Mister Freedom® “Veste BELLEVILLE” & “Pantalon CAMARGUAIS”, mocha HBT Linen-Cotton, made in Japan, FW2018.

Mister Freedom® “Veste BELLEVILLE” & “Pantalon CAMARGUAIS”, mocha HBT linen/cotton.
FW2018 “Surplus” mfsc collection.
Made in Japan.

We are adding a French twist to the MF® “Surplus” mfsc catalog this season, in the form of two vintage-inspired design classics lifted from the Old World.

The top piece, a classic pattern we reinterpreted and chose to call Veste Belleville, is a style familiar to most today, as it has made it into international streetwear for years. Many modern fashionable versions exist. It is mostly known as the French work jacket, and often referred to as ‘bleu de travail’ (work blues) in its homeland. Our interpretation features the typical two-piece spliced collar, a staple of these French workwear chore coats.

Our Veste Belleville was introduced during the swinging days of our Gypsy Blues escapade, and issued at the time in a covert woven stripe twill, and in a foxy indigo-dyed HBT linen/cotton blend version. That herringbone twill was inspired by vintage French firemen uniforms of the 1900’s. The few rare antique specimen that have survived today are sought-after treasures for designers and militaria collectors alike, both the indigo and black/dark brown versions.
Below, our friend Jérome Girard, aka “J” or “Le Zouave”, fiercely models a 1900’s French Fireman tunic, an authentic early model with an impressive indigo patina. The ‘Nam boonie hat is a nice touch. Photo stolen from J’s epic IG feed.
What a mug, what a legend! Magnifique!

In its un-dyed, loomstate form, our 80% linen-20% cotton blend HBT fabric comes in a natural un-bleached ivory color. It has been featured loomstate on the MF® Waterfront Coat released in 2016.
This season, we decided to offer the same textile in a rich and warm dark brown “mocha” color. Because of the specific method of fabric-dyeing we opted for, the core of the yarn keeps its original off-white color, a telltale of future attractive patina.

Now the pants. The bottom piece is also a classic European garment pattern we reinterpreted, a traditional 1900’s-1930’s style of French work pants popular with farmers and laborers. We decided to name this pattern “Pantalon Camarguais” because of the twist we put on it.
Pronounced KA-MAR-GAY (the u is silent), the adjective is a reference to a French region called CamargueFor those unfamiliar with this beautiful corner of the world, we mentioned it briefly while introducing the Gilet Gadjo of the 2017 Gypsy Blues collection.

“ … If black and navy blue are typical colors of old-school French workwear, brown and cream moleskin garments were quite popular with the Gardians of Camargue, the gritty Provençal cowboys dreamed-up by the legendary Old-West-obsessed Folco de Baroncelli in the early 1900’s. In the old days, these famed horsemen of the delta of the Rhone, Southern France, typically wore moleskine boot-cut riding pants, with the characteristic contrast piping running down the leg seam. A matching moleskin vest, flamboyant plaid or printed cotton shirt, low-crown western-style hat, and a pair of Camarguaises (local traditional rough-out leather boots) often completed these work outfits.
(For the commun thread between Gardians and our Gypsy Blues story, Camargue’s most iconic commune is Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, a notorious annual pilgrimage destination for Gypsies coming from the four corners of Europe.) “

The Provence cowboy connoisseur will note that our “Camarguais” pattern is a blend of vintage style references, but absolutely not a replica of the typical French Gardians’ riding trousers mentioned above. As admirative and respectful of Costume History as we are, we took some liberties with authenticity on this one. One of our inspirational piece for the project, the vintage super-high-waisted blue moleskine pantalon pictured below, was re-worked into a 21rst Century wearable, sans the charming albeit ill-fitting and costumey vibe of the original. The back rise reaching the shoulder blades is a bit hard to pull-off these days.

