Saturday, June 25, 2011

Snub Nose Hydro Hull.

Today's postings are definitely an ode to all the great artisans out there in bloggersville some of which fortunately are my friends. Here we have the handy work of Mr Big Fish, the curator of the alley fish fry blogspot and dear friend and confidant of the Papa. As you may remember Mr Fish Fry and the Papa have had a more than a passing fascination with the late 1940's board designs of Bob Simmons. This new collaboration brings all the qualities of WWII US Navy hydrodynamics and blends them into a contemporary adaptation of the hull lift concept.
Snub nosed and barge-like with a 23" wide deck and powered by twin cupped keels this little vehicle is fast, fabulous and capable of amazing feats of maneuverability.
This proto-type will be used as an X-board for another version on the drawing board for the Papa to take over to the East Indies later in the year.
Incidently, also in these photos the Papa is wearing the new Lofgren Japan denim selvege chinos, US Navy denim ball cap and Real McCoys USS Leyte t-shirt.

Vintage Engineer Boots Or Belts?

Whilst on the topic of belts I must share with you all my most recent of acquisitions.
In a rare lucky streak, Papa Nui entered into a contest held by that most excellent and expert resident blogger, Vintage Engineer Boots. The prize? A fantastic jewelled inlaid and studded belt. A rare thing of beauty indeed, John Villanueva of this blog is truly an artist and man of talent. On top of this John is also a great patriot, Johnny boy much adoration is heaped upon your brow by the Papa, Semper Fi!
Enjoy the photos.

Geronimo by War Path.

One of the lasting influences of my life has been a facination with Native American Indians, Ive read and absorbed much about them, their culture and art especially being a wealth of reference points for anyone interested in design and style. When Matt of War Path leathers posed the question to me, was I ready for another belt?, I immediately knew where my inspiration would be drawn from.
Referencing a great book I have on Geronimo I adopted a design practice used by the Apache. Indian artisans adorned their leather belts, bridle bits and implements of war with brass tacking studs in patterns akin to the Navajo conchos. I sent Matt my ideas for him to interpret and this week in the mail the most magnificent belt arrived exceeding my expectations with its weathered and battered patina reminiscent of the very harshness of the desert badlands that sheltered the great Apache leader Geronimo.
With the help of 'Giggles'and her camera we captured these shots today to help Matt in hawking his wares.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lofgren Denims and the Sailor Mokus.

Years ago John Lofgren and I were in discussions over the collaboration to produce the Papa Nui Marines T-shirt and our conversation eventually turned to all the wonderful possibilities there were to produce great products once you had the right connections and contacts in place. Since then the Lofgren brand has expanded, each time with a new and inspiring take on vintage reproductions. At the time of this dialog John and I talked about the golden years in Hawaii and about the period styling of wearing Sailor Mokus with Aloha shirts. Downtown Honolulu was awash with bright bolts of Japanese fabrics or traditional Hawaiian palaka patterns and the resident genius of a few reknown tailors created a casual shirt that reflected the essence of islands and their relaxed lifestyle. Worn with these shirts was the local flavour of the Sailor Mokus. The nautical trend was the hottest thing in Honolulu in the 1930s and '40s. These nautical-inspired denims were called Mokus a term derived from the Hawaiian word meaning a ship or schooner.
To the market then comes John Lofgrens' denim chino. Unlike most workwear which utilises a midweight 9-10 oz fabric, Lofgren uses a premium 14oz selvege denim in a full cut World War II chino style. In a time of hipster vintage and heritage branding which has sent many companies scrambling to re-invent themselves as the lastest thing unfortunately at the cost of integrity, quality and authenticity, Lofgren has remained stoic and solid, producing garments that are the 'bomb'. This attentiveness to detail and a deep appreciation of the importance of fabrication and manufacture has established John Lofgren at the forefront of the market and way ahead of the pack. John is in for the long haul, so Mokus or Chinos, call them what you will, support John in his efforts and make a purchase through his ebay site or contact him with his seller ID 'shopatspeedway'.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Burning

I was partially inspired by Foster Huntington's photo blog and his concept of the Burning House. It's a collective of photos based on what you would take out the door should a fire threaten your property. I've pondered this for several weeks and came to the conclusion that it would be a very very difficult choice as you wouldn't have the time to contemplate a rational decision. However It did take me off onto the tangent of a group of themed items that's partially a product shoot and what might be essential to starting out again.
(click on images for enlarged detail)

The Pacific.

Palm Frond Hat, USMC utility jacket, USMC frog camo headcover, my favourite Hanes t-shirt worn so much its tissue thin, my father's swim trunks purchased in 1949, italian leather sandals, PT Boat Captains lid, Canteen watch, GI collapsible water bucket, Island maiden morale booster photograph, USMC issue blanket, tapa throw and Japanese glass fishing bouys representing the flotsam, jetsam and tides of our lives.


Flea Market finds for Upstate or the Pacific Northwest, Indian Camp Blanket, Pendleton Blanket, Pack Basket, Deer altlers. Early LL Bean plaid mackinaw jacket, 1930's CC Filson hunting vest in duck canvas, 40's Bob Allen double faced hunting pants, 1940's Deer Skin jacket by Gerry's leathergoods Colorado, 1940's buckskin jacket by Sportsclad California, Warehouse Japan plaid hooded athletic jacket, Wesco lace to toe smoke jumpers, Stormy Kramer wool cap with 1940's hunting licence, plains indian beaded possibles bag.