.
* Made in USA.
“CACAO CHAMBRAY” Continental TROUSERS: * Elegant late 1950′s early 1960’s type silhouette and fit, straight leg.
* Dark amber color corozo wood fly and waist buttons.
* Flat-felled side seam “caballo” all around construction.
* Rear welt pockets.
* Trousers-style belt loops.
* Crotch gusset pattern.
* Adjustable back cinch strap, with vintage NOS metal slide buckles.
* 100% cotton NOS fancy woven stripe twill pocket bags, waist band and fly facing.
* Watch pocket.
* Tonal stitching, 100% cotton thread construction, with inside green chainstich MF® signature.
* Original “The SPORTSMAN” woven rayon label on rear waistband, concealed when wearing a belt.
* ‘Open’ overlocked leg bottom, to suit your cuffing preferences.
* Made in USA.
This explains how we size our garments. The Continental Sportcoat, Vest and trousers come raw/unwashed. We recommend the usual initial 30mn cold soak/occasional hand agitation/spin dry/hang dry process. The tagged size reflects the size of the garment after going through this process. The subtle variation of shrinkage between body fabric/lining fabric/cotton thread will result in puckering and roping, slightly altering the fit and drape.
I personally opted for a Size 38 in the Continental sportcoat and vest, and Waist 32 trousers. These are my usual sizes in mfsc garments.
Trousers sizing: The Continental Trousers are true to size. If you are a measured-waist 32 inches, you are a stamped W32 in the Continental Trouser. Do not size down on these. Please note that the Continental Trousers pattern might not be a good option for all body types. Proportion-wise, those with very muscular legs will probably look better in our regular Sportsman Chino models.
Trousers hemming: After the initial soak/hang dry process, we recommend settling down on the final length of the bottom hem after gently wearing the trousers around the house a bit. The cotton fabric tends to naturally bunch/wrinkle and pull the leg up slightly. Letting this specific fabric react to your own body for an hour or so will allow you to decide on a proper classic leg break that works for you.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
Full wash cycle and heat dryer are not recommended.
CARE: Hand wash or machine wash unbuttoned on delicate, cold water with minimal environmentally friendly detergent. Line dry. NOTE: Full washing cycle and machine dry might result in excessive shrinkage, color fading, marbling or damage, to be experimented with care and at owner’s risk.
NOTE on the INDIGO sportcoat: hand wash separately as indigo croaking is expected. Indigo color may rub on light color garments.
Each piece of the Continental suiting series is sold individually and available RAW/unwashed
“INDIGO CROSS HATCH TWILL” Continental SPORTCOAT Retail $329.95 SIZES:
“CACAO CHAMBRAY” Continental VEST Retail $249.95
SIZES: Small (36)
“CACAO CHAMBRAY” Continental TROUSERS Retail $289.95
Sizes (W stands for Waist… Leg length about 36’’, left un-cuffed)
W 28 W 30 W 32 W 34 W 36 W 38
If cabaret extraordinaire and Art Deco muse Josephine Baker’s banana skirt instantly raised eyebrows in 1925, her apparently innocent frivolous rendition of “Petite Tonkinoise” in 1930 would take many more years to spark controversy and criticism. In the song, she interprets Mélaoli, an Annamite damsel enamored with a French soldier deployed to the Tonkin region. For the wordplay-in-French amateur, Mélaoli is a not-so-clever phonetic quip involving bed (lit) activities.
Ms. Baker’s version of the song, although rewritten for a female singer and stripped of its original 1906 lyrics popularized by the jovial Polin, an army barracks’ favorite, still carried its risqué colonial tone. Nothing yet politically incorrect for the France of the 1930’s however, and the song was a huge success. By popular demand, an updated version was even recorded by the artist in 1953.
With enough sexual innuendoes to make Wynonie Harris blush, the original “Petite Tonkinoise” is a chanson of its time, today mostly remembered for its stuttering verse “ma Tonkiki, ma Tonkiki, ma Tonkinoise”. Don’t listen to it twice or you’ll be humming it in the morning.
Annamite traditional attire (1800s)
“Petite Tonkinoise” 1906 music sheet, strangely featuring a Japanese lady.
Josephine Baker, Folies Bergère,”Folies du Jour” revue, Paris (1926-27). Photo Lucien Waléry
Josephine Baker and Chiquita, her cheetah pet (1930)
Josephine Baker collecting clothing for Japanese American babies, Los Angeles (1952 Toyo Miyake Studio)
Not forecasted in the song was the fact that some of the fruits of those exotic military campaign idyls would one day stroll the French countryside, in refugee camps such as the CAFI of Sainte-Livrade-Sur-Lot (Camp d’Accueil des Francais d’Indochine in the Southwest of France), anecdotally located a few miles from where I spent many summers as a kid. Vietnamese families of veterans fallen during their Indochine campaign also joined the camps ranks.
Following the Geneva Accords of 1954, Franco-Vietnamese families who supported the French occupation of Indochina, and gained from it, started fleeing the homeland to escape communist retaliation. The French government, juggling with its first post-colonial hot potato, relocated the refugees in hastily-built facilities. The communities’ fate often fell into bureaucratic oblivion.