The pocketing we opted for, for both jacket and pants, will look familiar to the ol’ MF® OG: it was featured ages ago on our Pantalon Ouvrier. This sturdy indigo stripe ticking fabric was also inspired by antique French textiles.

Voila!
Pair these fine pieces as a set and call it le French leisure suit, or incorporate either for a touch of rugged Old World elegance in your wardrobe, the Veste Belleville and Pantalon Camarguais are now part of the Mister Freedom® SURPLUS collection of international classics, made for the discerning Gentleman of style concerned with ethical manufacturing.

The MF® “Veste BELLEVILLE” & “Pantalon CAMARGUAIS” are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co and the expert Toyo Enterprise team.

SPECS:
FABRIC:
A fancy 15 Oz. blend of 80% linen and 20% cotton Herringbone Twill (HBT), dyed in small batches in a warm mocha brown color, keeping the core of the yarn natural. Selvedge fabric, expertly milled and dyed in Japan.

Lining and pocketing: 8 oz. indigo/white warp and black weft striped twill, fine herringbone weave, white selvedge, un-sanforized (respectfully lifted from a late 1800′s swatch of french workwear textile)

1) MF® Veste BELLEVILLE, mocha HBT.
DETAILS:
* Inspired by classic 1930’s-40’s traditional French work/farmer jackets.
* Utilitarian unmarked ‘donut’ brass metal buttons.
* Three outside patch pockets. Elongated chest pocket fits some iPhone models.
* Concealed chest pocket, featuring the MF® “SURPLUS” woven label.
* Contrast indigo stripe ticking button placket facing.
* Early tailoring off-set shoulder seam pattern.
* Arms mounted with piping method, indigo-dyed tape.
* Flat-felled seam construction, hi-count tonal stitching.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® Veste BELLEVILLE, mocha HBT comes raw/unwashed, and will shrink to tagged size.
Follow the usual recommended initial method before wearing: cold soak for 30mn, occasional hand agitation, spin dry and line dry.
We recommend sizing down on MF® Veste BELLEVILLE in mocha HBT, as we had advised for both the indigo and covert original versions. I usually wear 38 (Medium) in mfsc jackets, but went with a 36 (small) with the Belleville, without arm-hole issues.
Please refer to chart to figure which size works for you. If still confused, email sales@misterfreedom.com

Available raw/unwashed.
Sizes
36 Small
38 Medium
40 Large
42 X-Large
44 XX-Large

1) MF® Pantalon CAMARGUAIS, mocha HBT.
DETAILS:
* An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage French farmer/laborer work pants and 1900’s European trousers.
* Cinch-back with vintage-style steel/copper combo sharp prong buckle.
* “French seam” style outseam, featuring the HBT fabric selvedge ID.
* Early French trousers style back yoke.
* Rear expansion gusset featuring the indigo ticking pocketing fabric ID selvedge.
* Slim beltloops.
* Utilitarian unmarked ‘donut’ brass metal buttons.
* Arcuate stitch design on pocket openings.
* Rear gusset featuring the indigo ticking pocketing fabric ID selvedge.
* Art Deco-style sheet metal suspender buttons.
* Flat-felled seam construction, hi-count tonal stitching.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® Pantalon Camarguais, mocha HBT comes raw/unwashed, and will shrink to tagged size.
Follow the usual recommended initial method before wearing: cold soak for 30mn, occasional hand agitation, spin dry and line dry.

These trousers feature a quite generous cut. I opted to size down to a Waist 30, for a slimmer silhouette.
Please refer to chart to figure which size works for you.

Available raw/unwashed.
Sizes
W28 x L36
W30 x L36
W32 x L36
W34 x L36
W36 x L38
W38 x L38

CARE:
Hand wash or machine wash on delicate, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Turn inside-out to avoid marbling of the fabric. Line dry ONLY.
This fabric will develop attractive patina overtime, according to the owner’s activities, frequency of wear and laundering choices.

