Thursday, November 26, 2009

Luther Billis leaves his island retreat to sit for the Papa.

During a recent and rare visit to the coast, Monster Billis sat for the Papa at his studios to produce this portrait.


Courtesy of 'Photo Hound', The Papa shares with you this great pic of AAF aviator in color.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Once again our indefatigable Skipper, Captain Storm takes on the pride of the Sakura Fleet armed only with his Thompson and his wooden leg.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ancient Hawaiian Surf Prayer

Arise yea great surfs from Kahiki

The powerful curling waves,

Arise with pohue hue,

Well up, long ranging surf..

Lord Byron

"Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean -- roll!

Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;

Man marks the earth with ruin -- his control"

Lord Byron.

The Sea is my Brother

Jacket Kerouac circa 1942.

Rising from the ashes of post World War II conformity and suppression in a blaze of spontaneity, experimentation and alternative thinking, the Beat writers instilled a way of thinking that was as radical as the literary mode carrying it. Now, we again need a movement that will reinvent radicalism and counter the conformity which surrounds us. Now is a time when literature, culture and society so desperately need to rise from the uncertainty created by straddling the ideologies of both post-war and mid-war thinking. We need to rebel against the suffering and lost identity created by the unification and degradation of economies. We need to stop living with moral, social, political and even environmental confusion. We need a new Beat generation.

The Papa's take on this is we need to counter the conformity of the surfing's Kremlin and reinvent ourselves in the image of our outcast forefathers!
The Sea is certainly the Papa's brother but he claims no linage to the industry that alienated his heroes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

PAPA found the Selvedge yard but has the Selvedge found the Papa?

Hey Folks if you haven't read the Selvedge yard then you should. There's so much incredible stuff out there to absorb but only so much time to acquire it. The Papa appreciates that every time you believe you have a handle on COOL you turn a corner and there's a whole new universe out there to understand. This site is a must to read, packed with so much reference, essential to the essence of the vibe.
Man, the Papa will be tied up for weeks working his way through this one.

Vintage Leather Jacket update...

As a struggling artist and part-time shopboy the Papa laments the day he returned from Tokyo and stopped recieving those mega paypackets to help the Japanese develop replica vintage. However as a vintage sartorial enthusiast the Papa always tries to keep up to date with what going on up there in Sakurasville. This posting is a few choice selections from the FEW.

As you would expect these jackets are absolutely beautiful but we tend to think of the Japanese as the only ones capable of producing such exacting replicas... The Papa begs to differ! Papa Nui would enjoy taking this opportunity to introduce to you, David Himmel, Vintage dealer from Toronto Canada. A giant in supplying vintage to the world, David has realised a dream to reproduce insanely gorgeous leather jackets. His inspiration is drawn from a lifetime of collecting leathers and his particular angle is to recreate the kind of jacket George Raft would have worn in his truck cabin in the filming of "They Drive By Night". He has also worked successfully with Hollywood to ensure their historical research is correct on such projects as the film 'Amelia'(Amelia Earhart)which will grace our cinemas soon.

Keep an eye out for David's work by following his magnificent blog, 'The Art of Vintage Leather Jackets'. Of course none of this traditional craftsmanship comes cheap but if you have ever come to the conclusion that you need the 'ONE' leather jacket of your lifetime then perhaps you need to be talking to David. David's attentiveness to the miniscule details that define the Zen of making leather jackets is second to none.

Mini Simmons USN styling

The Papa is once again inspired!!

Papa Nui's pal, Mr Fishfry, has agreed to help the Papa shape a new board. The object of this activity is to expand on the Papa's facination with the 1940's and in particular the board designs of vintage surfboard guru, Bob Simmons. The period following World War II was a time of great experimentation in surfboard design and Simmons was one of those remarkable surfing free thinkers who during the war worked for the Douglas Aircraft Company out in Santa Monica. He applied to surfboard design the technology and materials that he was exposed to at the plant and in conjuction with his enlightenment via a US Navy publication by one of the finest US naval architects, Lindsey Lord, a PHD from MIT who did an intensive study on planing hulls, Simmons was able to introduce this unique hull idea to surfboard design. The Navy had sought an ideal width and length shape for quick lift, maneuverability and speed. Lord maintained the study was solid information and a new, not previously known, naval science. The book was full of graphs, complex equations and recommended a new material to strengthen lightweight planing hulls; fiberglass and resin. The form developed was simple parallelism, with an ideal length-width ratio number called aspect ratio, used in wing design...From experimenting with this new technology Simmons influenced surfings development like few have ever done. It has been said that the greatest single contribution to the evolution of the modern surfboard was the introduction of the light board by Bob Simmons.
Todays take on Simmons' revolutionary developments is the Mini-Simmons, a cut down board applying the same principals from the vintage aquatic US NAVY technology.
It is this little baby that has the Papa so fired up! Pictured below is a beautiful example pulled from Tristan Mausse's blog "Mini- Simmons World Religion" and shaped by Paulo Jacinto. Reader's of PAPA NUI SAYS... will be familiar with the Papa's 9'6" sea-log shaped by Dain Thomas of Sea Surfboards and appreciate the connection between this beautiful little Simmons and the Papa's invasion barge board he uses regularly.

