Mister Freedom® BERKELEY pull-over shirt, “Bleeding Madras” indigo plaid, Sportsman Catalog Spring 2018, Made in USA.

Partying Birdie Num Num-style.

Mister Freedom® “BERKELEY” Pull-over Shirt, indigo ‘bleeding’ madras plaids.
Spring 2018 mfsc “The SPORTSMAN” catalog.
Made in USA.

For Spring 2018, we are adding a new shirt pattern to our on-going production of all made-in-USA originals, regrouped under the Mister Freedom® Sportsman” catalog.

We were aiming for a vintage preppy vibe for this shirt, so we put together a no-frills pull-over type, button-down collar and short sleeves, a nod to 1960’s American campuses attire. The moniker is an obvious reference to UC Berkeley, and its rich history.

To complete the reference to old-school collegial wear and casual Ivy-League style, we opted for madras plaids to introduce our BERKELEY shirt Birdie Num Num-style…
But to make things a bit more challenging, and instead of replicating one of the hundreds of traditional madras plaid patterns (for a taste of variety, read the saga of the limited edition MF® RANGER Shirts released in 2016, all cut from a lucky score of assorted vintage New Old Stock madras fabrics), we tapped into our in-store archives of antique Japanese textiles for inspiration. After heartbreaking deliberations, we selected two 1920’s~1940’s plaid specimen (see our Boro Shorties for a range of these end-of-Taishō/early-Showa beautiful shuttle-loom Japanese fabrics turned into neckwear.) We then had limited yardage milled in India on old-school shuttle powerlooms, all that under the supervision of our friends and textile experts of Toyo Enterprises. The weaving process on antiquated machines contributed to the characteristic slub and charming ’imperfections’ typical of authentic madras fabrics.

Because our vintage Japanese swatches involved indigo-dyed yarns, it took some convincing to have the Indian mill use actual indigo, a reluctance probably dating back to woven madras plaids’ early days on the international scene… Besides its novelty popularity as resort garb for lucky travelers to the West Indies, the debut of madras garments in the American casual wear market got a cold shoulder, as 1940’s US consumers were not ready for unstable colors in their wardrobe. Savvy buyers had yet to be convinced to embrace the factory-distressed look, so it took a clever marketing stunt to start a non-colorfast madras fabric craze, allegedly involving an American textile importer , Brooks Bros, and Seventeen Magazine ! That interesting advertising story is related here, and if anyone managed to locate a copy of the original magazine article, we’d love to see it!
Anyways, after the 1960’s heydays of “bleeding madras” loomed in India, traditional indigo blue and vegetable dyes were to be gradually replaced by colorfast chemical dyes, and, today, fabric fading is somewhat a thing of the past for thriving Chennai textile mills.

The Mister Freedom® BERKELEY shirt will subtly “bleed” and naturally age and fade with repeat wear and wash, like vintage madras garments did, to the delight of the fashionable boys and girls of American campuses in the 60’s!

The MF® BERKELEY shirt is designed and made in California by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co, from fabric milled in India inspired by antique Japanese textiles.

SPECS:
FABRICS:
Two distinctive selvedge woven plaids inspired by antique Japanese indigo textiles and vintage madras fabrics, 100% cotton, milled on shuttle powerlooms in India.

DETAILS:
* An original MF® shirt pattern inspired by vintage 1960’s Ivy League style and American campuses attire.
* Pull-over type.
* Short sleeve.
* Button-down collar.
* Corrozo wood “Cat-Eyes” buttons.
* Two inverted-pleat chest pockets.
* Selvedge side gussets.
* Tailored-style sleeve setting.
* Chain-stitch construction, featuring “Sportsman” green thread accent on inside.
* MF® woven “Sportsman” rayon label.
* Designed and made in USA from madras fabric milled in India.

SIZING/FIT:
Both options of the Mister Freedom® BERKELEY shirt come raw/unwashed and will shrink to the same tagged size after an initial 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
I wear a Medium (15-15½) in most mfsc button-down shirts and I opted for a comfortable yet trim Medium in the BERKELEY shirt.

Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and lightly heat-dried for 5mn.

CARE:
The BERKELEY shirt can be machine-washed on delicate cycle, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Line dry. Wash separately to avoid color transfer of the indigo.