Neglected for decades, the CAFI of Sainte-Livrade-Sur-Lot was being renovated when we drove by in 2014. Some still called it home at the time.
Incidentally, and unrelated, about 60 miles from the CAFI, stands the majestic XIV Century Château des Milandesonce the home of, by then decorated WW2 veteran, philanthropist and activist Josephine Baker, and her ‘rainbow tribe’. She, her husband, and their international adopted family of twelve lived there for years. I remember visiting the castle some 35 years ago.
CAFI Sainte Livrade original facilities before demolition, (July 2014)
B&W Rainbow Tribe and colorful Château des Milandes
Josephine Baker, husband Jo Bouillon, and partial Rainbow Tribe.
Josephine Baker, Légion d’Honneur ceremony (1961)
Before we drift even further off-topic, let’s mention that it is not as an homage to the song risqué verbiage or nostalgic colonial content that we have chosen to call our latest Saigon Cowboy shirt “La Tonkinoise”, but as a reference to bygone days of exotic advertising, and to that shirt plausible origin as a 1930’s-40’s Tonkin tailor made garment.
Our Tonkinoise is loaded with details gathered from several vintage shirts. Most of the details are concealed but a stand-out feature of the Tonkinoise is its specific collar pattern. It was adapted from a wind-protectant high neck flippable collar, the fancy feature of an obscure vintage US military wool shirt from our archives. Militaria experts might be able to easily ID this shirt model, but I admit not being familiar with it. We reduced the size of the original collar, which looked too much like a crackerjack flap to my liking.
Our own Champollion, Cristian ‘Champ’ Dascalu, is responsible for identifying the barely readable woven label of that vintage shirt as saying “REYEM, Meyer’s Military Shops, Washington D.C.”. It is likely that Jean-François himself would not have figured out that Reyem is Meyer spelled backwards, so we consider the Champ’s finding one giant leap for Mankind.
Champollion at work
To spice things up, we opted for a contrasting rainbow chainstitch on the inside of the shirt, a nod to an old stunt we pulled years ago, and a reference to the multicolored embroidery often featured on vintage Vietnam ‘Party’ jackets, and not necessarily to Doritos.
As with our recently released Garrison Shirt, the Tonkinoise buttonhole placket is another example of tailoring prowess, courtesy of Toyo Enterprises pattern maker Mr. Fukutomi. The intricate pattern of the elbow and cuff section is yet another nod to an old flame. The arcuate shape of the back of the collar is an attractive feature lifted from vintage French shirts of the 1920’s-30’s.
The two fabrics we chose for the Mister Freedom® Tonkinoise are two old acquaintances. The first one is the ‘snowy’ Lot.A 2×1 selvedge slubby denim of the MF® Appaloosa Shirt, this time milled in Japan to the exact specs of the original NOS fabric we had used in 2013.
The second option is the Buzz Rickson’s USN-type blue chambray, previously featured on two mfsc garments, the Chambray Patrol Shirt and the “Cholon” Continental.
The MF® Tonkinoise is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
Note: Featured in some of our photo rigs are a well-worn pair of MF® x Palladium “Palladenim“, inspired by vintage French jungle boots.
FABRIC: a) “Snow” denim: Dark and slubby 10 Oz. 2×1 indigo blue denim, White/yellow line selvedge ID, milled in Japan. b) “BR” blue Chambray: Buzz Rickson’s all cotton blue chambray, 1940’s USN mil-specs, selvedge with white/blue line selvedge ID, milled in Japan. The Chambray version of the Tonkinoise is only available in the US.
* An original mfsc pattern, inspired by 1930’s-40’s military uniform shirting. * ‘Windproof’ high button-up collar. * Arcuate pattern on back of collar. * Tailor-made type buttonhole placket construction. * Selvedge button placket. * Intricate sleeve cuff/elbow reinforcement pattern. * Concealed rainbow colored chainstitched accents on the inside. * Selvedge side gussets, self fabric. * White corozo wood buttons, aka ivory nut. * 100% cotton thread stitching. * Made in Japan.
The MF® Tonkinoise shirt comes raw/un-rinsed and will shrink to tagged size after the initial rinse/dry process. We recommend a ~30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry. This shirt is true-to-size, with a fitted yet comfortable silhouette. If you are generally a Medium in mfsc shirts, you are a Medium in the Tonkinoise.
Both shirt options will shrink to approximately the same size.
Please refer to sizing chart for measurements. Please note our measurements reflect a 30mn cold soak/spin dry/line dry process, resulting in minimal shrinkage.
It is obvious that the raw measurements are given for reference only. If they reflect the difference in shrinkage of both raw fabrics, the measurements that actually matter are the post soak measurements. We do believe that shirts, as most washable garments, should regularly be laundered according to use.
CARE: Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. We recommend turning indigo blue/denim garments inside out to avoid marbling when washing. Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear. Please note that the dark indigo blue denim Tonkinoise ‘bleeds’ a lot at first, and color transfer will temporarily stain light-colored garments and furniture.