After scoring a nice assortment of royal blue/sienna/coral selvedge canvas fabrics from a dusty warehouse, we decided to go for a “Skipper” version, for dudes, hodads and barneys.
This one took a little time to complete as the cut/saw process had to be interrupted by a fun silkscreening session. The canvas fabric was originally solid and we decided to print one of the leg panel with an original Polynesia-inspired motif. As with the MF® Shop Tees, we are using water-based ink, so the graphic will gradually fade with wear and water sport activities.
Please note that, although adequate for swimming, these are vintage-style 100% cotton beach trunks and will not dry as fast as modern polyester trunks or spandex speedos.
The Skipper Board Shorts are designed and manufactured in California by Mister Freedom®.
FABRIC: NOS 100% cotton selvedge canvas, about 9 Oz., origin USA. Three color combinations available: a) Royal Blue, with Sienna (or Coral) waist band & pocket. b) Sienna, with Royal Blue waist band & pocket. c) Coral, with Royal Blue waist band & pocket.
SPECS: * Inspired by late 60’s to 1970’s classic swim and surf trunks. * Paracord/eyelet waist closure system. * Contrast Velcro® fly closure. * Fabric selvedge featured on the waistband. * Side pocket with Velcro® closure flap. * Rear concealed pocket. * Poly-cotton contrast stitching.
* Comes with TWO amazing MF® desktop wallpaper options, downloadable for freehere and here. Like, dude, whoa... * Made in USA.
SIZING/FIT: The board shorts are only available raw (unwashed) and are cut to fit the tagged size after an initial cold rinse and line dry. The paracord/eyelet closure system allows for some slight adjustment to the waist for a tighter/looser fit (about ¾ inch play). Please refer to sizing chart for cold soak/line dry measurements. (Please note that further shrinkage may happen with hot soak and heat dryer.)
Machine wash, cold water, hang dry.
Available Raw (unwashed) ONLY Tagged Sizes W28 W30 W32 W34 W36
Rock-A-Upa-Upa-Baby. Featuring the “Malibu Sea Denim” and a pair of PF-Flyers (Center Hi model, made in USA)
The “Upa Upa” Shirt Reverse print bark cloth Skipper Spring 2016
Throughout History, public display of gyrating hips has often been frowned upon by the righteous pious elite.
In 1957, a 22 year-old Rock’n’Roll singer had to be filmed above the waist, to accommodate the Church Lady and her friends. Elvis’ third TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was apparently a threat to morality and order at the time, and the cameras stayed away from questionable lower-body activity. It is not known whether Colonel Parker set it all up to boost record sales, or whether Ms Enid Strict‘s ancestors had actively participated in the banning of the Upa Upa dance some 150 years earlier in Tahiti, but this raises one question… Today, could a well-organized public twerking event suffice to inflict massive cardiac arrests in the ranks of isis?
Let’s leave this one to psywar specialists and stay on course, as we introduce the latest addition to our peaceful Skipper collection.
It is well documented that the Age of Discovery saw many a missionaries anxious to spread the Gospel in the New World. After concertation, a zealous bunch decided to go cruising in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, destination the pristine sandy beaches of the Society Islands. On March 05, 1797, upon arrival in Tahiti at Pointe Vénus, fine men of the cloth noticed a-hunka-hunka-burning-love type of dance, and concluded that the half-naked locals could definitely use some retenue in the entertainment department. The Upa Upa dance was 86’d, and the depraved suggestive moves that had originally lured whalers and mutineers were relegated to the rank of savage activities, unfit for civilized people. The pernicious concept of Sin, a powerful control tool introduced by early missionaries, did wonders with the islanders’ joie de vivre and frivolous traditions. Interestingly, the English word taboo is borrowed from the Tongan word tabū (or tapū), meaning sacred/forbiden…
With a bit of convincing, Mother Hubbard dresses eventually replaced tapa cloth skirts, and most of the estimated 40,000 heathen souls populating Tahiti at the time European invaders first landed, were saved. These desperate descendants of Taiwanese migrants had been trapped in a sun-drenched and turquoise-lagooned purgatory for generations, and those who had not succumbed to eighteenth century VD imported by colonizers could finally enjoy the bliss of salvation. Alleluia and Maururu.
