In Karlovy Vary I got my friend Martin Mraz to take some photos of shorts I had on hand. Martin worked together with my wife Katka at thePrague Monitor. He was on assignment to shoot photos of KVIFF for the Monitor. Sadly, the Monitor has greatly reduced its original content but you can find some of his other work here.
I call this color combination BLUE-CZECH. I came up with the design for these shorts last summer while I was living at home with my folks in Syracuse. It evolved from a design I used in summers past for myself and a few friends. They feature a similar pocket system to the trousers I make and also feature hidden mesh fabric stripes for superb ventilation.
These are the MATUS shorts named after a friend who spent many evenings on a couch in a flat I was sharing in Zizkov. You might find these shorts in action at Sedme Nebe, a great cafe with tasty Plzen and espresso and for travelers and locals alike. Matus is a tall guy usually sporting a large eufro and hard to miss.
All the fabric in this pair is made from cotton except for the polyester mesh that you can see peaking out from the back stripe. These are the most light weight pair of shorts I make. The fabric I use for the body is relatively thin but I use heaver material for the seat and pockets because they tend to sustain the most abrasion from everyday use. All my shorts can be machine washed.
These are MARTIN (the photographer) shorts. Check out the amazing texture of the fabric with the shiny brown squares. It is a cotton and viscose weave. Viscose is a unique form of wood cellulose acetate that is created when the cellulose is treated with caustic soda. The very fine threads are super smooth to the touch and create the rich reflective texture.
Take a look at the gray synthetic mesh I use to ventilate the shorts. The vents are mostly hidden when you stand still but breath open as you move about. Fabric reinforcements are sewn across the mesh for strength and durability. Such detail demonstrates the superb craftsmanship of our partner sewers as well as the quality that is the mark of our small scale production.
Notice how when standing strait the gray mesh is barely noticeable. My goal is to build something that brings quality and sophistication to shorts at a time when most are stuck in beach bum mode. Why walk around town in shorts made for surfing? This inventive design exhibits excellence and intelligence without compromising comfort.
These are TYLER shorts. I came across this navy blue and gold striped fabric in my travels to New York last summer and immediately thought of shorts. I found the same fabric with gold / light green and gold / brown stripes as well. I made the prototype of these shorts from very similar fabric with black and tan stripes. This color was the most popular in summer 09.
There is no substitute for holding these shorts in your hands to inspect the quality but I can show a bit more with some close-ups. In a quest to keep material sources local I was happy to find Koh I Noor producing excellent quality zippers and fasteners right here in Prague. I take a tram to pick up my orders directly from the factory.
As with the other shorts, I have used tightly woven cotton fabric to make a durable seat and pockets. The striped fabric is again a cotton and viscose weave that does not snag or pill. The gold stitching is a heavy duty polyester upholstery thread. There should be no doubt that every component of these shorts is built to last.
These JOSE shorts are the brown version of TYLER shorts. However, there is a feature added to this particular pair. Jose asked if zippers could be added to open and close the ventilation stripes. I thought this was a good idea and required only slight modifications in the construction process. I charge an additional 200Kc or $10 for adding this feature.
Here I have opened the zippers to show the mesh structure. With the zippers open, the shorts behave as any of the other shorts. With the zippers closed, the shorts are slimmer around the thighs and have a more compact look. Now that I am thinking about it, it would also be possible to make these shorts with no vents at all.
Here is a zoomed-in view to show the detail of the pocket system included in all the shorts. It is very similar to the that in the StageWorkers, ArtisanTech and UltimateTrousersI produce. The pocket side is sealed by Velcro, however, the top is sealed by a zipper. The inner phone pocket is only standard on one side. The opposite has only the large storage pocket.