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles HQ, 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

Mister Freedom® ‘Veste Ménilmontant’, indigo covert herringbone twill, “GYPSY BLUES” mfsc Fall 2017

 

Mister Freedom® Veste Ménilmontant , wool-cotton indigo covert herringbone.
GYPSY BLUES” mfsc FW2017
Made in Japan.

Ménilmontant… mais oui Monsieur!

We’re kick-off the Fall chapter of our “GYPSY BLUES” story to the beat of a 1938 Charles Trenet chanson, given a Jazz Hot treatment in 1949 by a quintet led by virtuoso guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli.
Dig it!

Our Veste Ménilmontant (veste is jacket in French, and Ménilmontant is a popular neighborhood of Paris) was inspired by a vintage suit jacket, an old beat-up 1920’s-30’s French coat. That original inspirational piece was absolutely striking, with amazing character, classy curves, elegant lines, and worn-out hobo style. Check it out if you visit the old pile o’ rags.
The fabric we chose for our interpretation is a fancy herringbone weave cotton/wool blend, a covert cloth mixing indigo blue, black and slate grey yarns.
Please note that this is quite a period-looking garment, as the Veste Ménilmontant screams Thirties! In part due to the curvy and wide peak lapels, the jazzy belted back accentuating the natural waist, and the overall silhouette. That elegant single-breasted style was typical of Gentlemen’s garb of the time. The four patch pockets with button flaps complete the vintage continental flair of the garment. We played a bit with the lining fabrics to give our coat an Old World meets New World tailor-made touch, mixing French workwear stripe ticking (body lining) with Wabash twill (arm lining).

Style-wise, if a bit concerned about looking like a 1930’s suave crooner, or an extra on Sous Les Toits de Paris, pairing the Veste Ménilmontant with familiar denim favorites should easily dismiss the Jean Sablon vibe. For Heritage Fashion and workwear aficionados, the jacket can also be toned down with a “Dirty Thirties”treatment, i.e. complimented with Great Depression era-inspired outfits.
For menswear and style inspiration, old photos abound. Check out the daily gems featured on Mr. Matt “Warpath” Strickland’s excellent Rivet-Head blog or rockin’ IG account.
For fancy Jazz Manouche-style guitar picks (those featured on the photos are made from vintage NOS casein), and other Hot Jazz guitar-related goodies, look-up Mr. Thomas Davy.

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

SPECS:
FABRIC:
Herringbone weave blend of cotton/wool, a covert cloth mixing indigo blue, black and slate grey yarns. Milled in Japan.
Body Lining: 100% cotton indigo woven stripe ticking.
Arm Lining: 100% indigo Sugar Cane Co Wabash twill.

DETAILS:
* Inspired by 1920’s-1930’s haberdashery and French vintage Gentlemen’s suiting.
* Period silhouette with elegant lines, cinched natural waist and broad chest and shoulders.
* 1930’s type belted-back.
* Single-breasted featuring curvy wide peak lapels.
* Four patch pockets with buttoned flaps.
* Corozzo wood buttons, amber color.
* Fully lined (combination of indigo stripe ticking and indigo Wabash twill).
* Two inside concealed chest pockets.
* MF® mfsc “GYPSY BLUES” woven rayon label.

SIZING/FIT:
The Ménilmontant Jacket comes raw/unwashed. If so inclined, get some light puckering and fabric roping with a 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry. This garment runs true to size following this process.
I wear a fitted size 38 (Medium), my usual size in mfsc jackets and coats.

Refer to chart for raw/cold-soaked & line-dry measurements.

CARE:
We recommend hand washing (or machine-wash on delicate, if you use a high-end washing machine), cold water, eco-friendly detergent. Line dry.
Do not boil this garment, nor set washing-machine to normal/heavy agitation.

