Mister Freedom® Caban peacoat, indigo twill, Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015

 

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"Marine Nationale Mer et Outremer" magazine, Feb 1948. Article by J. Raphael-Leygues.

“Marine Nationale Mer et Outremer” magazine, Feb 1948. Article by J. Raphael-Leygues.

 

Caban peacoat, indigo x black twill
Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015

In his 1828 study of the island of Sardinia, British naval officer William Henry Smyth mentions local gentlemen farmers sporting the cabbanu, “an article much resembling the pea-jacket of seamen.”
Since most of you already own a copy of S.J. Honnorat’s handy Provençal-French dictionary published in 1846, you have undoubtedly noted that a caban then described a piece of heavy outerwear favored by sheep herders, sailors and fishermen of the Provence region, southeastern France.

With foggy origins dating back to the 15th century, the caban is to the contemporary French Marine Nationale seaman what the peacoat (pilot cloth jacket, P-jacket, pea jacket…) is to his USN seafaring counterpart, a solid foul weather double breasted wool coat typified by an iconic double row of anchor buttons. It is said that the versatile left or right buttoning let the wearer adapt to the wind direction, whether standing starboard or port side.

In the days of early navigators, sailors could pretty much wear what they pleased, and often whipped up their own functional outfits, sewing experts as they were due to the constant sail repair routine. Garments changed hands, were re-cut, adapted, recycled, customized, mended. Work clothes of deck hands were at times waterproofed with a mixture of tar, tallow and turpentine, a technique used on linen canvas spare sails in order to collect precious fresh rain water while at sea.
It can be irrelevantly observed here that, during the Age of Discovery, entering a crowded mess deck filled with sailors clad in their gunk-waxed finest, and more preoccupied by scurvy than ablutions (for centuries a bimonthly soap-less and salt water treat), must have guaranteed quite the exquisite olfactive experience.

The modern peacoat’s immediate ancestor seems to be of the paletot family, itself related to the cropped ‘reefer’ jackets. Short jackets proved practical while working aloft in the rigging. Nautical workwear and seamen jackets through the ages have followed the evolution of the carrying vessels, while adapting to the requisite of life on the Seven Seas. From the ancient knee-length hooded gowns of the 14th century mariners to today’s classic peacoat, a caban can be considered as a compromise between a cumbersome 17th century justaucorps or doublet and a practical workman commoner jacket.
By 1876, the caban pretty much as it is known today becomes standard issue in the French Navy, featuring the familiar double breasted front closure, a set of (10, 8 or 6) anchor buttons, embroidered red anchor patch on collar, 3/4 length, in dense dark navy blue kersey cloth-type wool.
Interestingly, due to budget restrictions and the evolution of military regulations, the beloved caban (équipage, tenue n°41) ceased to be a standard issue in the French Marine Nationale in 2014.

Despite the above digression, a degree from Parsons won’t be necessary to notice that the MF® caban borrows its general pattern, not from the six-button French Navy-issued coat that once itched French conscripts’ necks on shore leave, but from the American WWI ten-button USN classic peacoat. We didn’t reinvent the ship’s wheel on this one, and lifted all the bells and whistles off of a vintage specimen from our archives.

Historically, if both French and American navies share common memories of navigating the muddy waters of Vietnam’s Mekong River or Red River (1940’s to 1970’s), it is unlikely that the local climate tempted many Dinassaut crews or their PBR Brown Water Navy successors to sport government-issued wool pea-coats while in country… Period photography testifies that searing heat and humidity called for shirtless outfits more often than full regulation attire, and I have yet to see a photo of a USN peacoat being worn in Vietnam. I might, as often, be wrong.

So, we couldn’t find any excuse for releasing this indigo twill peacoat as part of the Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015 story other than the vain desire to add another P-Jacket under our belt, and share a few historical markers. This jacket won’t work for 1940’s Indochina riverine flotillas reenacting indeed. Nostalgics of the GCMA‘s pirating days on Cù Lao Ré won’t be too impressed either. But, the Mister Freedom ® caban peacoat should do for other activities, such as looking ridiculously handsome at the grocery store.

