Mister Freedom — history and design in harmony

Following on from the hot 2010 trend for American workwear that we blogged about, transplanted French designer Christophe Loiron has started a new style digression with his California-based brand Mister Freedom‘s Spring 2011 collection, Les Apaches.

Taking inspiration from Parisien hoodlum kultchur of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Loiron’s really gone to town on this homage to his home country’s organic street style. The attention to detail is astonishing, not least this beautiful, specially-commissioned shirt box, painted by Patrick Segui. Expect the influence of the Les Apaches collection to be felt on UK high streets next year — minus the packaging!

‘Vintage’ clothing — the trickle-down effect…

One of the major trends in retail clothing over the past decade, and a widespread success, has been reproduction ‘vintage’ clothing. This movement kicked-off in Japan, moved back home to the US and can now be found in its most commercial form on every UK High Street — most notably in the ‘fake Japanese’ brand Superdry and in the current Gap range.

The ‘real’ thing: Brooklyn’s premier vintage emporium, the curiously-named 10ft Single by Stella Dallas, is a Japanese-run affair, selling nothing but American clothing.

The cultural journey

From the mills and shop floors of ‘blue collar’ America, to Tokyo’s most exclusive boutiques, back to high end Fifith Avenue retailers, and down to the UK High Street is a real cultural journey that says a lot about the way the attraction of ‘the other’ and, indeed, how the ‘schmata’ business itself works in the 21st Century.

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