Available raw/unwashed.
Sizes
Small (14-14½)
Medium (15-15½)
Large (16-16½)
X-Large (17-17½)
XX-Large (18-18½)

Retail: $249.95

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®
©2018

Limited Edition Mister Freedom® CABANA Shirt, vintage New Old Stock selvedge fabrics, Made in USA

Mister Freedom® CABANA Shirt, assorted vintage NOS selvedge fabrics.
Limited Edition, made in USA

In the year 2050, when a drone delivers the fashionable body wrapper that Siri selected just for you from World Global Outfitters, sole and official purveyor of fine unisex garments for all surveyed and indexed Earthlings, our Mister Freedom® one-of-a-kind Cabana Shirt will appear as relevant as a Motorola belt-clip pager in 2016.
Halfway into the 21rst Century, well-conditioned consumers enjoying Global Basic Income, clad in thermochromatic polymer fiber uniforms, will be shaking their head in disbelief in front of such obsolete artisanally-crafted artifacts.
Jeeeeezus, what were they thinking…” they’ll ask Siri, to which she’ll probably have an answer.

Until then…

In the footsteps of an earlier manufacturing endeavor, the MF® “Adventure Beach Trunks” released in 2015, we decided to use limited yardage of vintage selvedge shirting fabrics collected over the years, and have them cut and sewn into an original Mister Freedom® pattern, a 1950’s-type short sleeve classic shirt. All painstakingly marked, cut by hand and sewn individually, our MF® Cabana Shirts are one-of-a-kind. Some of the fabrics yielded two or three shirts, but never enough for a full size scale. So each print is only available in very limited sizing options.

Due to scarce inventory and the very eclectic print options, the Cabana Shirts won’t probably make it to our webstore. These shirts will for now only be available from 7161 Beverly or via the relentlessly hard-working MF® team at sales@misterfreedom.com.

The Cabana Shirt is designed by Mister Freedom® in California, and made in USA from up-cycled vintage fabrics.

FABRICS:
Assorted NOS (New Old Stock) vintage novelty print selvedge fabrics. Mostly cotton, some rayon blends and natural fibers. Designs, weave, weight and texture vary.

DETAILS:
* Relaxed 1950’s style, vintage un-tucked fashion.
* Loop collar (loops made from NOS vintage color-matching silk rayon cord). Loop button is an antique 1920’s NOS bone button.
* Vintage style open collar, no top stitching.
* Single chest pocket.
* Vintage NOS silk or rayon fabric back yoke lining, assorted matching colors.
* Genuine coconut shell buttons.
* Fabric selvedge visible on the front panel fold.
* Tonal 100% cotton thread, chainstitch construction.
* Limited edition.
* Made in USA.

SIZING/FIT:
The Mister Freedom® Cabana Shirt is true to size, with a relaxed fit. We recommend wearing a Medium if you are usually a Medium in mfsc shirting, or in our Rock’n’Roll shirts.
To avoid shrinkage issues, each shirt was washed, on delicate with cold water, dried in a heat dryer, low heat setting, and THEN sized individually. A shirt cut from a Medium pattern might have shrunk to a Small, or stayed a Medium if the vintage fabric was sanforized.
We determined the sizing according to pit measurements only, laying the washed/dried garment flat and buttoned-up, without pulling. Shoulders and body length are pretty consistent, more-or-less matching across all the fabrics, with balanced proportions for that vintage style of un-tuck shirt.

Refer to this approximate chart for how we sized each shirt.
SMALL: 20 to 21 inches pit-to-pit.
MEDIUM: 21 to 22 inches pit-to-pit.
LARGE: 22 to 23 inches pit-to-pit.
X-LARGE: 23 to 24 inches pit-to-pit.
XX-LARGE: 24 to 25 inches pit-to-pit.

CARE:
Wash in cold water, delicate cycle, hang dry or low-heat tumble dry.

Available rinsed/pre-shrunk.
Limited assorted sizes.
Retail $ 149.95 (unless marked otherwise)

Available from our Los Angeles brick & mortar store.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2016

The Continental, OD, ERDL popeline, blue chambray. “Saigon Cowboy” collection mfsc spring 2015

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

The Continental: “Bush” Model

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

The Continental: “Cholon” Model

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

Continental-Cowboy-(1)

 

Mister Freedom Continental Saigon Cowboy Spring 2015

The Continental: “Cowboy” Model

 

 

The ‘Continental’
Mister Freedom® “Saigon Cowboy” mfsc Spring 2015

 Cho Lon, a long time ago…

Piasters changing hands Rue des Marins, Triad run parlors, the infamous Bay Vien, ‘Maitre de Cholon‘ and the feared Bình Xuyên gangs, White Mice patrols, the yellow walls of the World’s largest gambling hall rivaling in decibel with Macao’s roaring finest, hazy opium dens, snake wine and fine Cognac, white nón lá and garrison caps, local taxi girls and international high society, áo dài and white linen suits, stalled Citroën 2CV and frantic cyclo-pousses, Bastos cigarettes smoke-filled cabarets… while thousands of sampans rest on the Arroyo.
And a stone’s throw to the East, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’: Saigon.