If Elvis ultimately generated millions of dollars from the savant swiveling of his pelvis, the original Upa Upa dance has somewhat fallen into oblivion. Still, its modern legacy lives in the ‘ote’a, and other Heiva activities connecting Polynesians with their original ancestors’ culture.
For the anthropology-inclined, glimpses of Upa Upa influences can also be spotted on the occasional dance instruction video clips we share, concerned as we are in perpetuating the Art of both body expression and living-room rug-cutting.
Disclaimer:I trust that the acute reader accustomed to these posts, who has just wasted five minutes of an otherwise fine day reading the above, will assume that it is not my intent to make light of anyone’s religious inclination, nor to promote atheism or a specific faith. To me, everyone’s wild guess on what to spiritually believe in is respectable, but, at times, some might benefit from others’ conviction staying an altruistic yet private and intimate personal opinion.
Cook Islands ladies wearing Mother Hubbard dresses, 1910 (Photo George Crummer, courtesy Te Papa, Museum of New Zeland)
Another mellow evening at the Bar Lea, 1959
Gabilou taking a break from the Barefoot Boys
A fan making a suggestion during an EP concert, Philadelphia 1957 (Courtesy Getty Images?)
Debra Paget showing her Upa Upa moves. (Milton Berle Show, 1956) Photo Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Upa Upa is here to stay
Now, without any further ado, our chemise du jour, the Mister Freedom® Upa Upa shirt!
The vibe of this garment is clearly more related to a 1969 steamy New-Year’s eve at the Bar Léa in Papeete, than to a traditional 1788 wedding under Pōmare I. So, just like our Bora Bora shirt or MF Paréo, the Upa Upa Shirt won’t necessarily work for reenacting ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, but will make you ridiculously handsome, successful in business and happy in love.
The general pattern is inspired by 1960’s-70’s lounge attire with a touch of dune buggy escapade. The Upa Upa shirt features five pockets with double button closure flaps, in a (surf) safari jacket detail with a definite sixties accent. Not that anyone does anymore, but this is a non tuck-in shirt.
The most striking part of our Upa Upa shirt however is the unconventional use of the printed fabric. Not a ground-breaking event in itself, but reverse prints are a first in our Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane decade-long collaboration.
A popular island fashion in the mid 1960’s, reverse-print fabrics gradually became the cloth of choice for both Kamaʻāina and long-established haole folks. It appears that contemporary islanders have a more subtle approach to sporting printed motifs than continental visitors have. Preferring their outfits a bit toned-down, they seem to leave the louder prints to sunburned tourists. Rumor has it that reverse prints were a way to emulate the faded shirts worn by legit surfers. If Reyn Spooner® allegedly pioneered the technique, surf-related brands such as Ocean Pacific® or Lightning Bolt® widely used the reverse print gimmick on their gear in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
In the Hawaiian islands today, reverse prints are considered proper business attire, a thought that suddenly makes corporate board meetings almost sound appealing.
The base fabric we chose for our Upa Upa Shirt is a handsome slubby bark cloth-type woven textile, with more slub than our Saigon Cowboy“Tahiti” Shirt, but from a similar weave family. Here is a quote about that fabric, dug out from our original post, which you might want to double-check the historical accuracy of, before engaging on reddit:
“The base textile (…) is reminiscent, in texture, of those vintage kitschy 1960’s/70’s cotton Hawaiian shirts sometimes referred to as ‘bark cloth’. In the 1940’s/50’s, a thick and heavy version of that dobby weave cotton cloth had become a standard feature in most American households, in the form of printed curtains and upholstery fabric. All those vintage iterations were modern renditions of the ancient Hawaiian kapa (or tapa in Tahitian, meaning ‘the beaten thing’), the natural wood pulp bark cloth of early traditional Polynesian attire that so impressed Captain James Cook back in 1769. “This stuff is awesome! Where to cop?” he reportedly said on his final voyage to the Pacific Islands, before being clubbed on the beach.”
