Yes! Right there…
Shooting the ‘Crew Pants’ in the back of the store for this next “Sea Hunt” post the other day, I looked closer at one of the props. Namely a Feb. 1942 issued map of the Pacific Ocean, found inside a 40’s white USN ditty bag, along with the sailor’s stencils/cover/letters…
Daw, T.A.’s USN Ditty Bag
On the map, he had circled his way from Newark to Portland to… the Solomon Islands (Guadalcanal ’42, anyone?)
Not sure what happened to seaman “Daw, T.A.”, but what he did then gives me the liberty today to choose another destination.
I pick Bora Bora. So I’m adding my longtime favorite body oil as an extra prop to the photo. Made in Tahiti since 1942. Get sum’ here!
Sooo, dear Monsieur Monoi and Madame Tiki, kindly mail two complimentary airline tickets to:
Mister Freedom®, 7161 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036,USA.
Māuruuru in advance 😉
Mister Freedom® “Crew Pants”
‘Sea Hunt’ mfsc Spring 2014
Commonly referred to as ‘fatigues’, the US Army “Utility, Trousers, OG-107, TYPE 1 Class 1” became associated with the early years of the Vietnam conflict. The original 8.5 Oz fabric they were made of was a type of carded cotton sateen vat-dyed Olive Green, shade number 107. This sturdy fabric was well adapted for Korea, but was later found unsuitable for a tropical jungle theater and replaced by popeline and ripstop for the utility sets.
Some call these trousers ‘Baker Pants’. According to Artist and collector Patrick ‘Riveted’ Segui, this might refer to the fame of US Army MSgt. John Franklin Baker, Jr., Medal of Honor decorated ‘tunnel rat’ hero of the Vietnam war. Anyone with an alternate explanations for the term is welcome to pitch in. Anyone wanting to correct me on other historical inaccuracies I might have committed is truly welcome too.
Business in the front…
… party in the back.
NOTE: Both above images from our archives are NOT related, were taken some twenty years apart and are NOT intended to be disrespectful in any way.
The Mister Freedom® ‘CREW PANTS’ share the general pattern of these P57 (pattern dated 11 March 1957) ‘fatigues’, including the waist adjuster tabs and large rear pocket flaps of type 1 trousers.
Where we decided to intervene and wake up from lethargy however is with the choice of fabrics. The idea was to mix things up, continents, eras, fabrics and styles, as the members of our Team did when giving instructions to have their custom functional gear designed. These trousers soon became everyone’s favorite, on and off board.
Here are the two options for our version of these classic utility trousers:
a) “MN” Linen-cotton:
Referring (again) to the French Navy, this 6.75 Oz blend of 55% cotton and 45% linen was developed from several 1950’s vintage samples of French Marine Nationale utility uniforms. The fabric is similar to a thick type of slubby chambray, rendered ‘crispy’ by the linen content. Our version features actual indigo dyed yarn, as was used in very early models. I have always loved this fabric, the color, the feel and the way it fades overtime.
For decades, a French seaman’s ‘tenue de travail’ partly consisted of buttoned flap-front deck pants, pleated summer shorts, pull-over tops (vareuse) and a (rare) shawl collar jacket made out of this fabric. It was replaced by a purple-ish color denim-like cotton twill in the 1970’s, subsequently evolving into a poly-cotton version.
We sent several vintage samples and instructions to the fabric experts at Toyo Enterprises, and we were honestly thrilled with how nice the resulting Japan milled textile came out.
I have always longed to find a pair of ‘simple’ trousers in that cotton-linen fabric that would be easier to wear than the typical crackerjack style pants. There is it 😉
Vintage 1950’s French Navy inspiration
b) Brown Twill:
This 9 Oz 100% cotton fabric was developed from a WW1 US Army officer pair of jodhpurs from our archives. I really loved the feel of the twill and the way it had evolved though the years. That vintage fabric was totally different from the more common army chino twill we are used to.
Again, the textile experts at Toyo Enterprises were put to the challenge with that mystery, studied yarn per yarn, and milled the fabric according to a tiny swatch hidden in a seam, tightly protected from wear and sun exposure. These guys use microscopes and crazy technical fabric content tests. They’re good.