Available RAW/unwashed.
36 (Small)
38 (Medium)
40 (Large)
42 (X-Large)
44 (XX-Large)
Retail $549.95

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®
©2017

Mister Freedom Veste BELLEVILLE, Indigo cotton-linen HBT and Stripe Covert, “GYPSY BLUES” mfsc Spring 2017

Veste Belleville, indigo cotton/linen HBT & cotton covert stripe.
“Gypsy Blues” mfsc collection Spring 2017
Made in Japan

Recently unveiled in the “Gypsy Blues” mfsc Spring 2017 Lookbook, our latest seasonal venture in vintage-inspired menswear features a 78rpm “Jazz à Cordes” soundtrack… Unless you said “a who?”, you can skip this intro and scroll down to the SPECS to get straight down to bin’ness…

Pioneered by future members of the Quintette du Hot Club de France in the 1930’s, a novel musical style known today as “Jazz Manouche” (“Gypsy Jazz”, “Gypsy Swing”,…), made its way from the Boite à Matelots (Cannes, circa 1931), to guinguettes on the Seine river, bal musettes, and smokey jazz caves of hopping Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Paris, 1950’s). This new musical genre, a type of continental jazz originally consisting of string (corde) instruments (as opposed to brass instruments) soulfully improvising on traditional hot jazz standards and chansons in a specific style, stayed quite popular in France for a few decades, eventually crossing borders and oceans, anecdotally making  an appearance in Hollywood in a Woody Allen film in 1999.

The QHCF, ‘house band’ of the Hot Club De France, was driven by the creative genius of Django Reinhardt, a young Manouche (French Gypsy) guitar player born in Belgium, settled down in France. With a left hand notoriously crippled in a caravan fire when he was 18, Django literally invented a unique guitar style, sound and technique that still puzzles and humbles guitarists today. His expertly-crafted solos are always so unique, so adventurous yet melodic, that each bar becomes a melody within a melody, each improvisation a standard within a standard. Many of his compositions, such as the ultra-famous Nuage or Minor Swing, are forever associated with his own original recorded renditions and have become anthems for Gypsy Jazz musicians over the years.

I recall my Dad not having much positive things to say about Rock & Roll or Yéyé pop tunes… The family’s selection of LP’s and 45’s at home clearly showed his preference for traditional Jazz. A big fan of Django Reinhardt early on, he liked to recount having purchased tickets to go see the Hot Club perform live in Bordeaux, France, in the summer of 1953. On May 16th that year, a few months before the event, Django passed away…

Many years later, when visiting Paris in the 1980’s, my Father used to take us kids to “La Chope Des Puces”, a then-unassuming café near the Puces de St Ouen (famous Parisian flea market). I remember us sipping expressos at the counter, to the sounds of Daphné, Tes Yeux Noirs or Ménilmontant, performed by a Manouche duet (they might have been Mondine & Ninine Garcia),  jamming on beat-up Maccaferri-type guitars with jerry-rigged Stimer pick-ups. That place still exists today, having become quite the tourist attraction with a full-blown restaurant.

La Chope Des Puces with Mondine & Ninine Garcia, 1960’s (Photo credit Ginette Douville)

Today, Django Reinhardt’s known body of work is well-documented and easily available on well-curated and exhaustive CD collections. On-line forums dissect his career and recordings, passionately discussing Django’s style, guitars and whereabouts during the 43 years he blessed us with his earthly presence.
His musical legacy is also well alive in 2017, with amazing talents such as the Rosenberg Trio and many others, keen on keeping Django’s ears ringing, and la pompe (the specific strumming of the rhythm guitar that replaces the drums, trademark of Jazz Manouche) pumping.