Anyhow, the chest horizontal band graphic of our Upa Upa Shirt is typical of Tahitian vibe shirts and T-shirts popular in the beach communities in the mid sixties, swinging their hips to the ocean swell during the day, and to Dick Dale at night. Many ads in vintage issues of Surfer Magazine corroborate. This traditional Polynesian Art-inspired graphic we used is similar to that on the MF® Paréo, a mighty garment that has quickly taken over beaches around the World!
We know because social media don’t lie.
(Instagram action shots courtesy of our friends Markues, and Jay & Amber. Thanks for being good sports and for showing us how it’s done on location! Please note that this is by no means an endorsement on their part of the above ramblings.)
So, if you ran out of fishing wire after busting all your ukulélé strings, spin a Barefoot Boys record (this one), slap on three coats of monoï, tie-up your paréo, slip on the Upa Upa… Time to show the world your best tamouré moves.
And once your partner has hopelessly implored you not to share a clip of that on Instagram, do tag us (#MisterFreedom) for a chance to win a gallon of warm yak milk, or a limited edition printed “Skipper” bandana.
The Upa Upa Shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
SPECS: Inspired by traditional Tahitian culture, 1960’s-70’s Polynesian attire, lounge wear for the marina playboy, and vintage beachcomber accoutrement.
FABRIC: 100% cotton slubby weave bark cloth-type textile, displaying the reverse side of the print due to partial bleed-through of the ink, for a subtle motif effect. Woven and printed in Japan.
Two attractive color options: A)Upa Upa Aqua: Aqua blue base fabric with coral pink printed chest band graphic. B)Upa Upa Lava: Black base fabric with aqua blue chest band printed graphic.
DETAILS: * 1960’s surf safari type shirt pattern. * Five-pocket style: Four large patch pockets with flaps with extra small arm pocket.
* Sixties-style double button flap closure. * Genuine coconut shell buttons. * Side slits. * 100% cotton thread. * Narrow caballo chainstitch construction. * Made and printed in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The Mister Freedom® Upa Upa Shirt comes raw/unrinsed. We recommend the usual initial 30mn cold soak/occasional hand agitation/spin dry/hang dry process. The shirt in both options will shrink to tagged size. The Mister Freedom® Upa Upa Shirt is true-to-size. I opted for a medium, my usual size in mfsc shirting. For general instructions on how we size Mister Freedom® garments, see here. Please refer to sizing chart to figure out what works for you, depending on your own body requirements and silhouette preferences.
The fit pix are featuring the MF® Malibu Sea Denim, and a pair of PF-Flyers (Center Hi model, made in USA).
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails, like after a particularly competitive beach twerking contest.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Photo courtesy of Ninamu Island Resort (www.motuninamu.com)
The Bora-Bora Shirt-Jac, cotton-linen. Monstera indigo print, Day and Night. Skipper Spring 2016
If you too happen to have fallen under the spell of seafaring tales of Her Majesty’s Ship Bounty and her charismatic Master’s mate Fletcher Christian, and pondered about the fate of her rogue crew on Pitcairn Island in the late 1700’s, then you’ll relate to one of the gem of French Polynesia, the island of Bora-Bora.
Besides turning into one of Uncle Sam’s outpost and set of eyes on Axis Powers activities in the Pacific during WW2, with thousands of American GIs deployed to its dreamy shores, Bora-Bora locals experienced another island invasion in 1961, by way of an agitated filming crew from Hollywood.
