On Sunday, I participated in the second Eugene Tweed ride of 2009 (disclosure: I was not present for Tweed Ride #1 which took place, according to this blog report, in slanting rain). By comparison with the original London Tweed Run, the Eugene version lacked eccentric Brits in matching plus fours and cycling brogues. However, our ride, 15-ish, strong, sported a surprisingly deep range of tweed themed outfits. Several folks even created their own refab knickers from found, thrift store woolens (most notably, this pair of donegal tweed trousers).
There was also an admirable roster of bicycles on the ride including a Kogswell porteur, a pair of Winter customs, a Velo-Orange (mine), Sara’s refurbished Bottecchia, vintage Raleighs and Schwinns, modern-brand uprights and a supporting cast of child bikes and cargo trailers. The optical center of the ride was this custom, wooden trunk-trailer which transported our tea and picnic provisions:
From left, Richard Poe, Kristine Nielsen, Laura Benanti and Amir Arison in Christopher Durang’s new comedy at the Public Theater
On April 7, friend Brad W. and I both noted the stage right presence of a Filson Original Hunting Vest in a page C6 NY Times review of the play, Why Torture is Wrong, and the people who love them. Indoors, the tin cloth vest looks newly minted and out of place, like it just came off the shelf of a Filson flagship store.
In past blog posts, I’ve noted the presence of Filson and Barbour brands in David Mamet movies. I’mwondering whether Mamet’s influence on Broadway now extends to dressing principal characters in American heritage clothing brands?
While I’ve tried to champion oil finished Filson tin cloth as an indoor fabric, I’ve rarely seen this practice adopted by anyone other than Tin Cloth Monday participants. The original tin cloth hunting vest works well for indoor wear given its extensive, purse-like pocketing and ventilating arms holes.
Several years ago I had a local seamstress add some additional upper pockets and a brass grommet to my own tin vest. As it were, I ended up selling it on ebay due to irreconcilable sizing issues (it wore more like an A-frame tent). A photo:
Friend Michael sent me a link to this flickr photoset of an early-1980s North Star Bicycle Tour organized by the Bikecentennial.
Per the notes from the flickr set, the North Star tour traveled in 1982 “from Missoula, MT to Anchorage, AK via a route that was over 3,000 miles (1,400 or so were unpaved) and took 68 days to complete.”
I recommend reading through each image in the flickr set. The photographer provides detailed information about the route, equipment, dining options and travelers met along the way. My favorite caption describes the U.S.S. Titan, the photographer’s trusty Schwinn Paramount which was chromed and retrofit w/touring-specific braze-ons for the trip.
Other vintage bicycle touring trips on flickr by Hammerhead2:
I first bonded with friend J. by way of his Arnys jacket (it was a corduroy Forestiere, I believe).
Here’s a photo of J. in a different model Arnys jacket. In Eugene (or Portland for that matter), one doesn’t see many men wearing tweed jackets, let alone lovely French-made iterations with shawl collars, mustard color piping and nice pocketing.
As it turns out, our shared loved of Arnys extended to a mutual appreciation of Raleigh bicycles, Brooks saddles and American cabaret singers.
J. sent along this link to photographs by the Sartorialist of the Brothers Grimbert and their shop in Paris. Check out the hand sewn hunting cape.
From left, Richard Poe, Kristine Nielsen, Laura Benanti and Amir Arison in Christopher Durang’s new comedy at the Public Theater.
On April 7, friend Brad W. noted the stage right presence of a Filson Original Hunting Vest in a page C6 review of the play, Why Torture is Wrong, and the people who love them. Indoors, out of context, the tin cloth vest looks newly minted and slightly out of place, like it just came off the shelf of the Portland Filson flagship store.
In past blog posts, I’ve noted the presence of Filson and Barbour in recent David Mamet movies. I’m wondering if the Mamet influence on Broadway has resulted in a copy cat trend of heritage brands and tin cloth fabrics in theatrical productions.
I’ve always aspired to wear heavy tin cloth fabrics indoors. In practice, I end up wearing softer cottons or performance woolens.
A slightly myopic view of a Filson tin cloth vest that I had modified by a local seamstress for additional pocketing and a brass grommet hole (not pictured). Garment was sold on ebay several years ago due to irreconcilable sizing issues (more A-frame than vest):
Refab Filson Hunting Vest
Early (198x?) Filson catalog featuring the original hunting vest
Friend Peg W., PBP finisher and ten year randonneuring veteran, just took delivery of a beautiful Tony Pereria handbuilt bicycle. I got a chance to check out Peg’s Pereria during the first official brevet of the Oregon Randonneuring season, the 200k Birkie Brevet. Given how well Peg’s bike handled the rough roads and wretched weather of the ride, I’m nominating it as an honorary member of my apocalytpic bicycle stable. The Pereria has many fine, function-first design details including a custom front rack, braze-ons for an integrated lighting system, clearance for wider tires and metal fenders. Although Peg took delivery of her Pereria last month, it looks like a bike she’s already owned and ridden for many seasons. My only complaint is that it lacks a Brooks saddle.
Random Or Rando 200k ride shots from my flickr set.
And here’s my nomination for Archival Gent of the Or Rando Birkie brevet:
124 miles wearing a waxed cotton Carradice rain cape.
Note: Archival Clothing will be in reruns for the next two weeks while I participate in the Eau de Hell brevet series in Canada. Assuming that I survive the ride, posts will resume at some point around April 20th. In my absence, please send along heritage brand updates, lost product gossip, refab projects, archival bicycle and guest baggage shots, etc, for inclusion in future archival posts.
Ed. Note: Archival Clothing guest contributor Tom B. submits the following report on a formative sartorial handbook, The Golden Book of Camping and Camp Crafts.
The Golden Book of Camping and Camp Crafts (1959) offers terrific examples of outdoor apparel. The illustrations are remarkably consistent, suggesting a uniform of jeans (rolled cuff), moccasins or loafers, and a button-up shirt (rolled sleeves). Nothing groundbreaking, of course, but the devil’s in the details. In each illustration, there’s always something to steer these versatile outfits in the direction of outdoor activity.
A belt knife is always handy.*
A sporty cap and a canvas rucksack are perfect for a lightweight outing.
I’m very fond of the mountaineer’s look, although his Dulfersitz method isn’t ideal (it’s better to rappel on both strands, avoiding friction at the anchor).
Fellows, remember that there’s nothing wrong with short shorts. And while this campfire is hardly Leaving No Trace, I approve of the light overshirt to ward off an evening chill.
Maybe the best part of these images is that, aside from the knickers and rucksacks**, everything is easily available today. Between classic LL Bean models, W.C. Russell moccasins, well-curated Patagonia, and a few choice accessories, you could join me in using this uniform during this summer’s backpacking trips.
*I’ll leave the specifics of knife choice to another post, but allow me to advocate the Finnish Puukko over the Bowie knife depicted in the illustration. My own knife can be viewed here.