If not yet familiar with this particular music style, treat yourself to some of Mr. Reinhardt’s six-string escapades on numbers like the endlessly melodious I’ll See You in My Dreams (1939), the frantic Belleville (1942), or electrified powerhouse Blues en Mineur (1947), …,  just for a taste of that goodness. You won’t even need to like Jazz to appreciate. For visuals, watch Django’s effortless virtuosity on J’attendrai (1939), one of the very few surviving filmed clip that features synched sound/image. The apparently-lost movie “Clair De Lune”, filmed in 1932 by Henri Diamant-Berger, and boasting a soundtrack recorded live-on-set by Django himself, will hopefully surface one day and reveal more of the man in action…

Django, on set of “Clair de Lune” (1932) Photo courtesy Teddy Dupont Django Station

Messieurs Dames, after this typically rambling overture…showtime!
It is with that inspiring musical score in mind that we improvised a Mister Freedom® wardrobe for our mfsc “Gypsy Blues” story. For Spring 2017, we’ll be mixing 1930’s ~ 50’s French workwear and vintage European menswear, giving somewhat of a Sinti bohemian vibe to the collection.

We’ll kick our jam with a garment pattern familiar to most today, as it has made it into streetwear for several years now, and many modern fashionable versions exist: the French work jacket, known as ‘bleu de travail’ in its homeland.

Our Mister Freedom® jazzed-up interpretation of this classic, inspired by vintage 1930’s moleskine and twill specimen, comes in two distinct fabric options.
First is an indigo-dyed cotton/linen HBT (the same sturdy fabric of our Waterfront Coat, indigo-dyed to a dark and rich hue), a textile inspired by early French firemen uniform of the 1900’s. The second option is a 100% cotton stripe covert fabric, a sort of heather charcoal grey salt & pepper with a subtle woven stripe pattern, developed from a vintage swatch of 1930’s French workwear NOS textile. Both are milled in Japan exclusively for us, as-in not picked from a textile trade show.

The Veste Belleville is designed in California by MISTER FREEDOM® and manufactured in Japan by SUGAR CANE Co.

NOTE: Please note that the photos feature an indigo HBT Belleville worn for about a week, with hardware treated with antiquing solution (DIY salt water/vinegar should also work). Production comes with brass/copper buttons without patina.

SPECS:

FABRICS:
Option A
A sturdy 15 Oz. blend of 80% linen and 20% cotton indigo-dyed HBT textile, selvedge, milled in Japan.
Please note that some light streaking can be observed on some garment panels at times. This is due to the nature of indigo-dyeing this specific heavy textured fabric. This is not considered as a defect, and will subside with wear. This indigo-dyed fabric is very light sensitive and its hue will evolve rapidly.
Option B
A lighter 9 Oz. covert woven stripe 100% cotton fabric, milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Inspired by classic 1930’s French work/farmer jackets.
* Utilitarian unmarked ‘donut’ metal buttons (copper for the indigo, brass for the covert)
* Three outside patch pockets (chest pocket fits iPhone, we’re hi-tek like that).
* Indigo Wabash twill concealed chest pocket, featuring the MF® woven label.
* Indigo-dyed poplin button & button hole placket facing.
* Vintage off-set shoulder seam pattern.
* Arms mounted with piping method, indigo-dyed tape.
* Flat-felled seam construction.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
Both fabric options come raw/unwashed.
Follow the usual method, initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
We recommend sizing down on both the indigo HBT and the grey covert. I usually wear 38 (Medium) in mfsc jackets, but went with a 36 (small) with the Belleville, without arm-hole issues.
Please refer to chart to figure which size works for you. If still confused, email sales@misterfreedom.com
 
   

CARE:
Indigo HBT: When needed, hand wash or machine wash on delicate, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Turn inside-out to avoid marbling of the fabric. Line dry ONLY.
DO NOT use heat dryer as this will leave marbling lines and set un-natural creases to the indigo HBT linen fabric.

Covert stripe: Machine wash on delicate, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Line dry.

Available raw/unwashed.
Sizes
36 Small
38 Medium
40 Large
42 X-Large
44 XX-Large
Retail:
Indigo HBT: $549.95
Covert Stripe: $499.95

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®
©2017