Although it appears that behind-the-camera events turned “Mutiny on the Bounty” into “Mutiny of Marlon Brando” for MGM at the time, Bounty ’62 is one of my go-to movies when I need an exotic visual escape. South Sea tales, unlike World news and fashion-related discussions, tend to relax me. I take it all, Jack London’s prose, De Bougainville‘s accounts, massive Hollywood hurricanes, Barefoot Boys tunes, ancient migration theories of Oceania…
Just as Fletcher Christian had happily indulged in island life under the disapproving watch of Captain Bligh, Brando apparently enjoyed the temporary insular pace very much, ultimately taking mental notes while fathoming the depth of his future Polynesian homeland. While at it, he met the beautiful Tarita Teriipaia on set. She could only fight him off briefly, and eventually became the second cast member of Mutiny of the Bounty that Brando got legally hitched to! His first catch-without-release had been actress Movita Castaneda, who had stared in the original 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. He had married Movita in 1960, but divorce her in 1962 to switch to a bonafide islander, Bounty co-star Tarita.
Yes, it’s complicated, but Brando was a complicated genius. If you already have a headache, take a break and watch him bust out some Upa-Upa moves in 1967…
Back to Bora-Bora.
If witnessing Brando allegedly binge-eating his way through 52 pairs of tight XVIII century breeches during the 1961 filming of Bounty sounds quite entertaining, another treat would have been to share French skipper and writer Alain Gerbaud‘s bliss as he sighted the pristine Bora-Bora shores for the first time in 1924, while on his solo circumnavigating voyage. “Oh p*tain, Terre! Terre!” the voice still echoes around the motus. The island was to become Gerbaud’s heart anchorage for the rest of his life, taking on Polynesia’s cause as his warhorse, and leaving behind a controversial trail of allegations.
Not sure what was actually left from those days when I hopped on a small rattling cargo ferry on route from Papeete to Bora-Bora in 1995. But the tiny island can still spell its magic, from the moment you first spot the indigo blue hues of Bora-Bora’s lagoon on the horizon, to the last sip of warm coconut water on the Vaitape docks…
Alain Gerbault 1929
Alain Gerbault Firecrest 1929
Movita Castaneda & Charles Laughton on set (1935, Mutiny on the Bounty) Courtesy MGM
Before digging too deep into these tropical island blues, let’s pay a little bit of attention to the Mister Freedom® shirt du jour…
The style of the our Bora-Bora Shirt-jac is inspired by 1950’s-60’s Shirt-Jac type garments. Casual hybrids between shirts and jackets, these are known in the tropics as the visitor’s attire of choice for luau, clambake and other beach BBQ festivities.
A bit about our shirt’s graphic… The printing technique of the old-school monstera leaf wrapping body and arms is not your average silkscreening type method. An actual indigo-dyeing process was used to have the blue colors applied. Technically, the fabric is ‘indigo-printed’, and not indigo vat-dyed or indigo discharge-printed. I unfortunately know more about Brando matrimonial ventures than about the actual printing process, so i’ll leave it at that before I start making things up again. Pencilling might be an interesting topic to research for the indigo otaku.
Both color options of the Mister Freedom® Bora-Bora Shirt are using indigo blue for the coloring process. The “Day” version (the white shirt-looking thingy) features a single dark indigo print on a natural background, and the “Night” version (the navy blue shirt-looking thingy) features two shades of indigo blues printed on a natural background.
Textile-wise, the base fabric we opted for, after a lengthy and confusing R&D test period, is a fancy criss-cross basket-weave blend of 20% linen and 80% cotton, unbleached natural white color. The partial bleed-thru effect of the indigo printing, and the particular texture of the fabric, leave the reverse side of the textile with a toned-down negative of the motif.
The back yoke is a floating half-lining, made of contrasting indigo-dyed poplin, an mfsc staple we often use.
The ‘shark fin’ collar shape, typical of 1950’s shirting, is a wearable reminder to please leave sharks out of your soup bowl. Thanks.
Of interest also, our Bora-Bora Shirt-Jac proudly boasts being the first indigo-printed garment in the World to feature two concealed single toothpick pockets. They are located under the collar, and are not to be used for collar-stays.
