Saturday, June 28, 2014

Two awesome leather jackets and a dilemma

I found these two totally rockin leather jackets recently. I knew enough about 1960s/70s custom leather work, since I have had an East West Musical Instruments item go through the store, to immediately swap them up and worry about the details later. Then I brought them home and started to do the standard research. I normally research most items that come through the store so that I can accurately present garments to customers and the first thing that I look for is a brand/makers tag. Unfortunately, both of these jackets had the tag removed at some point, which made them much harder to research.

After hours of obsessively searching online, I finally had luck in identifying this patchwork jacket. The painted floral patchwork was a very distinctive detail ONLY used by Gandalf the Wizard. Gandalf jackets were custom, hand crafted jackets made in Detroit in the 1970s and were wardrobe staples for rock stars. The floral patchwork jackets (you can see more examples HERE) are super rare these days, and the most sought after design! Very cool, huh?

After even more hours of research, I still haven't had any luck with this boat patchwork jacket. I do have a theory, though. It has an identical lining and zippers as the patchwork jacket and even some of the construction methods used are the same. And since they both came from the same estate, it's possible they came from the same maker, Gandalf! I haven't come across any record of Gandalf making a boat/ship patchwork jacket, so I can't be 100% sure, but I haven't come across anyone else making one either. So, that leads me to believe that this jacket is truly custom and ONE OF A KIND! Amazing!

You most likely won't see these in the store immediately, as I still want to do more research, especially on the ship jacket. But they will likely be in the store by fall if I don't keep them, which is really tempting since they fit me. Enjoy!

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