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.


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.

* 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.

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

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.
36 Small
38 Medium
40 Large
42 X-Large
44 XX-Large
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®

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane: VESTE OUVRIER…V’la les Apaches! (Part. 1)


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MISTER FREEDOM® x SUGAR CANE Spring 2011 Collection “Les Apaches”: VESTE OUVRIER

Voila l’été…et voila les Apaches!

I would like to thank everyone involved in making this collection a reality, all the believers, supporters, risk takers and hard workers, especially our friends at Sugar Cane Co   for their unconditional support with this new MFSC collaboration.

MFSC Veste Ouvrier (workman’s jacket):
Inspired by early french work wear gear, the first installment of the MFSC Apache collection is a our version of a french worker’s coat. We combined elements of several 1900’s to 1940’s pieces to make our veste ouvrier. We kinda like that one…

PATTERN: An original MFSC pattern and fit, inspired by early french bleu de chauffe.
FABRIC: Two options (fabrics loomed in Japan exclusively for MFSC):
A) INDIGO Métisse: 9.7 oz. indigo dyed twill blend, 70% cotton and 30% linen, un-sanforized. The yarn core is white, the indigo outer has a purple blue shade typical of early french indigo work clothes. Fades, bleeds and reacts to sun light…
B) INDIGO Rayure: 8 oz. indigo/white  warp and black weft striped twill, herringbone weave, white selvedge, un-sanforized (respectfully lifted from a late 1800’s swatch of french textile). Fades…
BUTTONS: Original MFSC Corozo natural wood buttons. (aka “vegetable ivory”, corozo buttons where an hi-end option for suiting from the 1900’s to 1940’s). Five button-front.
* Original slanted button holes, to keep straight vertical closure.
* Inside white cotton twill pocket backing, to reinforce pocket top edges.
* Concealed chest pocket, with flap covering the MFSC woven label (NO visible branding/logo, so you don’t feel like a billboard…).
* Cinch back belt, with original french NOS metal sharp-prong buckle (DISCLAIMER: guaranteed to mess up your car seat, but we figured they have been around on battle fileds and in factories since the 1840’s, so we’re taking the risk in 2011…). The buckle is removable and you can switch to one that fits your needs.
* Concealed chin strap.
CONSTRUCTION: Tailor type single needle french seams, no overlock nor chainstitch. 100% Cotton thread, oxidized black/brown colour.
SHRINKAGE: Both fabric options are RAW and unwashed, and will shrink lightly with cold wash/hang dry.
SIZING: The Apache collection is sized/labelled in french! (all the way, baby…).
92 (small), 97 (medium), 102 (large), 107(Xlarge), 112(XXlarge)
PACKAGING: The garment comes in an individual old school chipboard box, exclusive to MF.
The original oil painting was masterfully executed by Mr. PATRICK SEGUI of RIVETED blog fame, and a paper print of his artwork will be featured on the Apache Collection box tops. Merci M’sieur Pat’…
LIMITED EDITION: For US and EU, a total of 130 jackets were made
A) 70 pieces of INDIGO Métisse veste Ouvrier
60 pieces of INDIGO Rayure veste Ouvrier

Garment designed in California by MISTER FREEDOM® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

Available RAW (unwashed)
Sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL
Indigo Métisse
(solid): Retail $579.95
Indigo Rayure
(stripe): Retail $549.95

The Indigo métisse veste ouvrier featured in the above photos has been worn ‘in the field’ on/off for about 2 months, washed cold about 5 times, minimal soap, hang dry. NFS. Production jackets are NOT distressed and are available UNWASHED only.

Call John or Jordan at (323) 653-2014 or mail john@misterfreedom.com or  jordan@misterfreedom.com  to get yours while they last. We ship internationally.