Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘Gilles Berthoud’

Archival Field Trip – Alex Singer (Paris)

April 11th, 2012
Alex Singer shop in Paris, France

Outside the Alex Singer shop in Paris, France

Gabe and Sara outside the Alex Singer shop

Last August, post Paris-Brest-Paris, we had the pleasure of visiting the Alex Singer shop on 53, Rue de Victor Hugo, in northwest Paris. The historic Singer shop has a reputation for producing some of the most stunning, steel cyclo-tourist and racing bikes in the world. Visiting the Alex Singer is like shopping from the past. Vintage and modern bikes share the same floor space. A side showroom is filled with deadstock cycling shoes and wool jerseys – all in their original packaging. Since I’m set for bikes, I limited my purchases to a few Alex Singer caps and a fetching leather style pouch. Here are some snap views to round out my report:

Gilles Berthoud bags in Alex Singer shop

Gilles Berthoud bags in Alex Singer shop

Gilles Berthoud bags on display

Alex Singer porteur bike

Alex Singer porteur bike

The Singer shop porteur – my all time favorite

Love both the custom Singer front rack and shop floor tile

Bill A documenting a bike bound for Paris show

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Leather cycling shoes in Alex Singer shop

Leather cycling shoes in Alex Singer shop

Catch and release leather cycling shoes

Alex Singer bicycles in the shop

Alex Singer bicycles in the shop

Alex Singer cycling cap

Alex Singer bicycles in the shop

Shopping from the ceiling

Archival Review: Filson totes

September 7th, 2009


Tin cloth tote (new tan webbing)
On Sunday, Sara and I did a quick spot check on the new totes at the Filson flagship store in Portland, Oregon. It’s a little early in the season for wool, but apparently the new versions are selling–even the crazy electric blue/black plaid tote (a version not currently shown on the Filson site). Though I love the eccentric look of this tote, and robust blanket weight wool, it doesn’t quite stand up on its own and I question its practical use value. Since I own more totes than I’ll ever wear out, I suppose this version could be my indoor, workplace, hallway or elevator tote. Send along your own suggestions for the proposed function of a wool rather than waxed bodied bag (for snowdrift climates, I imagine?).
After the classic tin cloth tote w/green webbing disappeared from the Filson website in July, I was concerned that this practical, affordable, Seattle-made bag had been discontinued. Several friends and I use this bag on a daily basis, and after a year of wear, the bag still looks great (though mine is slightly frayed at wear points on the webbing). Although I love the classic twill Filson tote, the tin cloth version, with taffeta lining, really forgives sloppy use as a grocery bag or bag-within-a-bag commuter. To my relief, Filson reintroduced an unchanged version with khaki webbing. Though I prefer the graphic contrast of the green webbing against the tin cloth fabric, I’m happy to see this basic model back in the Filson line-up.
On the subject of totes, I want to campaign for Gilles Berthoud, French bagmaker, to produce a tote bag that combines the fabric and leather trim of his bicycle panniers w/the carrying capacity, basic structure, of a Filson tin cloth tote:

Archival Review: Handlebar Bags

December 28th, 2008
Ostrich Bag (Velo-Orange)

Custom jobber, Dan Boxer Bicycles (not for sale)

Lynne F’s Acorn (the new champ)

Rivendell Boxy Baggins Bag (no longer available)

Gilles Berthoud GB 2086 Handlebar Bag (Wallingford Bicycles)

Ruth’s Tough Traveler

Inujirushi Handlebar Bag (Jitensha Studio or Japan)
Gilles Berthoud Mini 86 (mine, sewn by Veronique!)

Vertical stacking load

In situ

Pencil Vs. Berthoud

Shopping from Japan: French Work Jackets

December 22nd, 2008

French Work Jacket–Dead Stock (Explorer Import Select Shop)

Workwear clothing shop, Charleville-Mezieres, France

Gilles Berthoud mechanic, Pierrot, in his blue work coat

Welding a rack at Cycles Gilles Berthoud

I’ve been a longtime admirer of the restylized, Kempel-brand blue work jackets sold by the Japanese web shop, Explorer. This style of jacket has a tailored yet unstructured look w/a button-up front and three or four open pockets (Jacquie Bonner revision: all jackets should have at least three external pockets). Unlike American work clothing, it lacks zippers, pleats or fussy design details which might limit its use for everyday (non-work) wear. Several years ago, the Explorer shop sold a Harris tweed version of the Kempel jacket which could have doubled as a snazzy dress jacket. I’m still searching my image archives for a photograph of that jacket model.

In France, I tried to buy my own blue work jacket. I couldn’t locate the Kempel brand and what I ended up purchasing was made out of cheap cotton and had a bad, boxy fit. In the end, I repurposed the jacket as a lab coat for processing film.

In the theatrical treatment of my workplace, everyone would wear blue Kempel work coats over snappy tweed blazers, plus fours and cordovan loafers (or tweed Kempel work jackets over khaki suits and Crockett and Jones Coniston boots).

Bill Laine of Wallingford Bicycle Parts was kind enough to permit me to reprint a few photos of Pierrot, top mechanic at (bicycle frame and bagmaker) Gilles Berthoud, wearing his own blue coat in situ. A full image set of Bill’s visit to Gilles Berthoud can be viewed here.

Shopping from Japan: French workwear jacket

December 17th, 2008
Workwear clothing shop, Charleville-Mezieres, France

Top Gilles Berthoud mechanic, Pierrot, in his blue work coat

I’ve been a longtime admirer of the restylized, Kempel-brand blue French workwear jackets sold by the Japanese web shop, Explorer. This style of work jacket has a tailored yet unstructured look. Most models come with four open pockets (Jacquie Bonner revision: all jackets should have at least four pockets). Unlike American work clothing, it lacks zippers, pleats or fussy design details which would limit its function for everyday wear. Several years ago, the Explorer shop sold a Harris tweed version of the Kempel jacket which could have doubled as a snazzy dress jacket. I’m still searching my image archives for a photograph of that jacket.

In France, I tried to buy my own blue work jacket. I couldn’t locate the Kempel brand and I what I ended up purchasing was made out of cheap cotton and had a bad boxy fit. I ended up repurposing it as a lab coat for hand processing film.

In the theatrical treatment of my workplace, everyone would wear little blue work coats over snappy tweed blazers, plus fours and cordovan loafers.

Bill Laine of Wallingford Bicycle Parts was kind enough to let me reprint a few photos of Pierrot, the top mechanic at Gilles Berthoud, wearing his own blue coat in situ. A full image set of Bill’s visit to Gilles Berthoud can be viewed here.