Mister Freedom® “Liquette Tzigane”, indigo cotton/wool herringbone twill. GYPSY BLUES mfsc collection Fall 2017. Made in Japan.
The grand finale of our Hot Jazz opus, the mfsc “Gypsy Blues” 2017 collection, a venture into the world of ‘swing manouche‘, wraps-up with a Fall iteration of the Liquette Tzigane. The pattern of this garment is inspired by several vintage 1920’s-30’s fancy shirt specimen, twisted à-la MF®.
Liquette is an old French argot (slang) term designating a man’s shirt, as-in the recently released Liquette Manouche. The word Tzigane (or Tsigane) can be used to designate a person of Eastern European Romani ancestry, although the term hints at a specific culture within the Gypsy world (often with a musical connotation) rather than a geographic origin. Sounds of lamenting violins playing “Les Yeux Noirs” around the campfire, with a string of caravans in the background, come to mind.
Initially released in a fine indigo calico discharge-printed cotton popeline, our Spring 2017 take on the vintage Hungarian folk textile family called Kékfestés, the colder-months’ counterpart of the Liquette Tzigane comes in a 9.5 Oz. indigo yarn-dyed cotton-wool blend. With the 70% cotton content, this handsome fabric feels quite ‘dry’ to the touch, without any itchiness. It has a very dark navy blue tone, anecdotally reminiscent of vintage US Navy wool CPO shirts.
The Liquette Tzigane indigo HBT is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar cane Co.
Musical Note: I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Samy Daussat this summer, during the 2017 Los Angeles Django Festival. A knowledgeable Gypsy Jazz aficionado and talented guitar player, Samy is also blessed with teaching skills. Attendees to his master class held during the two-day event attested to that.
For those interested in this traditional Gypsy Swing style of playing guitar, Samy does a great job at deciphering and making sense of some of the specifics of Django Reinhardt’s improvising genius. His YouTube tutorials are in French, but any international guitar slinger with a Hot Club de France inclination will get the point. And classes are free!
The 2017 LA Django Festival was organized by Mr. Tommy Davy, himself expert on everything manouche guitar-related and a skilled musician. For vintage Selmer-Maccaferri-type guitar urges, browse through Tommy’s inventory of Django-style goodness, and listen to his own recorded musical prowess. Tommy also draws on traditional gypsy folk music to fuel his Trio Dinicu slavic and Tzigane-flavored repertoire.
And, to dismiss the cliche that all that jazz is just a dude thing, do check out what Christelle Caillot is bringing to the manouche guitar table.
SPECS: FABRIC: 9.5 Oz. cotton-wool blend, indigo yarn-dyed herringbone twill weave. Milled in Japan.
DETAILS: * Inspired by 1920’s-1930’s fancy shirting. * Versatile collar pattern with double button tab, fashionable as a classic open collar, cutaway style or high-buttoned. * Original MF® pocketing (from the 2012 MF® Prairie Shirt). * Indigo poplin button placket facing. * Early shirting curvy tails. * Side gussets. * Corozo wood buttons, indigo blue color. * Shirred back yoke and cuffs. * High-count stitching, early shirting narrow chainstitch construction. * Original mfsc Gypsy Blues woven rayon label. * Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The MF® Liquette Tzigane indigo HBT comes raw/unwashed. Follow the usual initial method before wearing: cold soak for 30mn, spin dry and line dry. Unlike its Spring 2017 Kékfestés version for which we advised to size-up, the Liquette Tzigane indigo cotton-wool HBT is pretty much true to size, and actually features a rather generous fit allowing winter layering. I opted for a size Medium in this shirt, with a comfortable fit when worn with a classic chambray shirt, Saint-Malo jersey etc…
Please refer to chart to figure out which size works for you. “Rinsed” means soaked for 30mn in cold water, spin dry and hang dry. When in doubt, email email@example.com for sizing advice.
