Jun 15, 2012

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, Vintage Workwear, Rugged Accessories and the Red Wing Iron Ranger Work Boot

Moonrise Kingdom is the wonderful new film by director Wes Anderson. This film takes viewers along for the ride on the journey of Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky and school girl with edge Suzy Bishop, two twelve year old kids in the midst of growing up and experiencing their first summer of love while on an adventurous run. Pursued by an all star cast of adults including Edward Norton as Khaki Scout Troupe Leader Ward, Bruce Willis as the lonely Town Sheriff Captain Sharp and Suzy's together yet detached parents played by Bill Murray and Francis McDormand. Harvey Kitel as Khaki Scout Commander Pierce, Tilda Swinton as Social Services (love that name or lack there of) and Anderson film repeat offender Jason Schwartzman as Cousin Ben also add their special talents. Moonrise Kingdom is set in the year 1965 on the island of New Penzance located off the coast of New England with the mother of all storms approaching. Sam and Suzy's journey and pursuit is filled with the humor and wit that we've come to love and expect from a Wes Anderson film along with set design and details that fans of vintage workwear and rugged accessories will no doubt appreciate. The use of Hank Williams Jr. tunes throughout the film is another nice choice.

Items of interest include narrator Bob Balaban's low top "Gumshoe" version of the iconic L. L. Bean Maine Boot, Khaki Scout uniforms similar to the vintage version made for the Boy Scouts of America by vintage workwear manufacturer Sweet Orr, the Safety type glasses worn by many of the cast members, Sam's Blue Bell Herringbone Twill Coveralls, Metal Water Coolers and Ice Chests, the Industrial Metal Desk and Chairs like those manufactured by The General Fireproofing Company and the Red Wing style Moc Toe Boots worn by Cousin Ben.
Sweet Orr Boy Scouts of America Shirt Box courtesy of Suntrap
Red Wing IRON RANGER boots after 1 year on the job

Last year we were contacted by the film's producers inquiring into of the possibility of using a pair of well used Red Wing Iron Ranger boots belonging to yours truly. Seems Wes had run across said Iron Rangers previously pictured on this very blog and we were more than honored to offer them for use on the new project from one of our favorite directors. A virtual handshake type deal was struck and since this was to be a small budget film a screen credit / thank you along with a production shot of the boots in action was accepted in lieu of rental payment. Knowing the attention to detail that Wes always brings to his films along with the knowledge of the directors ability to achieve his vision in any number of alternative ways made his choice of this particular pair of boots all the more special.

Red Wing IRON RANGER boots after 2 years on the job
Mr Billingsley photo courtesy of Moonrise Kingdom & Focus Features
We were excited to hear that Moonrise Kingdom had been chosen to open the prestigious 2012 Cannes International Film Festival followed by openings in New York and Los Angeles in May. Eager with anticipation to see the new film from one of our long time favorite artists and directors along with the cameo appearance of the Red Wing IRON RANGER boots belonging to yours truly, we recently made the short trip to Hollywood, CA to catch Moonrise Kingdom at the ArcLight Theatre.
The film was a joy to watch from start to finish with the appearance of Sam's foster dad Mr. Billingsley (aptly played by seasoned actor Larry Pine) wearing the Red Wing Iron Rangers while conversing at the table in a perfectly period correct kitchen right around the film's ten minute mark. The thank you to yours truly and The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. as the end credits rolled was an especially nice treat.

Even with the bias that comes with having contributed on the minutest level to this highly enjoyable piece of work, we can not recommend Moonrise Kingdom highly enough for your summertime viewing pleasure. Go see this film and enjoy an opportunity to smile and laugh while taking a trip back to those youthful days of long summers and first loves.

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  1. Loved this story. Thank you for sharing it.


  2. Congratulations on such a great achievement. As a vintage clothing dealer I know there can be no higher recommendation than to provide authentic clothing to the Movie Industry. I wish you continued success. And I will definitely see the Movie this week. Sincerely

  3. Wow, how exciting! Loved the film, will be sure to look for your boots next time I watch it!

  4. Loved reading this. Got me thinking though, did they cast an actor who had your specific boot size, or was it pure luck that your boots fitted his feet? Interesting trivia none the less.

    P.S. What size are your boots?

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