News

The Hot Rod Hayride 2013

VINTAGE GIRLS is Here!

We finally have the new Vintage Girls book in stock and it’s already selling out fast. This is the best of our Editor’s work on female vintage enthusiasts, re-enactors and true revivalists that spans several continents and a few of decades. If you’re into tattooed hot rod girls this is not for you. This is a 196 page chronicle on women’s style and elegance and the discipline of making that extra effort every day, come rain or shine. If you’d like to make a private or wholesale order just send us an email with your requirements. ORDER VINTAGE GIRLS NOW.

I was representing Men’s File at the Hayride this year, still staged at the Bisley Rifle Ranges, and spotted this Iron Head (the bike not the rider) with the jockey sporting an Eat Dust sleeveless denim jacket. It turns out it was my younger brother, Paul, who has been a dedicated revivalist for many years. It seems he also admires the quality and style of the Belgium denim makers as we do.

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We Are Now 100% Sold Out of TRANSPORTATION in Revival Subcultures & The Revivalists, However You Can Still Buy from Selected Stores. Go to HOW TO BUY.

NEW OUT ON SEPT. 1st 2013

The Westerners & Miss Banbury Cross; A Burlesque Performance

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A Double Bill of Style with a Unique Bandana from Mr Freedom

The first of Matt Hind’s books for The Men’s File Archive, Style Chronicles series, this publication is limited to only 300 books and will be available from The Curator website and from Mr Freedom from Sept 1st 2013. Packed into a buff coloured box with a unique Mr Freedom bandana and TWO separate publications. The first, The Westerners  (100 pages) explores the iconography of the Western as a film genre and a way of life and tests Mr Freedom’s artisan-made clothing in situ. The second, Miss Banbury Cross: A Burlesque Performance (36 pages) celebrates the art of Miss Cross and acknowledges the debt contemporary culture owes to Marilyn.

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The Revivalists: Key Stylists in Revival Subcultures

The second in the Style Chronicles series, The Revivalists focuses on some of the most influential style leaders in their chosen area of endeavour. This book is fully illustrated with photography and text by Nick Clements who has been tracing the roots of style from within subculture since the late 1970s. Like all Men’s File or Men’s File Archive publications this is the inside view and not the musings of an dilettante outside observer. Clements is one of the few who might be granted such access by those who often wish to avoid anything that might be accessed by the mainstream. With this in mind, only 1,000 copies of this publication will be printed. The book comes in a Men’s File Archive box with a canvas banner gift from sponsors Lewis Leathers and will retail at £25.

A New Book Title as a Work in Progress:

The Editor’s Collection

I’ve been collecting mid-century clothing, vehicles and objects since the late 1970s. Today we are in a unique period in which simulation and replication connected with the style and dress of the 1930s, 40s and 50s has manifested itself as a transnational cottage industry particularly in the area of apparel. The Real McCoy’s in Japan, Mister Freedom in the US and Nigel Cabourn in the UK are just three members of this elite society. This is a constantly developing situation and I have been following it from the start which goes back over a decade before issue 01 of Men’s File. I recently built a small studio so that I could photograph some of the jackets I have collected since the early 1990s. These are not ‘originals’, Mr Rin Tanaka has already done a fine job of recording that material. No, these are in the area of simulation, replication and inspiration. I think there could be a book in this.

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(Above) The Real McCoys are the ultimate historical editors. They look at an entire epoch and choose a handful of jackets to re-create. The making is perfect but the original choice is what it’s all about (below the original jacket is worn by Tito at the Rose Bowl flea market, Pasadena.

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It’s Official: Lewis Leathers act as sponsor for The Revivalists

Leather jacket makers Lewis Leathers are currently collaborating with Men’s File Archive in  a soon to be released 200 page book on the world’s most influential revivalists – each one a living style phenomenon. Finding inspiration in past decades and designing your own code for living today is what revival style is all about. It’s new, it’s radical and it’s here on the streets today. But you can only find it if you know where to look.

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(Above) Lewis Leathers’ Universal Racer: it’s a 50 year old pattern and yet totally modern.

Greg Chapman of H. W. Carter & Sons

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If we define a ‘revivalist’ as an individual for whom the mid-century aesthetic in all things has been a guiding light since teenage years, then Greg Chapman is a true revivalist. Taking advantage of the current market in high-level replica clothing (here he wears RRL) Chapman-san mixes his own very personal style with contemporary (replica-based) fashion. Currently he is involved in the resurrection and further styling of ancient American work-wear brand H. W. Carter & Sons (now with a store in Williamsburg).

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Men’s File Archive In London’s Dover Street Market

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Directed by Comme des Garcon’s Rei Kawakubo and feted as London’s most directional fashion store, the Dover Street (based) space has chosen to stock Men’s File and Men’s File Archive for the spring 2013 season. This interesting choice from the world of experimental fashion retailing illustrates the influence heritage continues to have on the wider world of style.
Denim Pants for Hot Rodders

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Perhaps one of the reasons that certain individuals find themselves inexplicably attracted to mid-century style is due to an unconscious dissatisfaction with contemporary life that is dominated by an obsession with financial gain and a constant and relentless push toward growth in all fields of endeavour. The idea that each year we have to earn more and spend more seems to place undue pressures on people and the enjoyment of just ‘being’ seems to be eroding year on year. We can only speculate on how each person feels but  for me adopting the dress and manners of the 1950s – although mainly an aesthetic statement – evokes an strong element of ‘refusal’.

I’m sorry, that was a slightly high-flown introduction for a pair of jeans, but important as I want Men’s File Archive readers to understand that we have designed these jeans for the art of it and not for gain. Men’s File magazine and Men’s File Archive books are well produced fanzines and the clothing sold on The Curator website (this is the Men’s File store) and at the Curator Café are experiments in style. If we wanted to make a lot of money we’d change careers. This jeans project is for denim collectors and those who want to move style into new areas. This might sound like a contradiction but in terms of style we like old but we love to explore new ways of presenting it more. (Below and above: the new Hot Rodder’s Jeans by Men’s File Archive and Blue Blanket).

BB small 685 These Rodder’s jeans developed as a consequence of necessity and experimentation. While at an autojumble I picked up some old canvas-duck lead-shot bags with blue and red graphics and kept them. After opening The Curator Cafe this year the staff were supplied with Curator aprons and we used the found canvas bags (sewn and riveted on) as pockets. This looked good, especially when they got worn and covered in coffee (see picture below). This idea was then further developed by graphics man Dan Black only this time using premium selvage canvas. We imagined what we would do if we wanted to sell lead-shot to be melted down into bars and used as metal filler and how we would present it. The graphics were printed into the canvas and cut into strips to be used on the waistband and coin pocket of the pants. Blue Blanket selected and cut the selvage denim and they will be on sale soon, although made in very limited numbers.

IMG_0937Most American, post war lead shots bags are printed in a very patriotic red and blue and feature elegant, simple, illustrative graphics that instantly give you the entire story of what is in the bag and what’s behind the brand. Here you see an old bag sewn to the apron of one of the baristas at The Curator Cafe, Totnes. http://www.thecurator.co.uk

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