The Bora-Bora Shirt-Jac is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
Rig photos are featuring a Pyrate-inspired Vintaglio skull cuff (handcrafted in Dallas, Texas, and gifted by my dear and talented friend and IG foe Kenny “Kato” Thomas), a vintage Penney’s hat, and other old things…
SPECS: Inspired by 1950’s-60’s tropical island garb, vintage Shirt-Jac type shirts, Fletcher Cristian and French Polynesia.
FABRIC OPTIONS: 1) “Day” Monstera Indigo print: Criss-cross basket-weave blend of unbleached 20% linen and 80% cotton, featuring a dark indigo blue print applied on a natural-color background. 2) “Night” Monstera Indigo print: Criss-cross basket-weave blend of unbleached 20% linen and 80% cotton, featuring a dark indigo blue and aqua indigo blue motif applied on a natural-color background.
Fabric woven and printed in Japan.
DETAILS: * 1950’s-60’s long sleeve Shirt-Jac type pattern.
* Actual indigo color print, with bleed-thru effect on the reverse.
* Body wrap pattern design with continuous arm wrap band.
* Two hip pocket, matching monstera leaf pattern.
* Side slits.
* Shark fin shape collar.
* Two concealed single toothpick pockets.
* Indigo-dyed poplin back yoke floating lining, 100% cotton.
* Coconut shell buttons.
* Caballo chainstitch construction, 100% cotton stitching, no overlock.
* Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The Mister Freedom® Bora-Bora Shirt-Jac comes raw/unrinsed. We recommend the usual initial 30mn cold soak/occasional hand agitation/spin dry/hang dry process. The shirt in both options will shrink to tagged size. The Bora-Bora Shirt-Jac is true-to-size. I opted for a medium, my usual size in mfsc top garments. The shirt length is purposely on the short side, typical of period Shirt-Jak garments, a bit accentuated visually by the body/armband wrap graphic.
For general instructions on how we size Mister Freedom® garments, see here. Please refer to sizing chart to figure out what works for you, depending on your own body requirements and silhouette preferences.
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails, like after a particularly messy clambake.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
“Ou es-tu Manurevaaaaaaaaaaaa?”…This haunting disco-beat song, penned by the versatile musical genius Serge Gainsbourg and made famous by pop singer Alain Chamfort, took over the French Hit Parade in 1979.
“But where are you Manureva”, Alain asked… A few adolescents sweating it out on the Macumba dance floor at the time probably wondered if Manureva was the name of Chamfort’s uncooperative girlfriend, but in Tahitian language, Manureva means ‘bird of voyage’, aka albatros, and the song was actually an homage to a French skipper…
Manureva is how the mighty Pen Duick IV was renamed in 1972 by its new owner. The famed aluminum trimaran sailboat originally belonged to Eric Tabarly, and disappeared at sea one day of 1978, never to be seen again…
The skipper on board on that fateful November 5th, 1978 was Alain Colas, school teacher turned skillful navigator, bushy side-burned and media-friendly. He had dreamed ofone day surpassing the sea exploits of his childhood hero, the taciturn Tabarly. After a two-year hiatus due to an anchor rope accident that almost severed-off his foot, Colas succeeded in his claim for eternity at age 35, entering the lost-at-sea legends Hall of Fame while competing for the lead in the 1978 edition of the Route du Rhum race.
Today, the 68ft Manureva lays somewhere at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, Alain Colas is recorded in sailing History, and the Macumba still spins the scratchy 45rpm.
Alain Colas & Eric Tabarly, Toulon, 1976 (photo JC Barrault/SYGMA/CORBIS)
Back at the marina.
With these Mister Freedom® Manureva Deck Shorts, the 4th installment of our “Skipper” Spring 2016 collection, we are following in the wake of the colorful theme of the Gabier Jacket.
The nautical reference to 1970’s Hobie Cat® sails is still there. The 70’s vibe is also pretty obvious in the pattern of these short pants. Owing less in design to the British Army bermuda shorts than to funky-fresh flare “Bush Pants” popular some four decades ago, our Manureva’s come in ga-bazillions options. We’re cray-cray like that.
