Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bristol Via Jakarta - NoKipple & The Elhaus Panna Shirt

Social media can be a wonderful thing, enabling us to discover brands that we otherwise would not have been exposed to. It's thanks to NoKipple pinging me on Twitter that I discovered Elhaus.

Based in Bristol NoKipple are very selective as to who they stock, specialising in high end denim and related clothing that is near impossible to find otherwise in the UK - but Elhaus have made the cut.

Elhaus Panna Shirt

Launched in 2010 the Jakarta located labels' philosophy is to take Indonesia's strong, traditional design history and combine it with modern cuts and experimental materials.

Indonesia has an up and coming clothing design and manufacturing scenes with brands such as Elhaus and OldBlue Co. at the forefront.

As NoKipple argue,
"We love Elhaus because they have no fear, they are more than willing to work on products that most smaller labels would deem as too risky or too costly, they love a challenge just as much as we have enjoyed working with them on a challenge."
A point amply demonstrated by the hand-woven jeans NoKipple & Elhaus collaborated on last year. (I know, I came slightly late to the party. The Denim HQ article on these awesome jeans, written by NoKipple's Gav, aka Megatron, is quite thought provoking.)

Elhaus NoKipple Jeans

But we're here to talk about the shirt. The material is light 5oz cotton, with a beautiful blue and white diamond Batik inspired pattern (a traditional technique of manual resist-dying - blocking the dye with wax to create the pattern.)
Elhaus Panna Shirt

The detailing is spot on - single needle stitching throughout, mother-of-pearl buttons, a split yoke, pointed collars, rounded hems and cuffs. 
I particularly like the side seam guessets and the stitching at the bottom of the placket - very period touches. The cut is slightly fitted but still quite classic in length.

All of these elements combine to create a classic American style work shirt, but with traditional Indonesian flourishes.

Elhaus Panna Shirt

In short it looks fantastic and, though long-sleeve, is lightweight enough to work perfectly for summer.

Tempted? The shirt is available only from NoKipple. Denim-heads amongst you should definitely check out the hand woven 21oz left hand twill jeans too. You don't normally see such attention to detail and commercially difficult artisan techniques used outside of Japan.

But that's rather the point. The selvedge denim industry is perhaps wrongly obsessed with branding and provenance. In an increasingly crowded market it can be hard for new brands to make headway, particularly those perceived to be from the wrong countries.

When did simply making something well become not sufficient?

Elhaus Panna Shirt

Indonesian brands like  Elhaus deserve recognition and wider popularity for what they're trying to do. I'm excited to see what NoKipple will get in from them next. Elhaus are definitely a brand to watch.

(Pix courtesy of NoKipple.)

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