CARE: This garment is made from is a cotton-wool blend fabric. Do not wash in hot water or boil to avoid excessive shrinkage and damage to the fabric. Machine wash on delicate when needed, cold water, eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large Retail: $349.95
The pattern of the Liquette Manouche was inspired by a vintage 1930’s-40’s French pull-over garment from the MF® archives. This shirt features a col requin (shark-fin-shaped open collar, later to be associated with casual 1950’s European sportswear style shirting), a two-button front half placket, shirred back yoke, and classic early EU tailoring arrowhead-shaped side gussets, precursor of the now-common ‘heritage’ workwear design gimmick.
Liquette is an old French argot (slang) term simply designating a man’s shirt. A Manouche is a person of Western European Romani ancestry. Belgium-born Django Reinhardt, mastermind of the world-renowned musical style Jazz Manouche in the 1930’s, is one of the most illustrious French Manouche. Etymologically, the term “Gypsy” finds its roots in the word “Egyptian”, as the mysterious nomads were originally believed to have migrated from Egypt. It is commonly accepted today that their journey originated from India, sometime in the 14th century. These West-bound Romani travelers hauled along traditions, lifestyle and costumes. Their India-rooted Bohemian style tends to be associated today with flamboyant garb and vibrant indiennes prints.
Anecdotally, authentic India-designed prints could be considered as precursors of the quintessentially-British Liberty London style, as they were originally available from Arthur Liberty’s first retail venture in London (England), a bazar he had appropriately named ‘East India House’ in 1875, specializing in imported Oriental goods. He went on to opt for local production and designs, with great success.
For Fall 2017, we figured we’d chalenge our friends at Toyo Enterprises with a new puzzling favor: a double discharge-printed calico fabric! Inspired by a rare French 1930’s vintage garment, we had been contemplating the idea for some years, and thought it was time to mail an R&D package across the Pacific, attention Toyo’s Textile Lab. We then resumed our daily tasks and assignments, mostly consisting of chasing Pokémon around the office. We opted for a black, crisp cotton twill as the base fabric, and painstakingly selected two distinctive traditional calico patterns from antique textiles and swatches collected over the years. For production, the two subtlety-contrasting calico patterns are discharge-printed, on both the face and reverse of the fabric (i.e. “bleached-out” with low bleed-through), and then printed with actual indigo ink.
How this technically works is actually still quite puzzling to us savvy experts of the MF® HQ Team of Pikachu Specialists, but the resulting double-sided fabric is quite outstanding. We can thank and congratulate our Sugar Cane friends for delivering such a beautiful and original textile.
Please note that, although attractive both inside and out, this garment is not reversible, therefore not optimal for the French shower.
The MF® Liquette Manouche is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar cane Co.
SPECS: FABRIC: A crisp 5 Oz. 100% cotton twill, double-printed in indigo with two specific calico patterns on face and reverse, using a discharge-print technique.
Milled and printed in Japan exclusively for mfsc.
DETAILS: * Inspired by 1930’s French shirting and vintage bohemian style. * Pull-over style, two button placket. * ‘Col Requin’ style open collar. * Corozo wood buttons. * Shirred back yoke and cuffs. * Early-type arrowhead side gussets. * Contrasting front/back shirt tail. * Original mfsc Gypsy Blues woven rayon label. * Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The MF® Liquette Manouche in double calico comes raw/unwashed. Follow the usual recommended initial method before wearing: cold soak for 30mn, spin dry and line dry. This shirt is true-to-size and we recommend getting your normal mfsc size. I often wear a Medium in mfsc shirts and i opted for a comfortable Medium in the Liquette Manouche. Please refer to chart to figure which size works for you. If still confused, email firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE: Machine wash on delicate when needed, cold water, eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large
The pattern of our classic vest is inspired by 1910’s-1930’s French Gentlemen’ waistcoats. The shawl lapel, fine sateen back, cinch back strap and fancy lining make for a choice addition to the discerning gadjo‘s closet. We took the dandy vibe a notch down by donning our gilet a set of donut-shape metal buttons as front closure, hardware parts usually reserved for vintage utility garments. For this Fall edition, we opted for cotton moleskin, a staple of vintage French workwear fabrics. A small batch was milled in Japan from an antique textile swatch. We chose a rich sienna brown color, with low colorfast properties. Some of the photos feature a once-cold-soaked specimen, next to a fully washed and worn sample, for an idea of fabric evolution.