It is not out of nostalgia for its colonized past, with men in white pith helmets or OD M1, that Ho Chi Minh City is still referred to as Sài Gòn by some Vietnamese nationals today. This serves as a subtle reminder of the violent troubled past of that South East Asia corner of the World, hinting at the controversial topic of the reunification of Vietnam achieved by the communist-lead North in 1975. For locals, choosing the name Saigon over its official HCM City version is not pure semantics, but a political statement that conveys a lingering identity crisis.
It is the stuff of wars to leave everything in grey areas. Nothing ever stays black or white for long. Lines had plenty time to get blurry during the 30 year-long civil war that opposed North and South Vietnam, a territorial split originally prescribed by an international band of concerned experts arguing at a Geneva round table in 1954…
I recently had a conversation with a person of Vietnamese background, born in North Vietnam in the 1960’s and of Chinese parents. You’d figure that would put you on the celebrating side after the war was won… Turns out her family joined the ranks of the three million refugees who were to flee the Indochinese peninsula in the years following the victory of communist North Vietnam, China and Russia’s protégé.
The troops of General Võ Nguyên Giáp, the Northern national hero and victor of the French Army in 1954, would claim Saigon in April 1975. Everyone who had sided with or fought for South Vietnam feared the purge. The Saigon government, backed by of a long-disillusioned America, had been the wrong horse to bet on. Hanoi was the new sheriff in town, the cadres his deputies.
As Saigon was falling, one could witness surreal scenes of men stripping down to their skivvies, watching triumphant soviet-built T-54 NVA tanks roll into town. Some roads leading to the capital were littered with abandoned ARVN uniforms…
Vietnam’s American war was officially over. But not everyone’s woes.

Yes we defeated the United States. But now we are plagued by problems. We do not have enough to eat. We are a poor, underdeveloped nation. Vous savez, waging a war is simple, but running a country is very difficult.
Phạm Văn Đồng (Prime minister of North Vietnam from 1955 to 1976) reflecting in 1981.

Fall of Saigon (April 30 1975) Photo Jacques Pavlovsky Sygma CORBIS

Abandonned ARVN uniforms, fall of Saigon (April 30 1975) Photo Jacques Pavlovsky Sygma CORBIS

But let’s rewind a bit and take a stroll down Đồng Khởi, better known to some as Freedom Street.
The bustling downtown artery of the South Vietnam capital had been named Rue Catinat up until the end of the French occupation in 1954. It would be renamed Tu Do Street for the next twenty years. Tự Do means freedom in Vietnamese…
In its early days, Tu Do Street was lined by colonial architecture buildings housing offices, institutions, hotels, cafés, and an array of small boutiques and family-owned businesses. At number 132-134 stood Vietnam’s first hotel, the “Hotel Continental”, a Saigonese landmark since 1880, built ten years before a certain Nguyễn Tất Thành (aka Uncle Ho) was born. Owned by an allege member of the Corsican Mafia for years, the Continental had welcomed guests from all walks of life. Its clientele had been a lively mix of French rubber industry magnates aka ‘Michelin men‘, spooks, opium addicts, celebrities, quiet Americans, diplomats, thrill seekers, Air America crews, visiting mistresses, writers, stringers, tipsters, gangsters, opera singers, war groupies, plain tourists… Some guests were at times a combination of a few of the above. Current affairs were constantly being discussed and gossiped about at the Continental’s terrace (aptly nicknamed “Radio Catinat” by some), and the international press found enough material there to feed flows of dispatches heading to a fascinated foreign audience.

In the 1960’s, as Westmoreland demanded more and more troops be sent ‘in-country’, most of them 19 year-old GIs, demand for local ‘entertainment’ grew. The Tu Do Street eclectic mix of establishments inevitably turned into Sleazesville. Still, next to its air-conditioned cabarets, Saigon tea dives and massage parlors, one could find yard goods boutiques and honest tailor shops. Skilled Vietnamese and Chinese thread and needle specialists mixed traditional and European influences in custom creations, targeting both a civilian and military personnel clientele unaccustomed to affordable bespoke fashion.

