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).
Inspired by Bill Cunningham, I have been collecting images french work jackets (aka “bleu de travail”). Cunningham made this style of garment his personal uniform and I was inspired to wear one for the next month in memory of his amazing life and creative work. Most of the current, commercial offerings (Le Laborer, Old Town, Vetra, and Arpenteur are too large for me) so I was hoping to shop from the past for something with a better fit. On eBay, I found a terrific vintage version by Le Remouleur w/really exemplary patchwork repairs and artful spotting. The listing indicates that the jacket is from the 1930s which seems to be the golden era of french workwear (lots of corduroy and moleskin). I don’t know too much about the label (anyone?) but would love to find out more. Here is a similar example sported by one of my favorite Archival customers at Inspiration LA.
David Morgan is one of the few remaining mail order companies that still sends out a print catalog. As far as I can tell, the catalog has not changed in appearance since I first started receiving copies in the early 90s (requested during my first search for a filson wool cruiser). While a David Morgan 1999 catalog may look like a 2009 catalog (same typeface, same layout, same grayscale photography, same brown cover) much has changed in the last ten years. The Bosca coin purse is now made in China and costs 43.00 (it used to be a 24.00 staple). Nova Scotia textiles and Alpendale are now out of business. Filson no longer offers Oregon-made wool whipcord or moleskin trousers and some of the original Filson styles have disappeared.
Nevertheless, the catalog continues to offer many worthy archival garments and accessories.
Here are three of my favorite items from the 2009 catalog:
In case you missed it, here are some product offerings from the Winter 1998/Spring 1999 Barbour catalog. In the day, these catalogs were the best means of tracking new Barbour releases (beyond the stock range of Bedales, Beauforts and Borders). Many of the more exotic items–moleskin and Bushman jackets–never made it to (my corner of the) US. So, it was always fun to see non-stock Barbour items in cameo catalog form.
Barbour’s newfound focus on youthful/urban/non-country clothing gave rise to a few unfortunate (though brief) additions to their product range:
Via internet I’ve been tracking on some international Filsonesque brands which look promising but probably measure up to be Euro equivalents of Abercrombie and Fitch or Forever 21. This type of garment stalking lends itself to austerity since mail order from Italy is pretty much out of the question (submit credit card info at your peril)(I should add that the “add to shopping cart” function on most of these sites never seems to operate).
I’m now mainly collecting stock footage from these sites for inclusion in my own forthcoming fictional mail order Archival Clothing catalogue. In the case of Ashfield, I’m intrigued by the vibrant corduroy and unique pocket configuration of the gentleman’s “Maremmana” game jacket.