If black and navy blue are typical colors of old-school French workwear, brown and cream moleskin garments were quite popular with the Gardians of Camargue, the gritty Provençal cowboys dreamed-up by the legendary Old-West-obsessed Folco de Baroncelli in the early 1900’s. In the old days, these famed horsemen of the delta of the Rhone, Southern France, typically wore moleskine boot-cut riding pants, with the characteristic contrast piping running down the leg seam. A matching moleskin vest, flamboyant plaid or printed cotton shirt, low-crown western-style hat, and a pair of Camarguaises (local traditional rough-out leather boots) often completed these work outfits. (For the commun thread between Gardians and our Gypsy Blues story, Camargue’s most iconic commune is Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, a notorious annual pilgrimage destination for Gypsies coming from the four corners of Europe.)
Familiar to the European vintage clothing aficionado, French waistcoats from the 1920’s-30’s typically feature a stern shell (often black wool serge) and an unusual inner lining (fancy printed fabric probably left-over from a custom shirting project). It is not uncommon to come across such tailor-made vintage specimen with a formal appearance and an unusual inner lining.
Digging through the archives, we found limited NOS yardages of forgotten textile goodness from past mfsc collections, and have used then as linings on all iterations of the Gilet Gadjo. The fancy off-white calico-print cotton sateen twill featured on the moleskin version was originally milled for our 2011 Les Apaches collection, but was never used. Indigo-dyed cotton poplin inner panels complete the lining. A classic amber brown cotton sateen back adds to the elegant vintage vibe.
The Gilet Gadjo is designed in California by MISTER FREEDOM® and manufactured in Japan by SUGAR CANE Co.
SPECS: FABRICS: * Front panels: 100% cotton moleskin, 8.5 Oz., sienna brown color with low colorfast properties. Milled in Japan. * Back panel: 100% cotton sateen back, amber brown color. * Inside lining: Fancy 100% cotton off-white sateen twill with vintage-style calico-print, accented with contrast indigo-dyed poplin panels.
DETAILS: * Original mfsc pattern inspired by fancy 1910’s-30’s European tailor-made Gentlemen’ waistcoats. * Elegant and traditional silhouette, to compliment higher-waisted trousers or blue jeans. * Shawl lapel. * Chest darts and early waistcoat gussets and paneling. * Fancy calico-print off-white cotton sateen inner lining. * Sateen back, amber brown color. * Cinch back strap, with vintage-style metal prong buckle, removable for washing. * Three welt pockets. * Utilitarian unmarked ‘donut’ metal brass buttons. * Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The Gilet Gadjo moleskin comes raw/unwashed. We recommend the usual method, initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry. If the general consensus was to size down on the Spring 2017 run of this pattern, both covert and HBT cotton/linen editions, this moleskin version is rather true to size. I wear a fitted 36 in covert and HBT, and a fitted 38 in moleskin (rinsed/line dry).
Please refer to chart to figure which size works for you. Take your favorite waistcoat, measure it laying flat (as the chart’s b/w photo suggests), and see which size/measurements combo most-closely matches. If confused, email email@example.com.
