LIFE SAVING WAISTCOAT

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James Watson Gieve took over the already flourishing Portsmouth based tailoring business in 1888 following the death of his father James Gieve. Over the next ten years the company became the primary supplier to Royal Navy officers of uniforms and accoutrements. One of the most interesting items we have come across in a while is this seemingly simple at first glance Royal Navy officers waistcoat. However J.W. Gieve infact first patented the design for this innovative invention in 1915. May we present “The Life Saving Waistcoat”.

DEAR JOHNNY-LETTERS HOME FROM SWEDEN 1977

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Credit where credit is due, it’s down to the beady eyes of Dave Carroll from La Rocka, who spotted the striking similarity of this mid-century American tux with one worn by John Lydon on the Sex Pistols 1977 Swedish tour. Both jackets are cut from a yellow silk damask fabric with black silk revers, and turn back cuffs. Lydon’s undoubtedly an original 50s one also, has been modified by being crudely cropped in half, turning it into an almost razored bolero.

SILVER FACTORY

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Industrial factory glitter glamour baroque pop underground Andy Edie Gerard silver balloons Campbell’s soup Elvis space-age safety protective plastic people crackle tin foil Velvet fire proof fabric. All in one amazing piece is such a thing possible?

NUMERO DEUX

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Before the expression Type II became fashionable, denim afficionado’s and those in the know simply referred to this classic Levi’s 507XX jacket as a Number Two. Number One being the first model and having one pocket, Number Two being the second and having, you guessed it, two pockets.

Simple as that, 1,2, 3, bish bosh.*

EVEREST RECONNAISANCE EXPEDITION 1951 SUPPLEMENT + YETIS

Everest pictures and Yetis, what more could you want from a post! Some two years before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first (confirmed for all you Mallory enthusiasts) climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, a small team including Hillary in the party made a Reconnaisance Expedition to Everest. Captured here in this recent find from a Times Special Supplement in 1951 we thought we should share…

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Autumn 1951, The Himalayan Committee of The Royal Geographical Society and the Alpine Club sent a small party to investigate the south-western aspect of Mount Everest. As a side of the mountains that can only be approached through Nepal, this had meant rare privilege for the team to be granted access by the government.

Whilst the idea of looking for a way to approach to south-western face was not new, how far it had been entertained by the earlier expeditions of the 1920s is unclear but after the discovery in 1921 by Mallory and his companions of what appeared to be a relatively straight forward route to the summit from the East Rongbuk glacier, little serious thought seems to have been recorded in finding another line of approach. Step by step, as the Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition thrust and cut it its way towards the ramparts of the most impregnable fortress on earth, Mr Eric Shipton, the leader, sent back his progress reports for publication in The Times.

It was never the intention of Shipton’s party, of four English climbers and two New Zealanders, to attempt to climb the great peak itself. Everest is the ‘inner keep’, or donjon, of a gigantic system of fortifications, in which each ward beyond ward, has to be successfully overcome. Even the outermost ramparts have to be approached through many miles of rugged and trackless country, so that any attack must be planned with strategic elaboration parallel to a great  military operation – and with the same impossibility of precision since the opponents dispositions are imperfectly unknown. Victory cannot be expected in a single campaign…

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MOUNTAIN RESEARCH

Rockall is an extremely small, uninhabited and remote rocky islet in the North Atlantic Ocean of which we had never heard. Until, that is, a little spot of research into a recently found climbing smock and mountaineering boots led us to this interesting rock known possibly only now to sailors, Scottish Nationalists and fans of the shipping forecast. Though still proudly standing some 240 miles off the Orkneys, this 25 meter, at its widest point, rock was once the inspiration for a sailing cum climbing brand which now appears to be sadly lost.

ALIEN SPACE INVADERS

Or, the funny little patterns that emerge in old Indian blankets if you stare at them long enough. A colourful cornucopia of squares, crosses, zig-zags, and triangles in bold graduated colourways that make these so graphically appealing, and sometimes mesmeric.

Virtually a Ralph trademark for years, others are now latching on to their beauty, and they still provide inspiration for many designers, even Dr Martens have recently collaborated with Pendleton Woolen Mills.

ATP / SEDITIONARIES

Jacket's, Jungle 1945. This British Army womens WWII jungle shirt is eerily reminiscent of the McLaren Westwood 'Seditionaries' parachute shirt, even down to the rubber buttons. The belt looped through the epaulette, the removable sleeves, and the stamped 'GAS FLAP' all add to it's Punk...

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