Interestingly, the resulting original pre-fade color is very similar to that of our Britches Chaparral and Americano Trousers. The common thread…
Vintage WW1 US Army jodhpurs inspiration.
For both options, we are using an Olive Drab USMC HBT fabric (courtesy of Buzz Rickson’s) for the waist band lining and fly facing, a WW2 OD shade #7. Please note that production does not come with someone’s name stenciled on the inside waistband. I have a tendency to mark most of my clothes, for no other reason than an old tenacious habit from bygone boarding school days.
The “CREW PANTS” of our Sea Hunt Spring 2014 Collection are made in Japan as a collaboration between Mister Freedom® and Sugarcane Co.
FABRIC: Two fabric options
a) “MN” Linen-cotton: 6.75 Oz blend of 55% cotton and 45% linen, plain weave. Milled in Japan exclusively for mfsc.
b) Brown Twill: 9 Oz 100% cotton twill fabric (approx. color Pantone Reference: 732 U)
* Pattern adapted from an original pair of US Army P57 utility trousers.
* High-waist, straight leg, generous fit.
* Two ply waistband with Olive Drab USMC HBT fabric lining (OD shade #7)
* Button fly, corozo (vegetable ivory nut) top and fly buttons.
* Side waist adjuster.
* Flat felled seam construction for seat and inseam.
* 100% cotton tonal stitching.
* mfsc white woven label, ready for perso markings.
Both fabric options come un-washed, as always with MF® gear.
Although different in measurements when raw, both will shrink to a very similar fit. Due to the different drape of the two very different fabrics, the same size might however feel and appear different when worn.
The Brown Twill are cut longer than their MN linen counterpart, for no other reason than to make us all wonder why…
Please note that due to the ‘crispiness’ and wrinkling properties of linen, leg creases will ‘lift’ the fabric and will have to be put into consideration for those hemming their pair.
I had to size down to a Waist 30 on both of these CREW PANTS, which I right away attributed to my daily 3mn planking routine I started last week. Nice try. They ARE cut quite generously.
We recommend the usual original cold soak/spin dry/line dry routine.
Please note that our rinse tests were done following this method, and that using hot water and powered dryer (both not recommended) will result in more shrinkage.
Further washing, when needed, should be done on ‘delicate’, with mild detergent, and trousers turned inside out to avoid ‘marbling’ of the fabric.
After a few cycle of normal wash/wear, the CREW PANTS will reach their low-maintenance status and age gracefully.
MN Crew Pants
Brown Twill Crew Pants
Available Raw (unwashed) ONLY
Available from our brick & mortar and our webstore.
Please call the store at 323-653-2014 or email email@example.com with questions not addressed above.
Thank you sincerely for your support 🙂
MFSC “SEA HUNT”
Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Spring 2014 Collection
Digging through an old box of personal photos kicked a bit of nostalgia dust last year.
There was a time when one didn’t document every minute of daily life with 16 photos per second, so i am very much attached to the few hard copy prints that survived my youth. In one envelop were some mid 1980’s traces of a period of my life that seems to be someone else’s…
I had done some time aboard an old rusty ship of the “Marine Nationale“, up and down the Indian Ocean, around 1985. For the French, Military Service was mandatory until 1996. Should you opt for the Navy, serving consisted of a 12 month course in evading-chores-by-looking-busy’, punctuated by sleep deprivation for those at sea.
At the end of my 1 1/2 year (I piled up since I had nothing better to do), I got skilled at both and was ready for a life of, I envisioned, leisure.
Naval training school. Hourtin, France, 1986
During my tour, blessed were we all by the relative absence of major wars at the time, my ship’s duty included hunting down illegal fishing boats, the likes of which we never actually encountered. Comorian fishermen had obviously been using submarines.
Nonetheless, participating in geopolitical presence in waters known as TAAF (Territoire des Terres Australes et Antartiques Francaises) was great for a 20 year old. I don’t regret any minute of that paid vacation and its many discoveries and lessons.
