When I bought this Brooks & Brothers jacket for my boyfriend, who is a sailor, I wanted to customize it for him. During WW2, his father fought on the USS Guardfish. So, I got my brushes out and customized his jacket to honor his father and also, make him look as good as his idol Steve McQueen! Anything for my love!
My whole life, I have been fascinated by submarines! They are an outstanding engineering and design wonder! I did a lot of research on which submarine to pick for this project and I came across the USS Guardfish story. So, I thought that this vintage Brooks Brothers blue navy jacket was the perfect canvas to celebrate the SS-217.
The piece picked for the SS-217 project, is a vintage, men’s,1950s to 1960’s Brooks Brothers navy blue jacket. The jacket is in great condition. It only had a small hole repaired. The front zipper is by the famous Talon maker.
It’s my philosophy to only make -REMAKE©- pieces by repurposing vintage items into new ones.
Patches are extremely important in all my projects. For this project, I decided to directly paint the patches on the jacket itself.
- All the buttons were replaced with original US Navy anchor buttons to match the theme of the USS Guardfish.
- The USN collar patch was made from dead stock thread that I found during my trips to the thrift.
- From my research, the USS Guardfish submarine was on multiple missions to hunt for Japanese cargo ships in the Pacific. So, I painted a stormy night mission, where the SS-217 submarine sank a Japanese cargo ship. All were painted by hand.
- The USS Guardfish Insignia: On the front left top side of the jacket, I hand painted the original WWII insignia of the SS-217 and later distressed it with a brown coat.
- The US NAVY stencils: There are two US NAVY stencils, one on the back of the jacket and one on the front left top side. They have been both distressed with sandpaper and painted with a brown coat for an old look.
- The WWII Navy 1st Class Torpedoman’s Mate Patch: was fully hand-painted on the left shoulder sleeve. It was distressed with sandpaper and coated with a brown coat for an old finish.
- The US Navy Liberty Cuffs Submarine Dolphins: On each outer cuff, I hand-painted two distressed cuffs. Each cuff is a bit different from the other. I made sure one looked more worn than the other. Again, it’s not about perfection, it’s about art! Both were distressed with sandpaper and a brown coat for an old look!
- Inside the back jacket are: all the kills of the USS Guardfish.
- Vintage hand embroidered (crossed stitch) sweetheart handkerchief. Embalmed with French perfume.
- Oval miniature handmade porcelain style (on polymer clay) and fully hand-painted scene of the USS Guardfish at sea. It was distressed and varnished. It can be used as a classic key chain or key chain for the zipper.
The Wiki Tale of The USS Guardfish
Guardfish was laid down by the Electric Boat Company at Groton, Connecticut. She was launched there on 20 January 1942 (sponsored by Mrs. Edward J. Marquart), and commissioned at New London, Conn. on 8 May 1942, Lt. Comdr. Thomas B. Klakring in command.
First and second war patrols, August – November 1942
After conducting shakedown out of New London, Guardfish left that base on 28 June 1942 for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and arrived there on 25 July to prepare for her first cruise. Her first war patrol was in previously unpatrolled waters off northeast Honshū. Guardfish left Pearl Harbor on 6 August 1942, sank a trawler on 22 August, and two days later sank the 3,114-ton cargo ship Seikai Maru off Kinkasan Harbor. Evading escort vessels, she proceeded up the coast and found a convoy on 2 September. Guardfish attacked the next day, sinking the 5,253-ton Kaimei Maru and 1,118-ton cargo ship Tenyu Maru. Chita Maru, a 2,376-ton freighter, retreated into the harbor and anchored, but a long-range shot from Guardfish left her beached in the mud. Guardfish returned from her successful first patrol to Midway for refit on 15 September 1942. Read more…
Measurements & Details:
Shoulder: 48 Cm/18.89″
Sleeve: 60 Cm/23.62″
Chest: 59 cm/23.22″
Hand Painted Story Labels
This US Navy USS Guardfish Hand Painted Jacket has its unique label tag from l’Atelier. The tag is numbered with the vest’s unique serial number and has a red wax handmade quality control seal. On the back of the label tag are my full story notes written by hand and hand-painted with watercolors. There are two other stapled tags: one for the -REMAKE©- list and one for measurements.
Each of the wearable art pieces will come with a certificate personally signed by me and with its serial number. This certificate certifies that this piece was handmade at L’ATELIER of 88th Company. It has your name and the serial number of the art piece.
Each art piece is unique and is not duplicated.
Hand Painted Packaging
Packaging is the last and most important part of the design process. Since all my items are hand-painted, it’s only natural to have the same method applied to their packaging.
On a beautiful large brown bag, I spray paint the 88th Company logo on a custom stencil. After inserting the custom item inside the bag, it is folded and closed with a vintage twine string. Finally, like a top-secret letter, the string knot is sealed with a custom wax seal.
This item receives free shipping anywhere around the world through DHL Express. However, taxes may apply from your country’s customs. So please, make sure to contact your local customs for information.
Please read my shipping & returns policy here.