Garrison Trousers, double indigo twill and GB olive green denim twill, Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015

Garrison Trousers Fall 2015 Mister Freedom

Garrison Trousers Fall 2015 Mister Freedom

Garrison Trousers Fall 2015 Mister Freedom

Garrison Trousers Fall 2015 Mister Freedom

Garrison Trousers Fall 2015 Mister Freedom

The Garrison Trousers, GB denim twill & Double indigo twill


We quite extensively tapped into the world of field camouflage during the Spring chapter of our Saigon Cowboy collection, coming up with a MF® experimental camo, and introducing the Continental and Party Jacket, both featuring the famous Vietnam-era ERDL.
In the concealment biz, small flecks, as early on adopted by the up-to-no-good Wehrmacht in the mid 1930’s, have been regaining in ‘popularity‘ with armies around the world in the recent past. Indeed, small dot-like shapes are again considered more efficient than both large ‘leaf’ pattern (ERDL, Woodland types…) and ‘brushstroke’ pattern (British Denison, French lizard and its Rhodesian and Greek offsprings, American Tiger Stripes types…).
It is obviously not our intention to use camouflage in the Saigon Cowboy collection for its originally-intended purpose of saving/taking lives, but rather as a visual loudspeaker for story-telling. Chance are, jungle warfare concealment outfits on your way to Blue Bottle for a decaf latte will get you noticed.
So we selected an obsolete one. That camo will be featured throughout this season, mostly visible on the inside of the garment. Inevitably, this will result in further camo-related ramblings and inaccuracies from yours truly.
As always, especially if you’re driving, don’t mis-underestimate the soporific side-effect of this blog.

Engage Brain Bob Measel 1969 bush_exasperated

(Above “Caution” sign photo credit Bob Measle, 402nd Transportation Company, 1969. Found on this interesting website.) 

The word bariolage roughly translates to ‘mixture of disparate colors’ in French, and is a term at times used when referring to printed camouflage in the military. No other bariolage is more notoriously French than the lézard, save for a “3B” outfit, ie. beret/Bordeaux/baguette combo.
First field-tested around 1951, the new tenue bariolée “léopard” (as lézard is also known because of its early stint in Indochina, and its association with “beo gam” beo gam means leopard in Vietnamese language-, don’t follow me i’m lost too) was to become the emblematic image and prerogative of French elite troops (paratroopers and légionnaires) heading out to foreign shores.
In Algeria, the skull cap local-made camo covers the French paratroopers proudly wore earned them the affectionate nickname têtes de lézards (lizard heads) from the locals. The name stuck.

Modele-47 General Bigeard Piste Sans Fin (Photo Marc Flament 1963) Lost Command (1966)

For decades, from the plateaux of Indochine to the Algerian djebel, Centurions and ‘Bigeard Boys’ (the TAP units –Troupes Aéroportées- of the legendary General Marcel Bigeard) were to give the lizard camouflage pattern its Lettres de Noblesse or, depending on which side of the fence one stands, its infamous dreadful aura.
History would have it that this highly recognizable lizard camouflage pattern would one day be persona non grata in the homeland, officially banned by military decree in metropolitan France. Outside of fervent nationalist groups or duck-hunting circles, it is still, years after, frowned upon and considered controversial, like anything charged with a troubled past. Wearing a tenue léopard 47/56 jacket (1947 model, modified in 1956) in the streets of Paris today will sure help you make new friends with locals.

In protectorates around the globe, the anticipated defeat of the French colonial outpost of Indochina in 1954 exacerbated nationalist sentiments.
Dien Bien Phu is said to have paved the road for the notorious Algerian War, a civil war opposing independentists and partisans of “Algérie Française” from 1954 to 1962. On one side, a large chunk of the Algerian population longing for its independence from France, eventually supported by most nationals of metropolitan France. On the other, the French government and its Armed Forces still clinging on to its shrunk Empire, supported by generations of Algeria-born French, known as Pieds-Noirs, deeply opposed to losing the beloved land of their forefathers.
Battle of Algiers… Guerilla war in the bush… Secret counter-insurgency ops in the Casbah…
If everyone eventually picked a side, from civilians to officers to conscripts, utter confusion ensued when the French army High Command itself became overtly split on the official decision to ‘let go’ of Algeria. Some French generals went rogue, even planning to storm Paris with units of lizard-clad paratroopers in 1958, during the secret Operation Resurrection. The raid on the City of Lights was aborted but the civil war situation in Algeria dragged for several more years.
Following the Putsch d’Alger of 1961, French president Charles De Gaulle resorted to address the confused population, pleading for help, in his characteristic tremolo voice, during a famous live announcement, ending his speech with “Françaises, Français, aidez-moi!!” 
De Gaulle survived an assassination attempt fomented by French army fanatics in 1962, and Algeria eventually gained its referendum-voted independence on July 3, 1962.
Those events in Algeria are still very much an open wound for the many involved, the Algerian population, military personnel, Harkis, Pieds-Noirs, FLN or OAS sympathizers…
Some will never get over it. As I wasn’t there, I have the right to have an opinion, but not to judge.