The lining of our jacket features the fabric we previously introduced and discussed at length with the garrison trousers, the ‘controversial’ bariolage lézard aka French lizard camo. As often the case with linings, it is fully concealed on the inside of the jacket, and left to the discretion of the wearer to be subtly displayed on the removable/flippable chin-strap or not.
The mix of dark indigo blue and jungle green foliage tones of the MF® caban conveys, admittedly with zero historical accuracy, the “Forces Amphibies de la Marine en Indochine (FAIS or FAIN)” twist we wanted to give to this peacoat. This combo also reflects the whole vibe of our Fall 2016 Saigon Cowboy collection.

Below period field photos are courtesy of Mr. Thierry Combot’s family album, Commando Marine Francois, and Musée FUSCO Lorient (courtesy Michel Salinier). They are shared here for historical references only.

The shell fabric we chose is the heaviest twill we have had milled in Japan during our Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane 10 year-long collaborative saga.
This 16 Oz. indigo wrap x black weft twill will be nothing new to those familiar with the mfsc Midnight P-Jacket released during Fall 2010. If this heavy cotton indigo twill is not for the butter-soft spandex fabric amateur, it is quite the crowd-pleaser as it will develop a desirable patina overtime.

On a side note, the stiffness of a new 100% cotton twill garment should not be considered as a flaw, but perceived as the intrinsic feature of vintage-inspired apparel following certain standards and manufacturing ethics. Mister Freedom® garments are not processed with chemicals or laser machines in order to artificially age their appearance, nor are they sandblasted or stonewashed to ‘soften’ their hand. Unbeknownst to many ill-informed consumers, the garment-distressing industry is an extremely polluting one, and for those who refuse to participate in factory workers’ silicosis and river dumping, there are many brands out there offering non-distressed products.
A garment will soften naturally with normal wear, and what is lost to ‘instant comfort’ will be gained in eco-consciousness. For the diehard seekers of the “comfortable broken-in look”, there’s always vintage clothing.

The MF® Caban Peacoat is ‘designed’ in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:

PATTERN:
An original MFSC pattern, freely inspired by early 1910’s -1930’s USN and US Coast Guard sailor wool peacoats.

FABRIC:
Shell: Heavy 100% cotton twill, 16 Oz. indigo warp x black weft, white selvedge ID, milled in Japan.
Lining: 100% cotton HBT ‘lizard’ camouflage fabric, milled and printed in Japan.

DETAILS:
* 10 button front closure.
* Early USN type ’13 stars’ anchor buttons.
* Four pocket type, two ‘hand warmer’ slash pockets and two flap closure pockets. All lined with golden brown corduroy.
* Leather arrowhead reinforcement on pocket edges.
* Fabric selvedge conspicuously displayed inside pockets and on back vent.
* Removable chin strap.
* HBT ‘lizard’ camouflage fabric lining.
* Zig-Zag stand collar reinforcement stitching.
* Triple labeling on the inside, a nod to past MF® collections.
* Inside chest pocket and ‘cigarette’ pocket.
* 100% cotton stitching, faded ‘oxidized black’ color.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
Our caban peacoat comes raw/unwashed and will shrink to intended size after the following initial process:
* Fill washing machine tank with cold water, enough to immerse your jacket but mindful not to waste water.
* DO NOT RUN A WASH CYCLE.
* Soak the garment for 30-45 mn, agitating by hand occasionally to guarantee all fabric fibers are thoroughly soaking in water. This step shrinks the garment. Opting to use hot water might increase shrinkage and will also result in more indigo color loss.
* Turn dial to final spin, by-passing all washing cycles, and spin dry the garment.
* The fun part: briefly put-on the garment to ‘mold it’ and shape it to your body. This step will ‘set’ creases in arms and shoulders.
* Hang the garment and let dry overnight. Do not use a machine dryer.

When fully dry, the jacket will be very stiff from the re-activated starch still in the fibers, but that stiffness is temporary and will naturally subside with wear, as you move around.

