Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Aspirational Aviators

June 4, 2018

I’m swooning over the French aviators (and their uniforms) found in a new  Flickr album uploaded by archival image maven, Pillpat. Check it out, noting all the new-to-my-eyes, sartorial details: unique pullovers, cool tunics, curious collars, striped socks and military-duty clogs. Sign me up for any branch of service that issues such lovely off-duty garb (off-duty, in this case, consisting ofcafe confabs and larky posing for the camera). Marking these snaps as catalog fodder for my aspirational clothing company.

 

 

Shopping from Japan: Danton Chore Coat

February 25, 2018

I’m tapped out after a trip to Japan. Nevertheless, I’m saving up my shekels for a new Danton chore coat. Danton, a French brand licensed for distribution in France, offers sturdy, unisex work clothing for men and women in staple fabrics including poplin, cotton, and now, sturdy moleskin. Danton, like Engineered Garments, produces a line of stock styles in a seasonal refresh of heritage fabrics. Find your Danton via Zozotown,  Rakuten, or B-shop (a proxy shopping service like Sutocorp may be required).

Archival Field Trip: Cycles Grand Bois

February 25, 2018

It’s always fun to match a fave brand to its foreign, brick and mortar store. During my recent trip to Japan, I visited Cycles Grand Bois, a venerable bicycle company known for its elegant handlebars, polished bike parts, custom frames, and 650b tires. Thanks to a rando pal who knows how to navigate Google maps in Japanese, we found GB in a suburb of Kyoto. Trading shoes for slippers, we explored the main shop area and talked to the manager. The showroom space is cramped, with bikes packed in tight bunches on the main floor and auxiliary frames stacked in window display pyramids or hung from the rafters. I’m including a few snaps from my visit. Follow Grand Bois on Instagram for a more immersive view of the shop.

Kyoto storefront

Rene Herse beauty

Vintage basket bike updated with a motor

Shop bikes stashed outside

Custom bike bell

 

Heddels Item Number One: Filson Mackinaw Cruiser

November 13, 2017

Heddels asked me to identify my “item number one,” that is, the thing I’ve owned the longest (and still use semi-regularly). Read about my rare Filson Mackinaw Cruiser for women and follow the complete series here. And reference snaps below. What is your item number one?

Filson Mackinaw Cruiser with its rare cardigan fit

Wool Filson jacket on stairs

Minimal signs of wear after twenty years of hard wear

Filson catalog copy

Original catalog copy from 1990

Woman wearing Filson jacket and holding a dog leash

Filson Italy cruiser for women

 

South2West8 Tie Dye Bug Net Parka and Landing Net

October 10, 2017

Many of my Archival blog posts are intended to remind me, in a few years, of random and extraordinary web finds. As my attention diminishes and the web redoubles, I frequently find and than drop the thread of a super fruitful search string (typically ending in Japan). Here’s one I never want to forget: a South2 West8 tie dye bug net parka (and matching landing net).

 

Musettes – but not from Archival

October 6, 2017

Archival originated as a company in search of the perfect musette. Like many businesses, we started making bags because we couldn’t find the ones that we wanted to buy. But now, musettes are everywhere. Here’s a tidy little example from the company that made my custom bicycle, Vanilla. I spotted these a month ago on the Vanilla blog but they seem to have disappeared. Love the mixed use of fabrics, bi-tonal patterning and print graphics. I’ll definitely snap one up during the next restock.

 

 

Duckbills in Review

September 15, 2017

Click over to Heddels to read my latest Ward Order Blank column: Duckbill Dynasty – the Cap We Want Back. Here are some of the photos of caps I collected during the research phase of writing this piece.

Original Archival designer, Tom Bonamici, models a Filson shelter cloth duckbill.

One of my faves: Filson short billed cap in tin cloth. The leather sweatband and fitted style sadly disappeared in the last generation of these caps.

Handsome cap shape looks terrific from above.

Not a duckbill, but I dug a little into the history of caps used in the film, Empire of the Sun.

WW2 issue summer flying cap. I love the numerical markings on the brim (a tradition worth bringing back?).

David Mamet movies are peppered with duckbill caps. Gene Hackman sporting a Quaker Marine cap in Heist (2001).

Military issues morphed into hunting headgear in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

Cavalcade of stars – Filson duckbill lineup in the cap style’s salad days. Merino, poplin, and waxed cotton versions all on offer. Ah, to go back in time and buy them all up.

Field Coat Nostalgia

July 28, 2017

In the late ’80s and ’90s, field coats ruled the casual heritage market (before heritage had a name). Affordable, stylish, canvas duck options (heavily pocketed and trimmed in fine wale corduroy) could be found through LL Bean, JCrew, and a slew of lesser known,  hunting supply catalogs (including Cabela’s, which was much less the sprayfoam mall behoumeth it is today). I was always partial to the wool lined Bean model (which merited the “vintage” tag if you inherited one of the earlier, short cut, solid melton wool lined models from you pop).  I ended up with a socialized ’90s edition if the Bean Field Coat which had clearly given up the ghost of pocketing any rusty barn nails or a bloody ducks. Friends in grad school came to the style through the rebadged and semi ubiquitous “barn coats” sold through Jcrew (in mustards and tomato reds). We’re so deep into a denim decade right now that it’s hard to imagine an era when canvas duck ruled as the casual jacket fabric du jour. Could we see its corduroy trimmed return in 2020?

 

Jcrew edition

Special Hunting World model. Wondering who made it?

Shawl Collar Cartography

July 11, 2017

The Library of Congress flickr stream yields some of the best historic examples of shawl collar cardigans. During a periodic review, I surfaced these 1918 scans of baseball player Mike Donlin sporting a very heavy gauge cardigan with an unusual throat latch detail.  I’m not a baseball fan, but I can’t get enough of these Bain News Service photos of players and coaches from this very stylish era. The players dress like spectactors (in sweaters, blazers, leather shoes, and collared shirts) and the spectators are dressed for the symphony. I’d love to know more about about the knitwear makers who produced these athletic sweaters and the story behind that throat latch feature  (something that I never see on modern examples).