Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Himel Brothers has taught me valued lessons on the kinds of problems that indigenous manufacturers may have faced as they progressed their business. Every day I get 2 to 3 emails and spams to this blog from Pakistani leather manufacturers offering to make me jackets from my patterns for the price of 47-57 dollars per jacket. How wonderful! I cannot even pay for the leather in one jacket at that price. It makes for a very interesting debate amongst my customers and my retailers about costs and pricing.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Well the winter never really came this year. I am behind on my posting. I really feel badly about it but my Himel Brothers brand has been eating up all my time. I am making a quick post to celebrate some of the most lovely mixed media I have seen in a while. Mixed media really refers to the elements that make up a jacket that are not as much aesthetic as a way to combine natural materials to cope with differing service needs. In the days before synthetics, combining different organic materials often adapted jackets and outerwear to handle more inclement conditions. One of my brilliant Swiss customers sent me this Heron he purchased and broke in. It has a great patina but more importantly I combined original 1930s wool blankets to create a vintage liner to the jacket for extra warmth. These types of modifications were often done by workers in the 1920s and 30s to make their jackets more practical for service. This Heron can be purchased at VMC Originals in Zurich.
This tradition of using leather as a reinforcement is a real heritage. Pre 1900 leather was often used as a liner to wool jackets. Odd but true, the smart design of the 1930s reversed this theme and outerwear makers realized leather really deserved to serve as reinforcement on high wear areas. Check out the Montgomery Ward coat, the leather shows up on all the high wear zones increasing durability.
The leather elbow pads almost appear to be similar in design and construction to 1960s flat track racing jackets by Bates, Lancer, Abc and other great racing companies. Same idea different era.
Wool for warmth, Canvas for waterproofness and light weight and leather for wear, as leather becomes quite hard on its own in extreme cold.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Inspiration 2012 and check out the show. Ultimately if you are interested in buying or seeing some of the most innovative designs or rarest vintage on the planet this is the place to be!!!!! I will post ...post show for those of you who cannot make it down and offer an insiders view! Check out the newest coolest magazine launching at the show.....Clutch Magazine which will feature Himel Brothers amongst other fantastic brands!!!!
Monday, February 6, 2012
FRENCH CANCAN: Brother can you spare a dime (part 2): Hobo nickels… The altering of coins dates to the 18th century or earlier. Beginning in the 1750s, the most common form of coin alteratio...
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Thursday, November 24, 2011
One of the common modifications applied to vintage leather is decoration with military insignias. Cherished jackets either military issue or civilian made often bare the patches and souvenirs of the owners service in the Army, Air Force or Navy. The history and traditions associated with those symbols are usually strongly associated with A-2s as patch work applied to leather jackets from the American Air Force or Army Air Forces of World War Two. What is often forgotten is that other branches and armed forces of other countries had long and deep traditions of military insignias and mascots.
During a recent trip to St. Johns, Newfoundland, one of my local friends insisted I have a pint at The Crows Nest. Until my arrival I was utterly unaware of these storied walls. The Crows Nest was established in WW 2 to provide a safe place for Naval Officers to unwind during active duty. St. Johns harbour, one of the oldest in North America was a launch point for many of the convoys that supplied troops and materials for the European Campaign. Outside the harbour safety of St. Johns, Nazi U boats lay in wait to hunt down ships and entire convoys. It was a game of hunt and run between the fast U boats and the Corvettes of the Canadian Navy. Spies were everywhere and Officers needed a facility to drink and discuss the war.
As was told by the bartender in the club, naval colours, mascots, female Varga pinups, photos and war souvenirs were both exchanged and donated to the club over the years of active service for the Canadian Royal Navy. There are a million stories here but I will not spoil the tales told within the walls of this club of secrecy. The periscope was from a captured German U boat.