By avant

avant magazine | an anthology of french workwear

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in this third issue, an anthology of french workwear, we dig into the history of france with particular focus on the workers, the farmers and the peasants during the 19th and the 20th centuries.

we converse with tom gruat, the king of french workwear, but also with denis bruna, curator in chief of the musée des arts décoratifs in paris, and frederic marc marion, vintage dealer and collector of french workwear. we also talk with six experts of french workwear in japan, so they can explain to us how it’s booming right now in japan.

we visit euro costumes, a costume rental company in pantin, near paris, and we talk to its owner, pascale bourtequoi, who explain how she build a colossal stock of antique clothes.

we also teach you how to recognize buttons on a french hunting jacket, and explain what moleskin really is.

stories & tales

  • miners and ‘bleus de travail’ : discover the great history of miners from the north of france and their outfit of choice.
  • the firefighter’s ball : 19th century indigo linen firefighter jackets attract french workwear lovers from all around.
  • le mont saint-michel, breton history : read the story of this legendary brand, who has dressed breton peasants for decades (and it's not done yet!)
  • japan under the « french » spell : in japan, french workwear has experienced a real boom in the past years. six store owners tell us about this societal phenomenon.
  • visiting euro-costumes : walk down the aisles of the largest costume rental company in france.


  • tom gruat : when it comes to french workwear, he is the leading reference. his interview is a must-read.
  • douglas gunn : founders of the vintage showroom, douglas gunn and roy luckett have published two books in which they highlight french workwear pieces.
  • denis bruna : chief curator at the musée des arts décoratifs in paris, he has studied the evolution of working class clothing dating back to the middle ages.
  • frédéric marc marion : founder of the bazar des poilus, he goes back in time to retrace his career.

art & illustrations

  • la moisson : unique cover painting by geg newbokld made exclusively for avant magazine.
  • douce france : a series of french antique pictures from the archives of tom gruat, romainville’s town hall, and the museum of bretagne.
  • private collection : rare french pieces from the personal collection of tom gruat.

and more…

  • moleskin jacket - animal buttons on french hunting jackets - what is indigo linen - la france travail, an beautiful collection of old books…