The fit of the caban is true-to-size after the initial soak/dry process. If you are usually a Medium (38) in mfsc, you are a Medium (38) in the indigo caban peacoat.
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.

CARE:
DO NOT MACHINE WASH.
This garment is too heavy and voluminous for a regular home washer, even one boasting “Heavy Duty”. A machine wash cycle will either ruin the jacket, the machine, or both.
Unless engaging in activities such as oil field extraction or industrial commercial fishing your coat should not need extensive cleaning. Professional eco-friendly dry-cleaning is recommended should heavy soiling occur. Spot cleaning with a wet rag is an option for minor stain.
Additionally, the initial soaking process can be repeated, with a minimal dose of eco-friendly detergent added to the bath to hand wash the garment.
Again… DO NOT MACHINE WASH.

Note that the indigo twill of the caban will initially ‘bleed’ for a period of time and color transfer will temporarily stain light-colored garments and furniture.

Available RAW/unwashed
SIZES:
X-Small (34)
Small (36)
Medium (38)
Large (40)
X-Large (42)
XX-Large (44)

Retail $ 899.95

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

La Tonkinoise, 2×1 indigo denim and blue chambray, Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015

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Petite Tonkinoise music sheet, Polin (1906)

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La Tonkinoise
Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015

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.

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 Milandes once 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.

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.

Le-Tonkinois

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

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.

SPECS:

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.

DETAILS:

* 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.

SIZING/FIT:

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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.

Tonkinoise Chambray

Tonkinoise Denim

Tonkinoise Denim

 

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.

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

RETAIL
a) “Snow” denim: $329.95
b) “BR” Chambray $329.95
(Only available in the US)

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

Thank you for your support.

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
SAIGON COWBOY Fall 2016

 

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.

FABRIC OPTIONS:
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.

DETAILS:
* 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

SIZING/FIT
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

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.
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
SIZES:
Waist 28
Waist 30
Waist 32
Waist 34
Waist 36
Waist 38

RETAIL
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 sales@misterfreedom.com 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:

Garrison-Trousers-Tom-Evolution

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

Garrison Shirt Mister Freedom Fall 2015

Garrison Shirt Mister Freedom Fall 2015

 

Garrison Shirt Mister Freedom Fall 2015

Garrison Shirt Mister Freedom Fall 2015

Garrison Shirt Mister Freedom Fall 2015

The Garrison Shirt, GB denim twill & Double indigo twill
SAIGON COWBOY Fall 2016

 

From Saigon, the beat goes on
American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN)  Channel 54 Aircheck.

AFVN 1970 (Courtesy Bob Mays)

AFVN 1970 (Courtesy Bob Mays)

The background and our intentions with this “Saigon Cowboy” collection has been outlined in the Spring 2015 intro, and in the subsequent posts illustrating each released garment.
The Evac Jak, the ‘Tahiti’ Shirt, Experimental Camo Utes, Tiger Board Shorts, Denim Utility Jacket, the Continental, Denim Utility Trousers, along with the Party Jacket all made for the first volume of the “Saigon Cowboy” collection.

For Fall, we will leave the 60’s Rock’n’Roll Flash vibe (a reference to an essay in Tim Page’s book NAM) and the Michael Herr’s “Dispatches” atmosphere behind, and turn instead to the Viet Nam of the first half of the 20th Century, when that part of South East Asia was known to most French nationals as Indochine, a term then encompassing Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
To the French, l’Indo meant a distant colony with ties to France stretching back to the 1850’s. A land of rich ancient culture. Guaranteed exotic adventures for the Troupes Coloniales. Challenging  for early missionaries but a great source of commodities for settlers, in the form of rubber, coal, silk, rice, opium. Opportunities of prosperity and disparity for the local population…
All in all, perfect grounds for a lengthy and gruesome war of Independence.
French colonists called it home up until 1954, the French government eventually passing the imperialistic baton to the United States, already well familiar with the place, as the US Congress had been funding 80% of the French war efforts to keep its colony. In 1975, that baton was dropped, up for grabs for China and the USSR.