“... he was dressed in one of those jungle-hell leisure suits that the tailors on Tu Do were getting rich cranking out, with enough flaps and slots and cargo pockets to carry supplies for a squad…
(Excerpt from the ever relevant ‘Dispatches’ by Michael Herr, 1977)

(Vintage photo credits: Visual time travel courtesy of the internet, photos sourced herethere and everywhere. Gratitude to the owners of those flikr accounts for making their photostreams publicly available, for the sake of History preservation. Full credit to those who originally snapped the shots and chose to share them. I try to give credit to the best of my knowledge. Viewer discretion advised on some albums, war is hell.)

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And now, at last, a few words about our “Saigon Cowboy” garment du jour.
The Mister Freedom® ‘Continental‘ shirt/jacket only features four pockets and might not qualify as jungle-hell-ready, but a glance at its intricate inside construction makes it look quasi tailor-made. For the detail-oriented who opens a garment to check its structure, the combination of bias tape piping and fabric selvedge is quite pleasant to the eye, if we may say so ourselves. Our Continental might have had its place in a Tu Do Street store front window display.

Style-wise this jacket is a combination of several influences: fancy 1950’s-70’s unlined tropical gear, short sleeve blazers popular with the African elite, safari-type pocketing, elegant uniform silhouette, whiffs of colonial empires, Old World tailoring, Larry Burrows‘ wardrobe… and the mighty Sun Zhongshan suit, a favorite in China since 1949.
Our ‘Continental‘ overall pattern is adapted from a vintage late 60’s custom-made jacket, the work of a Vietnamese tailor by the name of My Nha, located at 827 D. Nguyen-Tran (unidentified city).

As much as I liked that vintage jacket, I figured we all could live without the 100% polyester fabric of the original sample. We opted instead for the following three textile options:
a) The “Bush” model (not to be misunderestimated): 100% cotton mil-spec OD popeline shell / 100% cotton Buzz Rickson’s USN selvedge blue chambray lining yoke.
b) The “Cholon” model (for the man of leisure): 100% cotton BR’s USN selvedge blue chambray shell / 100% cotton ERDL camo popeline lining yoke.
c) The “Cowboy” model (special jungle-hell edition): 100% cotton ERDL camouflage popeline / 100% cotton BR’s USN selvedge blue chambray lining yoke.

For those into Making Ofs, some boring bits behind the MF® Saigon Cowboy woven rayon label this season:
Our ‘local tailor’ looking MF® label combines the yellow background with three red stripes of the flag of South Vietnam and, for a USO flavor, the red white and blue of Old Glory. The specific rectangular shape with beveled corners seems typical of Vietnamese custom tailor woven labels of the period that I have seen.

The “Continental” is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS

FABRICS
Three options, fabrics milled in Japan:
a) The “Bush” model: 100% cotton mil-spec OD popeline shell / 100% cotton Buzz Rickson’s USN blue chambray lining yoke.
b) The “Cholon” model: 100% cotton BR’s USN blue chambray shell / 100% cotton ERDL camo popeline lining yoke.
c) The “Cowboy” model: 100% cotton ERDL camo popeline / 100% cotton BR’s USN blue chambray lining yoke.

DETAILS
* Pattern inspired by tropical tailor-made attire, with a sober ‘Mao suit’ influence.
* Yes, we dared make a short sleeve blazer.
* Elegant tailored uniform-like silhouette with elaborate darting.
* Two chest flap pockets, one pencil slot.
* Two lower flap cargo pockets, ‘invisible’ stitch.
* All inside seams finished with OD color bias tape, unless selvedged.
* Corozzo wood buttons, golden brown.
* Two-piece back with vent.
* Made in Japan

SIZING/FIT:
Our ‘Continental’ comes raw/un-rinsed and will shrink to tagged size after a rinse/dry process. All three options will approximately shrink to the same measurements.
We recommend an initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry. The wrinkling ensuing this process is normal, in line with the ‘tropical’ look effect.
If you are a Medium in mfsc shirts/jackets, you are a Medium in the ‘Continental‘. Because of the specific cut, the darting and requirements of this blazer-like pattern, this shirt/jacket will not fit every frame. For instance, the arm construction, although comfortable, disqualifies this jacket as beach-volley attire. There are no expansion pleats.
Please consider the measurements below for an idea of the proportions and resulting fit.

CARE:
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Hand wash or delicate cycle machine wash. Cold water, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.

Available RAW/unwashed
SIZES:
Small
Medium
Large
X-Large
XX-Large

RETAIL $329.95

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