PINK CAMO

IMG_0825_LOW

Still somewhat of an enigma, in terms of how useful can pink camouflage be in wartime, is this WWII British Army gas cape. Designed to be worn over the uniform and webbing in the event of a gas attack, it features a shaped backpack ‘hump’ for want of a better word.

WHITE LINE FEVER

IMG_7962_1

 

British Army denim ‘overall’ or battledress trousers from the 1950s. All deadstock, and even better all in the distinctive green denim with white selvedge seams.

BIBENDUM Vs STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN

cap_ghostbusters_cinebug_5

A cross between the Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (RIP Harold Ramis) and Michelin’s Bibendum, the much scarier of the two to those familiar with William Gibson’s pattern recognition. These are in fact Air Ministry survival suits for British pilots, and are kapok filled for both warmth and buoyancy.

THE ARROW POINTS THE WAY

IMG_0801_low

Kicking off our final boots triptych, here is something for the ladies. A pair of womens ATS ( Auxiliary Territorial Service) pebble grain short lace up boots, featuring the distinctive War Department Broad Arrow, or ‘Crows Foot’, stitched into the toe. Very similar in style to our Broad Arrow’d John White boots dated 1941, these have no discernible makers name, but are War Department stamped at the ankle.

THE BLACKSTUFF

IMG_8015_low

The Donkey jacket comes and goes, but only in trend. We saw a fair few Dalston Donkeys last winter (and only the lord knows what will be next over in the ephemeral East) but, to our knowledge, nobody has quite celebrated these hard-wearing British staples in quite the same manner as the seminal Tuf Work Boot Fashion Show of 1974.

THE AXEMAN COMETH…

IMG_7488_1

Less Harry Hope’s Greenwich village flea-pit booze can and more The Vikings x Seven Samurai. This new addition to the archive is a hardcore piece. Deadstock cotton canvas shell with leather belt fastening, comes complete with original cutters tag and stencil bearing the legend “Cape Axeman 1942” with distinctive War Department broad arrow – the wearer of which would not be someone you would want to meet on a dark night axe in hand…

REINFORCED SHOULDERS

GRENFELL_IMG_4404_L

Shining a light on recurring design details. A reinforced shoulder is an obvious functional thing that has uses in work clothing, sports, miltary and motorcycle clothing, either to protect the shoulder or the garment (areas of stress and wear) or simply from the elements, sometimes all of these.

SALT AND PEPPER’S HERE

IMG_4365

So the rap goes in Salt N Pepa’s eponymous 1987 hit Push It. What we have here is an altogether different condiment though, salt and pepper fabrics from around the globe. Similar either just in colour, or in their workwear usage. Their global reach is interesting and show it’s International pedigree. For instance we have black flecked chambray from France, grey Italian prison issue, two melange fisherman knits from these shores, and the unique fleecy flecked weave known as Brown’s Beach Cloth* from across the Atlantic.

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…

TIMES_EVEREST_RECON_IMG_7107

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…

TIMES_EVEREST_RECON_IMG_7140

MAN BAG/FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION

This just washed up on our shores, a 1943 dated Royal Navy Seaman’s Protective Suit by the Dunlop Rubber Company. Looking as good as the day it was made, we particularly love the ingenious functionality of the carrying bag that reverses into the hood of the jacket.