Having sworn to secrecy under my Confidentiel-Défense status at the time (my specialty was transmission ie. decoding and relaying messages that were way above my head, sent through hi-tech technology that involved a large noisy machine spilling out punched paper tape…), there are obviously things i cannot talk about here. Such as the following, for instance:
* My Lieutenant kicking my sleepy rear to attention around 0500 (pronounce zero-five-hundred for effect, thank you), as i laid motionless on a Mayotte (I think) sun-bleached wooden pontoon (I know). That EV1 had awoken a few minutes before me, a few yards away. We, along with a few of the ship’s finest on that pontoon, had missed the shuttle deadline back to the ship the night before. I have somewhat of a blurry remembrance of that debacle, but I am pretty positive it didn’t involve g Earl Grey and museums. Whatever classy local establishments were honored by our presence that evening have been eradicated from memory. What I, and an agitated taxi driver surely do remember however, is the moment i noticed my wallet was gone…
Another classy establishment, with my good buddy ‘Tug’, and an unidentified happy gentleman. Kenya 1987
* On another ‘critical mission’, we moored next to a very tiny remote Indian Ocean island called Juan de Nova. The island was inhabited by a group of intimidating sun-beaten French Paratroopers stationed there. I believe that mission was called: “Hey guys, we were nowhere in the neighborhood, so we decided to stop by”. These Special Forces bunch hadn’t seen much else than each others’ mugs for a while, appeared quite content with it, and used words like they were rationed. Conversing with a yellow-haired skinny squid was not on their priority list.
As a lucky member of the shore party, the emotional equivalent of winning the Lottery, I took a solitary stroll around that island. I was trying to look at it from a Crusoe perspective, immersing in the concept of ‘trapped in Paradise’. As postcard pretty as that island was, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t just ripe for marooning. Today, I might reconsider.
These dudes and that island however, left quite an impression on me. I knew they had some stories. If that island could talk…
Some 30 years later, trying to piece a somewhat coherent story for a new concept, many of these snapshots and memories helped me come up with a brief script, the backdrop of Mister Freedom® mfsc Spring 2014.
This collection might seem to some as a 360º + 90º turn compared to previous MF® line-ups.
I have to admit I was done with the 1900’s, sepia, dark alleys, gangs, smoky gambling saloons, battlefields, the Dust Bowl, revolutions… All good stuff but doing research can be draining, and I wanted a break from chaotic situations. The constant visualization of violence-charged images is a bit disturbing over time.
I longed for Cousteau’s exploits. On COLOR TV!
I realized I was craving for a shot of sun-drenched islands, turquoise lagoons, luxuriant vegetation, adventure, coastal surveying, successful survival stories, tropical scientific journeys and treasure hunting! I wanted the fascinating mental escape that the lure of hidden mysteries brings. I needed the high of discovering and learning something new. Maybe I wanted to play GI Joe again, sans war…
Over the summer of 2013, I religiously listened to a radio show podcast on France-Inter called “Le Temps d’un Bivouac“, highlighting the works of contemporary adventurers, scientists, nomadic philosophers, field writers, anthropologists… Fascinating interviews that turned my commute to work into a blissful moment.
Also, along with watching several documentaries about discoveries and expeditions, some fascinating reads kept me in the mood for this collection (I have become an audible addict):
* “South Sea Tales” by Jack London.
* “River of Doubts” by Candice Millard.
* “Deep Survival” by Laurence Gonzales.
* “Shadow Divers” by Robert Kurson.
* “The Lost City of Z” by David Grann.
* “Into Africa” by Martin Dugard.
* “Au Congo Jusqu’au Cou” by Patrice Franceschi
* “Between Man and Beast” by Monte Reel.
* “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.
* “Wolf, The Lives of Jack London” by James Haley.
* “The Things They Carry” by Tim O’Brien.
So, here she goes…
The mfsc “SEA HUNT” Story
“And there were these guys I ran into a while back at the Harbor Inn. They called it the Horrible Inn…
A rugged bunch of fun-loving and thrill-seeking daredevils who combed the Earth for adventure, the unanswered, and the occasional gold that crept from under their feet.
