Mister Freedom® CASQUETTE La “Deffe”
No, I didn’t find the secret coveted stash of New Old Stock French 1920′s-30′s caps in an abandoned Parisian storage room… (where ARE those caps??? Every single gent owned at least one back then, but they are nowhere to be found today, as any vintage hound knows.)
What I did find last year was an awesome batch of NOS French wool/tweed & linings, a rare 20′s-30′s grouping of fabrics. All coming from an haberdashery manufacturer from Northern France, that had been around since the early 1920′s and closed it’s doors in the mid 1960′s.
We have some of the amazing clothes (mainly suiting) that came with this loot at the store here. Some of which are now seen on screen (HBO Boardwalk Empire…)
So. We figured out how to make them, the same way they were made back then. The pattern is inspired by early french men’s casquettes, different from the newspaper boy cap, the US version of it.
The name “Deffe” is one of the many colourful Apache slang for headgear. Originally, a hat manufacturer called DESFOUX (located near Pont-Neuf, Paris) made silk caps favored by butchers, pimps and gangsters since 1878. ” Une Desfoux” became “une deffe” in french argot…
Some documentation can be found in the amazing 1930′s underworld studies written by Mr. Emile Chautard, who spent more time in dives drinking absinthe with “strange” characters than behind a desk sipping tea (“La vie étrange de l’Argot“, 1931). Many of Chautard insightful accounts have influenced our latest MFSC Apaches collection.
The casquette was worn slouched on the side of the head, straight was for squares. Bold fabric patterns, contrasting colours, mismatching weaves were the thing.
Calico shirt, red silk scarf, pied de poule deffe… you get the picture (or Brassaï did, when he shot la bande du Grand Albert in 1931…)
For the few who managed to read this far down, much obliged, so here are the specs of Mister Freedom® Casquette la “Deffe”!
PATTERN: Original Mister Freedom® single panel pattern, typical of 1920′s-30′s French gents’ caps.
FABRIC: 100 year old New Old Stock (NOS) French fabrics. Variety of all wool patterns, weave and colours. Solid, tweeds, herringbone, houndstooth in very limited quantities. (See last photo for an idea of how the fabric rolls looked like when found.)
LINING: NOS 1930′s sturdy black rayon and/or moleskine, printed with Mister Freedom® original artwork.
* Leather head band
* Decorative crown strap, secured by 1900′s french NOS glass buttons
* Functionning snap up brim (United Carr snap).
* All hand made in MF® Los Angeles atelier, by happy skilled artisans, while listening to good music.
SIZE: The can of worms…Few random sizes available, from about 57 cm to 60cm.
We use only one pattern, and due to variation in fabric thickness, fluctuating seam allowance, the crown size also varies sligthly +/- a few milimeters. No two casquettes are exactly the same.
57cm is close to US hat size 7 1/8
60cm is close to US hat size 7 1/2
CARE: Professional Hat cleaner Dry Cleaning ONLY, if needed. Do NOT wash.
Designed by Mister Freedom® and made in California in a limited edition.
From +/- 57 cm to +/- 60cm
Retail: $ 199.95
Courtesy of Monsieur Patrick Segui, the artist behind the paintbrush of our Apache collection boxtops artwork, check out this amazing photo of Grand-Père Segui (left) in 1931.
Photographed in “Alger-la-Blanche”, Algeria, then a French colony, this shot conveys the local street style of the Pépé le Moko generation. Deffe & all! A rare photograph of a young man who went on to join the ranks of the famed Zouaves and bravely fought his way through WW2.
Patrick’s original post here.