Now, not speaking of which, a few words about our “Garrison Trousers”.
The general construction of the matching bottom of our recently-released “Garrison Shirt” was inspired by your average moth target, a pair of wool WW1 US Army uniform trousers from our archives. The pattern is reminiscent of an early military chino-type construction, made without the use of a caballo machine (no chainstiched flat-felled seams), concocted by someone enjoying intricate tailoring and challenging needle work. The fabric selvedge is used on the outer seam, but in a specific un-split fold technique.

Garrison Trousers Fall 2015 Mister Freedom

For those into manufacturing anecdotes, the choice of thread color for the first proto (which happened to be in GB denim twill) was left up to the factory, who used whatever was on hand on the machine spools at the time. A combination of three colors of 100% cotton thread were used, quite randomly. Reviewing that first fit-sample and loving the apparent randomness of the stitching, we decided to keep the thread colors as-is for production.

Both fabric options for the Garrison Trousers are the same as the Garrison Shirt:
A) “Double indigo twill”: An indigo warp and indigo weft 100% cotton denim twill, 12.4 Oz., white selvedge ID. Milled in Japan.
B) “GB denim twill”: An olive green warp and natural weft 100% cotton twill, 10 Oz., orange color selvedge ID. Inspired by the fabric of 1940’s-50’s British military utility overalls and blouses. Milled in Japan.

Lining fabric: We are introducing our own version of ‘bariolage lézard‘ with these Fall 2015 trousers. No chance of getting jumped in Barbès sporting them, as the camo will only be visible from the inside. Some 10 years ago, I remember walking around neighborhoods in Paris where the US flag stitched on the sleeve of my customized wool peacoat raised a few aggravated eyebrows…

Please note that, peeping at the crotch area, the combination of HBT tape running down the split seams, and the camo cotton HBT fancy pocketing/lining, all make for quite an attractive spectacle, and a tempting IG photo opportunity.
Out of the many cataloged by militaria experts, the lizard pattern/color combination we used this season was lifted from a 1974 vintage French military field jacket from the MF® archives. The base material is an all-cotton HBT (herringbone twill) fabric, dyed a specific lime green and then screenprinted with the notorious brushstroke pattern, in two colors, forest green and chocolate brown. The overlapping sections of the green and brown screens result in areas rendering a third color, almost black. Textiles experts from Toyo Enterprises’ Buzz Rickson’s Fabric R&D handled that endeavor, so we know it was done right.
On a side note, credit for many of the vintage Indochine-related literature this season go to connaisseur and friend Jérome “J” Girard, of Le Zouave fame.

Vintage-Lizard J-Aix-en-Provence-2015

The Garrison Trousers are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

A) “Double indigo twill”: An indigo warp and indigo weft 100% cotton denim twill, 12.4 Oz., white selvedge ID. Milled in Japan.
B) “GB denim twill”: An olive green warp and natural weft 100% cotton twill, 10 Oz., orange color selvedge ID. Inspired by the fabric of 1940’s-50’s British military utility overalls and blouses. Milled in Japan.

Lining: 100% cotton HBT ‘lizard’ camouflage fabric, milled and printed in Japan.

* Pattern inspired by a vintage pair of WW1 US Army uniform wool trousers, revisited.
* Intricate seat construction, HBT tape on split seams.
* French ‘Lizard’ camo waistband lining, pocket bags and crotch gussets.
* Vintage French military type sizing stamped patch on waistband.
* Front angled slash pockets.
* Back welt pockets.
* Trousers-type watch pocket and narrow belt loops.
* Flat black-painted Metal “13 Stars” tack waist button.
* Oxidized black donut-type fly buttons.
* Subtle contrast stitching, three colors of 100% cotton thread.
* Made in Japan

Both fabric options come raw/unwashed and will shrink to approximately the same tagged size after an original cold rinse and line dry process.
The Garrison Trousers feature a fit top block with a comfortable straight leg silhouette. Due to the ‘vanity size’ of the waist (a tagged 32 will actually fit a measured 33” waist), it will be possible to size down for those on the slim/skinny side, or in between sizes. If you are a 31, you might fit a tagged 30 pair of Garrison Trousers. Those into a contemporary slim silhouette, with a body that allows it, might want to opt for sizing down.

Garrison-Trousers-Tom1 Garrison-Trousers-Tom

Those into a comfortable and roomier silhouette, for an occasional French Cancan pas-de-deux, can consider the Garrison Trousers as true-to-size.

Fit-GB-Garrison-Trousers Garrison-Indigo-Trousers-Fit Vladimir-Bolshoi Now-Kato

Please refer to sizing chart for measurements reflecting a 30mn cold soak no agitation/line dry. (Please note that we hot soaked/line dry a sample pair of GB twill denim and did not notice much difference in shrinkage from the cold rinse/line dry.)

Garrison Pants GB Denim

Garrison GB Denim

Garrison Pants Indigo

Garrison Indigo

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.
WARNING: The double indigo twill will naturally bleed, and color transfer to light color garments or furniture is to be expected. Indigo transfer will wash-off overtime.

Available RAW/unwashed
Waist 28
Waist 30
Waist 32
Waist 34
Waist 36
Waist 38

A) Double Indigo Twill: $349.95
B) GB denim Twill: $329.95

Soon available from www.misterfreedom.comfine retailers around the World, and our outstanding Los Angeles brick & mortar store.
Email or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for reading and for your support

And, for denimheads and the selvedge connoisseur, the ultimate evolution picture: