Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Delphine Cossais

French painter/jeweler Delphine Cossais not only incorporates many berets in her work, but also the Breton stripes are often present in her paintings. 
I enjoy the fairy-like atmosphere, the romanticism and children's book-like mysticism in her work - like my daily update of her blog while sipping my morning coffee. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Armor Lux

Armor Lux is one of the best known manufacturers of Breton shirts, founded in 1938 by a 31 year old Swiss-German entrepreneur who bet on the creation and production of high quality underwear under the Armor Lux brand. The company was set up as Bonneterie d’Armor, in Quimper (Brittany), one of a handful of Breton shirt manufacturers working from Brittany.  
Apart from the enormous range of striped tops, Armor Lux is known for it's ethical and ecological stance; promoting fair trade and using certified organic cotton.
Armor Lux is a member of the Comité 21 (French Council for environment and sustainable development); a member of the ORSE (Study Center for Corporate Social Responsibility) and adhered in 2005 to the citizen fibre programme, implemented by the NGO Yamana promoting a fairer economic, social and environmental development.

With 70 years of experience, 640 employees, 3 factories, a network of 30 boutiques and the 3 values : quality, tradition and ethics Armor Lux is a leading company in the field of Breton shirts!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

James Dean

James Byron Dean (1931 – 1955) is the legendary hero with a legendary story; live fast and die young. For over half a century, he has captured the world with his casual style, unflinching look and rebel attitude. James Dean has defined the essence of cool and without-a-cause for generations. 

Dean's status as a cultural icon is best embodied in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause, in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his star were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden, and as the surly farmer Jett Rink in Giant. His enduring fame and popularity rests on only these three films, his entire output in a starring role. His death at an early age cemented his legendary status.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Origins of the Breton Striped Shirt

The Breton shirt was created officially by French law, the 27th of March 1858 Act, which made the blue-and-white striped knitted shirt part of the regulatory uniform for French sailors. It was thought that the stripes would help to locate seamen who fell overboard.
The original shirt featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. 
Not only did this shirt become the standard of the French (merchant) navy and fishing fleets, it was soon exported to other navies around the world and became big as a fashion item a century after. 
In the late 1950s and ’60s, the shirt was associated with French New Wave cinema — girls with gamine looks like Jean Seberg in “Breathless”
and Jeanne Moreau in “Jules et Jim.”

This is the first post in a series, exploring the origins, travels and use of the Breton Shirt.