⟨ Craft ⟩

Reincarnation of European Workshops

Bleu de Chauffe

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Translation / Nathalie Lun

在十九世紀前,所有歐洲人使用的生活工具,都依靠大大小小的工坊供應。而雖然說「大大小小」,但其實規模再大的工坊,最多也不多於三十人,難以跟流水線工廠相較。不過工坊真正厲害的地方,卻在於每位工匠都手藝精湛,生產的商品儘管不便宜,但品質極佳;是那種就算不足以傳世,也足夠用上一輩子的品質。只是打從工業革命後,這股風氣沉靜了近百年,直至近年人們重新欣賞手工價值,手工品牌又紛紛成立,才有一種仿似歐洲工坊復興的新氣象,而像Bleu de Chauffe這個製包品牌,就讓人有這種傳統工坊再世之感。

Before the 19th Century, workshops of various sizes were prevalent in Europe, producing many daily necessities. These workshops were modest in size – very different from factory assembly lines – with 30 craftsmen at most. What differentiates them is the exquisite craftsmanship. Even though the products don’t come cheap, the superb quality makes them last a lifetime. However, these workshops started to close down ever since the Industrial Revolution. Until now, with a newfound love and appreciation for handcrafted products, more handcraft brands are appearing on the market again. Like this bag brand Bleu de Chauffe, reviving the traditional European workshop scene.

Bleu de Chauffe,法文直譯是「藍色工作服」,指的是現代古著迷口中的「法國工人外套」,也就是19世紀法國蒸汽火車駕駛員們穿的工作服。選取這個圖騰命名品牌,自然是帶著對法國勞工歷史的敬意,但更有趣的是Bleu de Chauffe以勞工為主題,可其設計與生產方式,帶著傳統工坊的嚴謹和細意;每顆包其不僅是手工生產,包的內層更會有生產工匠的簽名和製作日期,除了展露出職人的自慢,也讓用家注意到每顆包的背後,都有一位專屬的職人負責。

Bleu de Chauffe means blue workwear in French. It is what the steam train operators wore in the 19th Century, and also the “French workwear jacket” well loved by vintage enthusiasts. Naming the brand after this iconic garment pays homage to the French workmen history, as well as traditional workshops. Bleu de Chauffe is dedicated to rigorous details, not only is each bag handcrafted, it is also signed by each craftsman with the production date, honouring each craftsmans work and also letting each bag owner know the dedication that goes into each bag.

強調法國的歷史、法國的生產品質,在款式設計上卻不囿於此,像是品牌的早期作品,「Writers」系列中的「Scott」公事包,就借用了美國作家Francis Scott Fitzgerald的名字,以及其常用公事包為設計靈感。不然再來看看「The fisherman’s musette」,明眼人一看就知道靈感是英國的經典鈞魚包款式,只是在經典造型的基礎上,換上更簡約的輪廓,以及更優秀的手工與材質。不過最帶給人驚喜的,還當屬「Origami」和「Teklight」這兩個系列。前者看來端莊的包型,其實運用上了像摺紙般的包體結構和開合系統,是不流於外表的設計感。至於「Teklight」,則是與著名的帆布生產商British Millerain合作,完全不拘泥在傳統、經典的造型,反以旅遊和野外活動為主題,帶來一顆顆富現代感,甚或是有日本山系風格的背包系列。

The bag designs offer more beyond French history and French production quality. The “Scott” briefcase from the “Writers” collection – one of the brands earlier creations – took inspiration from American writer Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s name and how he was often seen with a briefcase. “The fisherman’s musette” pays homage to the classic British fishing bag: delicate craftsmanship and exquisite materials create simple lines that frame the iconic shape. The most remarkable collections have to be “Origami” and “Teklight”. The former takes a formal bag shape, but the bag structure is constructed by origami, offering far more thought in the design than meets the eye. “Teklight” is a collaboration with well-known canvas producer British Milerain. Rather than being traditional and iconic looking, the bag design is more of a travel and outdoor aesthetic, creating a modern and some-what Japanese Yama Style collection.