CARE: We recommend hand washing or machine wash on gentle/delicate cycle. Cold water, eco-friendly detergent, spin dry and line dry. DO NOT launder on “Heavy Wash” setting, as the metal buttons might get snagged and damage the garment. REMOVE metal prong buckle from the back strap before laundering, it is fastened by a button. The sienna brown moleskin fabric intentionally boasts low colorfast properties, and will lose its original sheen after a few wash/wear cycles. It will fade quite rapidly, according to activities and frequency of wear.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes 36 Small 38 Medium 40 Large 42 X-Large 44 XX-Large Retail: $379.95
Mister Freedom® Veste Ménilmontant , wool-cotton indigo covert herringbone. “GYPSY BLUES” mfsc FW2017 Made in Japan.
Ménilmontant… mais oui Monsieur!
We’re kick-off the Fall chapter of our “GYPSY BLUES” story to the beat of a 1938 Charles Trenet chanson, given a Jazz Hot treatment in 1949 by a quintet led by virtuoso guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli. Dig it!
Our Veste Ménilmontant (veste is jacket in French, and Ménilmontant is a popular neighborhood of Paris) was inspired by a vintage suit jacket, an old beat-up 1920’s-30’s French coat. That original inspirational piece was absolutely striking, with amazing character, classy curves, elegant lines, and worn-out hobo style. Check it out if you visit the old pile o’ rags.
The fabric we chose for our interpretation is a fancy herringbone weave cotton/wool blend, a covert cloth mixing indigo blue, black and slate grey yarns.
Please note that this is quite a period-looking garment, as the Veste Ménilmontant screams Thirties! In part due to the curvy and wide peak lapels, the jazzy belted back accentuating the natural waist, and the overall silhouette. That elegant single-breasted style was typical of Gentlemen’s garb of the time. The four patch pockets with button flaps complete the vintage continental flair of the garment. We played a bit with the lining fabrics to give our coat an Old World meets New World tailor-made touch, mixing French workwear stripe ticking (body lining) with Wabash twill (arm lining).
Style-wise, if a bit concerned about looking like a 1930’s suave crooner, or an extra on Sous Les Toits de Paris, pairing the Veste Ménilmontant with familiar denim favorites should easily dismiss the Jean Sablon vibe. For Heritage Fashion and workwear aficionados, the jacket can also be toned down with a “Dirty Thirties”treatment, i.e. complimented with Great Depression era-inspired outfits.
For menswear and style inspiration, old photos abound. Check out the daily gems featured on Mr. Matt “Warpath” Strickland’s excellent Rivet-Head blog or rockin’ IG account.
For fancy Jazz Manouche-style guitar picks (those featured on the photos are made from vintage NOS casein), and other Hot Jazz guitar-related goodies, look-up Mr. Thomas Davy.
The Ménilmontant Jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
SPECS: FABRIC: Herringbone weave blend of cotton/wool, a covert cloth mixing indigo blue, black and slate grey yarns. Milled in Japan. Body Lining: 100% cotton indigo woven stripe ticking. Arm Lining: 100% indigo Sugar Cane Co Wabash twill.
DETAILS: * Inspired by 1920’s-1930’s haberdashery and French vintage Gentlemen’s suiting.
* Period silhouette with elegant lines, cinched natural waist and broad chest and shoulders.
* 1930’s type belted-back.
* Single-breasted featuring curvy wide peak lapels.
* Four patch pockets with buttoned flaps.
* Corozzo wood buttons, amber color.
* Fully lined (combination of indigo stripe ticking and indigo Wabash twill).
* Two inside concealed chest pockets.
* MF® mfsc “GYPSY BLUES” woven rayon label.
SIZING/FIT: The Ménilmontant Jacket comes raw/unwashed. If so inclined, get some light puckering and fabric roping with a 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry. This garment runs true to size following this process.
I wear a fitted size 38 (Medium), my usual size in mfsc jackets and coats.
Refer to chart for raw/cold-soaked & line-dry measurements.
CARE: We recommend hand washing (or machine-wash on delicate, if you use a high-end washing machine), cold water, eco-friendly detergent. Line dry.
Do not boil this garment, nor set washing-machine to normal/heavy agitation.