From attempts at locating Percy Fawcett’s “City of Z” in the Amazon, to ID-ing obscure sunken U-boats off the New Jersey coast, from privately funded rescue missions of some fortunate survivors, to Government sponsored land survey expeditions of un-charted islands… this for-hire bunch never turned down the perspective of a good thrill and challenging puzzler.
The Team was a kaleidoscope of talents and specialties, combining military backgrounds, academic training, survival skills and passion for discovery with an overall disdain for idleness. Each member pitched in his unique skills and experience, making the Team at home in “Here Be Dragons” areas. On Sea, Land or Air. With some roots in the late 1950’s, the Team fully bloomed in the 60’s and remained very active through the 70’s.
In the summer of 1966, a polaroid of the Team in the debrief room would have included:
An ex Bell UH-1 (pronounce ‘Huey’, again for effect) pilot on Air America, a UDT frogman drop-out, a young archaeologist and maritime historian, a French anthropologist with a stint in the Foreign Legion, a SERE instructor turned American Advisor in Vietnam, an aqua shop clerk versed in 8 languages and ex-corpsman, an honorably discharged Navy ‘snipe’, a less-honorably-discharged ‘deck ape’ with a fondness for extended Liberty outings, along with a Peruvian folk singer. These men constituted the core of this International band of adventurers.
There was a humanitarian and scientific aspect to most missions, but when it came to sunken treasures, the “He who floats it, owns it” mentality mostly took over. There were a few very lucky strikes, and they sometimes wore their “What Sunk Floats My Boat”© Tshirts.
The Team was ultimately beat to the Nuestra Señora de Atocha‘s cargo by the mighty Mel Fisher crew on July 20, 1985, however. A mother lode of $450 million worth of Spanish galleon goodness sitting on the ocean’s floor since 1622. Good for them.
The colorful members of the Team brought their own pro-gear at times, but were always outfitted in custom made garments, with specific designs matching each mission. Borrowing details from uniforms of their previous trade, ordering dye-lots according to specific job requirements, the Team’s style became quite recognizable amongst competitors.
Detailing their wardrobe, the trained eye would spot here and there several familiar references: the pattern of a knife pocket from a USAF Cold Weather Unit flying coveralls, the blue linen fabric characteristic of 50’s French Navy work uniforms, mil-specs zippers from legit field gear, US Army baker pants patterns, genuine parts salvaged from a parachute factory…
Some of their early gear even featured the quite hi-tech ‘Hook and Loop Fastener’ system, invented in 1948 and better known as Velcro. Impressive stuff.
Many of the fabrics they went for were of military origin, such as the WW2 developed textile meant to replace silk in canopy manufacturing, called ‘Ripstop’. And the tight plain-weave of the ‘Weather Cloth’ favored by many in the field for its hard-wearing and wind-breaking qualities…”
(end of fiction!)
The morphing of that made-up Team story into each garment of our “Sea Hunt” Collection spans an era of about 4 decades of influences and inspirational material, from several Continents and many latitudes.
It is not a dated ‘time capsule’, nothing was taken literally. History was speculated with. We keept it light 🙂
As a result, the general vibe of our Spring 2014 might partially qualify as:
* Vintage hi-tech
* Military sans war
* G.I. Joe Adventure Team gear
* Hatari! meets M*A*S*H in an unfashionable pho pas.
* The Calypso goes in-country
* Old-timey Survival and Tactical outfits
* Gym clothes for Astronauts
* Costumes for the 1966 Int’l Man of Action of the Year
* etc, etc… further descriptive left up to everyone’s imagination.
But, we are all pretty stoked about it around here. I dig this one. We hope some of you will too.
So, may the contenders for the 2014 Int’l Men of Action contest stay tuned… The word is about an imminent drop of Sea Hunt gear!
Thank you for reading my ramblings.
And thank you for your support, always.
Perso Ranch Blouse Lot.64, about 6 months wear, different model, same denim.