Yes, we outdid ourselves in the available combo department. Originally aiming for even more variations, we sadly eliminated about 3,267 assorted Rubik’s Cube color-ways arrangements to settle on six indispensable fruity winners, for the visual gourmet.
So here’s the Skipper’s dessert menu: A) Solid “Banana” canvas, featuring ox-blood red contrast stitching & snaps. B) Solid “Orange” canvas, featuring ivory contrast stitching & snaps. C) “Tutti Frutti Orange Flamer” canvas, tasty mix of banana and cerise on a bed of orange, enhanced by ivory contrast stitching & snaps. D) Solid “Cerise” canvas. E) “Tutti Frutti Cerise Flamer” canvas, tasty mix of orange and banana on a bed of cerise, adorned by ivory contrast stitching & snaps. F) Solid nep denim: a lighter hue indigo-dyed selvedge 12 oz. “neppy” denim, featuring orange contrast stitching & snaps.
We are also introducing, oh-heritage-sacrilege, our FIRST plastic zipper this season! To make sure everyone notices, it’s white, with contrasting color tape, a reference to French 70’s-80’s big-teeth Riri-type zip fasteners, popular with ski wear and other fashion sportswear gear of the time. Plastic being pretty much rust-proof last time we tested, it also makes sense as a way of keeping cuckoo hidden and dry during our nautical journey.
Swag-wise, if all fabrics were previously introduced with the Gabier Jacket, only to the boldest do we recommend pairing top flamer and bottom tutti frutti. However, you know we’re capable of anything, so classy fit pics are a-coming in the very near future…
Regarding the bermuda above-knee length, there’s always the custom route. To further alienate yourself from family and coworkers, crop the Manureva’s into hot pants, and tag us on Instagram. Have mercy, sans crotch-zooms, thanks.
All skits aside, the Manureva Deck Shorts look very cool on, with a nice 70’s Playboy of the Marina nautical vibe. And if anyone thinks less of you because you’re wearing yellow shorts, let their shrink deal with their own insecurity and hang ups. This is a redneck-free zone.
The Manureva Deck Shorts are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
SPECS: Inspired by 1970’s sailing gear and old Playboy® magazine ads.
FABRIC OPTIONS: All canvases are selvedge 9.5 oz. 100% cotton, milled and dyed to our specs in Japan. The nep denim is a lighter hue indigo-dyed selvedge 12 oz. “neppy” denim, milled in Japan.
Options are as follows: A) Banana. B) Orange. C)Tutti frutti Orange Flamer. D) Cerise. E)Tutti frutti Cerise Flamer. F) Indigo nep denim.
DETAILS: * “Bush Pants” type top block pattern.
* Bermuda length, right above knee.
* White 70’s style plastic YKK zippers.
* Double snap waist closure.
* Inventive belt loops.
* Six convenient pockets.
* Painted metal snaps.
* Contrast 100% cotton stitching, caballo chainstitch construction.
* Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: For general instructions on how we size Mister Freedom® garments, see here.
The Mister Freedom® Manureva Deck Shorts come raw/unwashed. We recommend the usual initial 30mn cold soak/occasional hand agitation/spin dry/hang dry process. After the initial soak, all canvas options will shrink to approximately the same (tagged) size. These shorts have a generous waist and slimmer thigh section.
They are pretty much true-to-size, and I opted for a waist 32 and relaxed fit, judging the waist 30 a bit too ‘Angus Young’ on me.
Please refer to sizing chart to figure out what works for you, depending on your own body requirements and silhouette preferences.
CARE: Wash when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails. We recommend turning the shorts inside out to avoid marbling of the fabric, although the canvas will overtime age nicely and marbling should not be a concern. Machine wash with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Sizes (W stands for Waist)
W 38 Retail: Canvas combos:$189.95 Nep Denim: $199.95