Amongst Vietnamese nationals, specifically those who still prefer to call Ho Chi Minh City by its old name, Saigon, a story circulates. It goes something like this… One day, Hanoi officials requesting economic aid from Moscow received a cable back that read: “Please tighten your belts”, to which Hanoi comrades replied “Please send belts”.

On September 2nd,  the streets of Hanoi filled up with parades celebrating Ngày Quốc Khánh, National Day in Vietnam, marking the 70th anniversary of the declaration of independence from France, and Japan, in 1945.

Vietnamese Soldiers 2015 (Photo Minh Hoang EPA)

Vietnamese Soldiers parading in Hanoi on Sept 2nd 2015 (Photo Minh Hoang EPA)

It is in the Indochine of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s that we have tapped for inspiration for the follow-up season of our “Saigon Cowboy” spring venture. Again, not to glamorize that past, not to take it either lightly or literally, and not to duplicate costumes for reenactors. But to acknowledge it existed, consider its place in World History, and its relevance today. And also because of the strange fascination the Vietnam War exerts, once one starts opening History’s Pandora’s box.

This season, wading through brown waters and green jungles, up arroyos of the Mekong Delta or down “La Rue Sans Joie“, with occasional high land encounters with montagnards, we will bounce between dark indigo (a reference to Black Hmong, hill tribes of Sapa, North Vietnam) and shades of green foliage.

Hmong Indigo (Courtesy Danielle Smith) Vietnam (Courtesy Through5eyes blog) Jos Henri Ponchin Aroyo (1931) Marins dans les Arroyos Jean Mauclere (1951)

Meanwhile, back at LZ 7161, first to drop of the Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015 collection is the Garrison Shirt, a plausible candidate for a 40’s local tailor-made officer shirt, for those with a large dose of imagination.
Our shirt is somewhat of an ‘international mutt’, and combines elements of both European and American vintage clothing and custom military uniform. Its stern appearance conceals the very intricate pattern work and challenging tailoring. The button placket features the fabric selvedge, concealed for the tuck-in crowd. At the risk of sounding like a car salesman, the attentive to detail will notice the complex folding of the placket, the tricky elbow patch pattern, and all around involved construction.
We have developed two fabrics for this garment. A dark indigo on indigo twill, reminiscent of a previous mfsc fabric known as ‘midnight twill’, and an olive green denim inspired by the fabric of a 1950’s British military utility blouse. Both textiles are milled in Japan.

Vintage 1952 British Military utility blouse.

Vintage 1952 British Military utility blouse.

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

FABRIC:
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.

DETAILS:
* An original mfsc pattern, inspired by vintage military EU and US uniform shirts and tailor-made garments.
* Intricate button placket construction, exposed selvedge.
* Double chest pockets, arcuate flaps, one cut away pocket.
* Corrozo wood buttons.
* Elbow reinforcement patches.
* Selvedge side gussets.
* Flat felled seams, chainstich construction.
* 100% cotton stitching.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT
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 Shirts are true to size, in a rather flattering uniform cut. I wear a Medium in both, my usual size for mfsc shirting.
Please refer to sizing chart for measurements reflecting a 30mn cold soak no agitation/line dry.

Tonkinoise Chambray

Tonkinoise Chambray

Tonkinoise Denim

Tonkinoise Denim

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.
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
SIZES:
Small
Medium
Large
X-Large
XX-Large

RETAIL
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 sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for reading and for your support

 

Mister Freedom x Sugar Cane “Saigon Cowboy” mfsc Fall 2015 preview

Gourmette-Ancre

©Mister Freedom 2015

Look-Book-Fall-Saigon1

©Mister Freedom 2015

Look-Book-Fall-Saigon2

©Mister Freedom 2015

Look-Book-Fall-Saigon3

©Mister Freedom 2015

Indochine, indigo, jungle, lézard, PBR, Brown Water Navy…
Available sometime in 2015.