Lot.64US (Uncle Sam) issue, Ranch Blouse and Californian blue jeans
Spring 2014 ‘The Sportsman’ Catalog
For Spring 2014, additions to the Mister Freedom® ‘Sportsman’ catalog have a bit of a 60’s Endless-Summer-meets-Uncle-Sam vibe. We are releasing a small batch of modified Lot.64 Ranch Blouse and Californian, a special ‘Uncle Sam’ issue of two MF® classics we will refer to as Lot.64US.
You’re saying ” Son… whadaya mean classics?!? Ya barely been around the block. Cheeeeses crust…“
Not untrue, good point.
Anyways, as I was saying, before getting rudely interrupted by my imaginary friend here, think old Army/Navy surplus, GI stuff, piles of blues and greens gathering dust on shelves… and the oversized grenade on the counter saying “Complaints Dept, Take a Number”.
For our Lot.64US jeans and jacket, the main fabric/style/fit/shrinkage/pattern remain the same as Lot.64, but with a few detail changes.
Emulating an imaginary but plausible Government contract/war effort/requisitions affecting a 1960’s jeans manufacturing factory, we are using mil spec fabrics for pocket bags/lining/labeling: 1940’s fatigues USMC type herringbone twill (HBT) lining and WW2 type USN chambray for patches, minimal branding.
We are also introducing another small detail this season, an embossed MF® brass button, replacing our previous ‘silver’ type. Just thought we would alert the media.
Both of these riveted button designs were obviously ‘freely’ inspired by vintage denim hardware, in other words lifted from old Levi’s.
I believe that, for back in the days Levi’s, the silver type buttons were used on shrink-to-fit denim fabric, while the brass type buttons went on sanforized fabrics or as waist buttons of zip-fly jeans? As always, don’t quote me on that, ask an expert, unless you you want to make a fool of yourself on the interwebs…
For Spring 2014, the Californian Lot.64 “Uncle Sam” issue features a solid natural leather patch on the rear pocket, a (selvedge) blue chambray waist patch (minimal Lot/Size marking), olive green HBT USMC type pocket bags, brass waist rivet button.
The Ranch Blouse Lot.64 “US” issue features a newly-shaped collar, olive green HBT collar facing and pocket flap facing, brass buttons and a generically-stamped blue chambray inside patch.
Cosmetic details you say. Maybe.
But in 2525, a savvy denim collector stumbling across a beat up pair of blue jeans with a chambray patch might want to bore his girlfriend to death with all of this, as they glide off to Kepler-62-e for breakfast.
Designed and made in California by Mister Freedom®, in a collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
Please note that the photo montage of the worn Lot.64 is for reference ONLY, it is a different model but made of the same denim. Production of the Lot.64US comes UNWASHED.
RANCH BLOUSE Lot.64US SPECS
PATTERN: An original mfsc pattern, influenced by early denim ‘trucker’ type jackets.
FABRIC: 13 3/4 Oz selvedge indigo denim. Right hand twill. White/pink selvedge ID. Milled on shuttle looms in Japan. Aka SC1966.
Under collar and under pocket flap lining: 100% cotton OD Herringbone Twill, 1940’s USMC type, mil specs.
* Modified collar pattern.
* ‘Vintage’ boxy but fit silhouette.
* Original MF® lower chest pocketing, yellow “M” stitching.
* Pleated front with MF® original ‘dart’ stitching.
* Selvedge front panel fold.
* Olive Drab HBT collar/pocket flap facing.
* Brass cast MF® branded buttons.
* Buckle back, concealed selvedge strap, adjustable, riveted.
* Copper rivet reinforced, unmarked, leather washer.
* Combination yellow/orange 100% cotton stitching.
* USN type chambray patch (courtesy Buzz Rickson’s), minimal branding.
* Made in USA
We recommend an original 30mn cold soak with hand agitation, spin dry and hang dry. Please note ‘spin dry’ refers to a spinning cycle in the WASHING machine, NOT the dryer.
You can briefly put the jacket on when damp, to give it (your) body, then hang to dry. Once fully dry the denim will be quite stiff from the starch, which is a good thing as this ‘sets’ some creases. You’re on your way to a pleasing patina after repeat wear.
