In a testament to hand tailoring, Luke’s shirt has withstood over a year of Bringing The Rock to The Rock-Starved Masses. Including multiple instances of pyrotechnics and crowd surfing.
There’s no secret to making something that lasts. Last winter, The Nil came on Y108 when I was up late working on organic flannel pajamas for another client, the lovely 98 yr old Spanish Pepita. I put exactly the same ideas into them as Luke’s shirt. Sewing on century old machines. Searching for the best materials. Ensuring washability. It’s the result of dedication to accumulating and using arcane skills and knowledge, and somewhat coincidentally becoming allergic to almost everything along the way.
Fate has something to say about staying true to your principles.
I’ve been spending more time on natural dyes lately.
Beautiful colours made with plants and old-time skills.
Sewing a new style on the Raymond treadle.
Inspired by the recent tailored shirt to make some more intricate things with all-organic, dye-free cotton and organic thread.
I love using this beautiful machine.
Tonight, at the Phoenix in Toronto!
Luke’s first canary star shirt has been working hard for the past year.
The new one has three thousand hand set studs.
Canary loves Luke and The Dirty Nil!
With debts to to Judas Priest, Metallica, Nudie, Gram, Phil Ochs, Manuel Cuevas and John Prine.
All Canary clothes can be machine washed and dried, in any temperature.
Fabrics are always pre-washed, ensuring no surprise shrinkage.
Nothing requires dry-cleaning. Just water and the most eco-friendly soap you can find.
Because the fabrics are organic, and Canary-tested, they do not contain formaldehyde or other harsh chemicals and permanent resins typically used on non-organic clothing.
Dundas/Hamilton band The Dirty Nil’s Luke Bentham got in touch a few weeks ago about making a shirt. Here’s the results!!
Using dyed fabric was the one down side but anyways….we started on a design and ordered some nice Japanese cotton.
Luke talked about a lightning bolt and I got out my Manuel Cuevas book to check out this suit, made for REM’s Mike Mills. He told me about going to Manuel’s shop in Nashville, meeting the Master himself, and trying on some of the State Jackets that are in the book too.
We also looked at the skull on an early Manuel, and the pinnacle, Gram Parsons’ poppy suit, made by Manuel while he was still working at Nudie’s in Hollywood.
Manuel, still working at 83, has done so many iconic looks, from The Man in Black, to Dwight Yoakum’s piped boleros and ripped skinny jeans, and years of collaborations with his friend, westernwear and old time country music champion Marty Stuart.
Somehow (LOL) The MC5 came up and the white panther, symbol of the alt-left movement in the late 60s.
This is the Cornely A5 chainstitch embroidery machine that I got in Detroit, which is of course the MC5’s home town.
Most of the embroidery is done with natural organic cotton thread.
After a few late nights, Luke and Parkside came to pick it up. Next thing, he’s winning awards and hanging out with Kiefer Sutherland.
Kiefer’s father Donald grew up in the town I’m from, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Not far from where Nudie suit pioneer Hank Snow was from.
Kick out the jams!