Obviously given the Papa's particular take of surfing, the Olive Drab resin tint on this Mini-Simmons is a must. But to personalise it even further the Papa feels a wartime stencil print is in order.
This print is based on Jack Kerouac's US NAVY service during the war.
Now as the summer is fast approaching and the beach breaks beckon, the Papa must get busy. But what shorts to wear while riding the Simmons? Should it be the olive green Birdwells or the khaki Under water demolition team numbers?

Finally is there any more seaworthy hat to keep the sun off the Papa's brow than a drab version of a traditional Dixie cup!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Papa's artist profile

Papa NuiPapa Nui is a log rider and Australian artist currently residing on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean. He loves the sea, sand and coconuts, Jeeps, P-38’s and Michener’s’ beach boys. His paintings and drawings are inspired by a fascination with WWII and 1960’s monster art. The Papa is also a vintage clothing aficionado and sartorial enthusiast who collects 1930’s and 1940’s work wear, military, denim and Hawaiiana. His collaborative design projects include work for Levi Strauss Japan, The Real McCoys and various international surf brands. The ‘Monster Papa’, is the latest in Papa Nui’s portfolio and has been developed exclusively for Lofgren Original Garments and Speedway Sendai.

Monster portraits by the Papa.

And so with the worst month or two of swell I can remember in the last 10 years, we all have to find things to do in our spare time, thus no surf = a day of painting! The latest in the Papa monster series includes these two portraits of Monster Marine, Semper Fi!! and of course my beloved Monster Luther Billis USNCB.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lofgren Originals, Papa Nui and the Vintage Style

Recently the Papa scored a pair of chinos from John Lofgren of Speedway in Sendai Japan. John has been using his secret resources up in Sakurasville to start producing limited quantities of vintage style goods. The most recent venture landed him a roll of antique salt 'n' pepper chambray which inconjuction with the local brand Cushman, he has produced these most exacting and beautiful chinos, replicating an authentic 1940's feel to these great work wear pants.

The Papa was especially impressed with the fit of these babies as they have a wide yet trim cut unlike many relicas which have a tendancy to be too full through the hips. As a recommendation these chino are the SHIT, you need to get a pair while they last. Fortunately John's store 'Speedway', exports to the west which is a rare thing indeed, nothing worse than discovering some great piece of Japanese vintage only to find it isn't available outside of Japan.

As a styling exercise the Papa took a few snap shots to share with his audience.
The details: Black chambray shirt by Papa Nui for Levi Strauss Japan. 30's style studded belt with sterling buckle by Warp and Woof, Brown chambray 40's work chinos by Lofgren Originals x Cushman, Plaid wool tie RRL NYC, black leather 'Smoke Jumpers' work boots by Wesco Boots.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gay slur on our veterans?

A little long winded this posting but please bare with the Papa as he traverses this important topic.
For those of you familiar with my blog Papa Nui says... you will know that I'm a son of a WWII Veteran. My father served in the South Pacific, in the islands, New Guinea and the Solomons at a time when the security of Australia and New Zealand was directly threatened by the Japanese in their ambitious quest for Pacific domination. At this stage most of our resources were committed to the defence of British Colonial interests in the Middle East and so a handful of ill prepared, ill equipped and ill trained troops were left to stand between the Japanese sweep down through South Asia Asia and onto our doorsteps.
It was a tenacious struggle to stop the onslaught, but our troops inflicted the first defeat on the invading forces on the rugged slopes of the Kokoda Track in New Guinea. It was a major setback for the Japanese who at this point had not encountered a determined foe. Britain had already abandoned Australia and New Zealand to its own defences after its own half hearted efforts in Singapore and so with American intervention and routing success of the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Australasian region was secured as a forward base of operations for the regaining of the the South Pacific. It became a haven for the training and an embarkment point for the US Marines in their amphibious operations further up in the Pacific. Many more years would pass before our region was completely secured in Victory.
It is with great pride that I acknowledge my fathers part in this momentous event in history. His efforts and those of his generation is what underpins Australia in the modern world. Our involvement as a small nation in the major conflicts of WWI and WWII is a legacy that every Australian holds dear and true. It is our national identity that was forged in these trying times.
It is no wonder then that the Papa has grown up to respect those ideals handed down to him. Over the years these ideals have manifested themselves in Papa's interests; amateur historian, vintage collector of militaria, hawaiiana and the like. To feed those interests the Papa is prone to spend many hours perusing Ebay in the hope that he'll be able to acquire some unusual collectable from his chosen genre. It is at this point that the real nature of this posting is revealed.
The Papa has uncovered a very disturbing trend. That is; the use as a marketing tool and descriptor heading' the term, 'Gay Interest'.