Those who have an issue with stiff denim should reconsider, as demand for ‘soft denim’ lead to the plague of stone washed garments, and acid wash in the 80’s.
The Sportsman “Ranch Blouse” comes UN-WASHED and “oversized” (ie. will ‘shrink to fit’) so that the measurements match the labeling AFTER an original cold soak/line dry.
I wear a 38 in the Ranch Blouse, and it has the old school fit I like after the original cold soak.
Refer to chart for raw/rinsed measurements (please note that, although really not recommended, more shrinkage is to be expected if you ‘boil’ your jacket and machine dry it.)
Please note that we did our best to hide this chart in our fancy webstore, and you need a recon patrol to find it. It is there however, for each item, under the “Add to Cart” yellow button. It is labelled “Size Chart:” and it will pop up if you click on it.
Available Raw (unwashed) ONLY
CALIFORNIAN blue jeans Lot.64US SPECS
Original Mister Freedom® pattern, inspired by traditional 1950′s era blue jeans with a 1960′s twist. Silhouette inspired by vintage fits and old photography, BRMC meets Beatniks.
Like the previous Lot.64, the Lot.64US features a traditional mid-rise with straight slightly tapered leg.
13 3/4 Oz. selvedge Right Hand Twill indigo denim. White/pink selvedge ID. Milled on shuttle looms in Japan. (aka SC1966)
100% cotton OD Herringbone Twill, 1940’s USMC type, mil specs.
* Five pocket, button fly, selvedge leg seams,…
* Original “M” stitch design and solid un-branded cowhide leather patch.
* Blue (selvedge) chambray patch on waist band, minimal stamping.
* Hidden back pocket rivets with top pocket reinforcement zig-zag stitching.
* Pocket bags and back pocket lining: OD HBT.
* Coin pocket with concealed selvedge.
* Twelve types of all cotton threads (gauge and color combination) used for construction. Main colors are yellow and orange.
* Selvedge button hole flap (yes, it’s under the overlock, we’re vicious.)
* Original MF® metal cast waist/fly buttons.
*Unmarked copper riveting for reinforcement.
* Made in USA
The Californian Lot.64US comes UN-WASHED and is cut so that the measurements match the labeling AFTER an original cold soak/line dry. A tagged W32 x L34 “Californian” actually measures about 34” x 36½” before wash. It will shrink to approx. 32” x 34” after rinse/dry.
Which size works for you depends on how you like your jeans to fit. I wear a comfortable tagged waist 32 in the Lot.64
We recommend getting your usual waist size, although proper fit is a subjective matter and everyone has their own idea of what looks good.
As with all denim twill, shrinkage and stretching will occur for a while and will depend on the wearer’s body, activities and initial fit.
Although some like to wear their jeans raw, a more practical option is the cold rinse/line dry route.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/rinsed measurements. Please note that in our case, ‘rinsed’ means a 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry (ie minimal shrinkage).
W29 x L32
W30 x L32
W31 x L32
W32 x L34
W33 x L34
W34 x L34
W36 x L34
W38 x L34
Available soon from www.misterfreedom.com
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions not addressed above.
Thank you for your support
For the up-coming endless Spring Summer 2014 season, we are adding some “60’s beach movie meets Uncle Sam” vibe to the mfsc “The Sportsman” catalog.
All made in USA.
The line-up will include:
* Board Shorts: NOS cotton twill, stripe and indigo
* Indian Madras shirts: ‘Sierra’ or ‘Beach’ plaid
* ‘Wheat’ Ranch Blouse and Speedway jeans: off white 10 Oz. Pique
* ‘Uncle Sam’ Edition Lot.64 Ranch Blouse and Californian Blues Jeans: 13 ¾ Oz. selvedge denim (SC66)
* ‘Pitstop’ broadcloth shirts: blue and white
* Sportsman Chinos: ‘Beach’ selvedge chino twill and Indigo ‘métisse’ cotton/linen
All items in production right now, full specs as each item drops, sometime during Feb/March 2014.
Please email email@example.com with any question not answered above.
Thank you for your support.