There is nothing wrong with this term in itself, perhaps even relevant when used to promote the sale of a naturalists nudist periodical or vintage men's health photography from an era of innocence. The fact however that its common usage is now applied to photo images of our WWII veterans is nothing less than extremely irreverent and offensive.To insinuate or suggest that a group of shirtless GI's enjoying a unique moment of camaraderie earned under the the most gruelling, adverse and violent conditions is not only insidious but highly inflammatory. It makes a complete mockery of what these men have endued to survive and of that unique bond of men in war. It trivialises the actions of those very individuals who have fought and died together to ensure our freedoms.
At a time when men are constantly encouraged by modern society to embrace our nurturing side and our humanity our efforts are being undermined by slanderous references to our masculinity. It offends the Papa deeply.
A recent letter to an ebay seller who uses the term 'Gay Interest', resulted in some typical accusing anti-gay rhetoric in response. The seller totally missing the point. In today's workplace we have ethical standards to uphold. One of these is a diatribe about the vilification of others based on sexual preference. This is a good thing too as we should all be free to pursue our choices of expression. This is a freedom for which we should be thanking our veterans. However who will defend them? There comes a time when some cross the line as in the point I'm making. Should we allow dispersions cast upon our veterans because its trendy to see male bonding as an effeminate quality? The Papa thinks not and finds it derogatory and defamatory. The Papa intends to defend those veterans whose images are soiled by the quaintness of the title 'Gay Interest'. The Papa will be heard!

To incense the Papa even further, the other day he watched a particularly remarkable German film, called Napola. Set in WWII it followed the lives of two German teenage boys at an exclusive Hitler Jugen school. The first had won a scholarship for his prowess as a pugilist the other a shy sensitive literary type, had gained entrance because his father was a high ranking party official. Against the background of a Nazi education based on fearlessness and duty and the right of the strong to control the weak, a heart wrenching story emerges about humanity and the hidden evils of the Reich. Thinking that this would be a good film to own for a second viewing, the Papa decided to see if it was available on Ebay. No surprises here, the descriptor stated, 'Gay Interest'. What the fuck, that was the last straw for the Papa. The very moment masculinity discovers compassion, humility or understanding some idiot out in the cyber world starts flying the gay sympathy flag. The Papa is over it totally.

On the one hand many of us oppose the herd mentality of men, a world of sports, beer and little dress sense and yet the moment we turn our backs on these stereotypes the integrity of our sexuality comes into question.
In light of this discourse the Papa has only one comment,"Go Fuck Yourselves!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Canvas Tote Bags...does anyone have any leads??

The Papa is partial to a good canvas tote. There's Im sure many companies in the USA that do great bags but who are they?? In Japan its totesville, they seemed to turn up the most obscure canvas tote companies in the States and import them; so if you know of anyone doing great stuff send me a lead. The one featured in the photo is by KCP and the logo appears to be of PA origin USA. Can't find any details at all about them on the net though.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Real McCoys Michigan Ave Jacket circa 1999.

Just thought I would share with you all my Real McCoys wool and leather 1930's jacket that was purchased many years ago when the McCoys were at their height in Japan.

Warp and Woof custom belt.

The thing that comes to mind to me about Japanese goods is quality and attentiveness to detail. I believe that this approach is inherent to them because of the concept of zen, which in many ways permeates their culture. In vintage clothing replicas they are in a class of the own. This is because every single detail is thoroughly researched and replicated to as an exacting standard as one can achieve. Exacting fabric construction and dye methods, moulding of hardware on zippers, buckles and studs are all of am unbelievable quality. Many western enthusiasts scoff at Japanese pricing but I can assure that this perfection does not come cheap. Case in example is my custom made belt from Warp and Woof.
The buckle is cast in sterling silver and is an exacting replica from a 1930's Montgomery ward catalog. I was present when Masato-san my artisan friend showed me the page in which the buckle featured. The native american twirling log design (swastika) features prominently as this design pre-dates the decree of the native american artists associations' decision to discontinue the symbol in response to the rise of fascism in Europe in the late 1930's. The leather belt with its stamp pays homage to the HH Hieser saddlery company of Denver Colorado, famous in its day for quality leathergoods. The belt also comes equipped with various key holders, money pouch and wallet attatchment. An amazing piece which I still wear daily after 10 solid years of use. With all the huzz buzz of the larger Japanese manufactures such as the The Real McCoys and Buzz Rickson, the smaller operations like Warp and Woof are still making and incredible product which deserves to be recognised. If you ever have the chance to visit Tokyo their store is a must stop over.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Warp and Woof jacket is a killer!!

Of all Japanese brands one of my all time favourites is Warp and Woof in Daikanyama. In 1999 I commissioned them to make this 30's style jacket for me. I was amazed at the results!! Navy blue cashmere and wool with extraordinary detailing. It remains one of my best. Please take the time to check at their blog,
I don't believe their garments are available outside of Japan but if you ever visit you must check them out.