Creamy as silk, costlier by weight than gold, the color of fine old ivory, a Montecristi superfino Panama hat is as much a work of art as it is of fashion. The finest specimens have more than 4,000 weaves per square inch, a weave so fine it takes a jeweler’s loupe to count the rows. And every single one of those weaves is done by hand. No loom is used — only dexterous fingers, sharp eyes and Zen-like concentration.
像丝绸一样柔滑,按重量计算比黄金更昂贵,精美老象牙一般的颜色,一顶蒙泰克里斯蒂(Montecristi)极致的巴拿马草帽既是一种时尚,也是一件艺术品。最好的出品每平方英寸线程达到4000以上,这种织法非常精细,要用珠宝商的放大镜才能数清道数,而且每一道编织都是手工完成的。不使用织布机,只需要灵巧的手指、锐利的眼睛和禅宗般的专注。
“You cannot allow your mind to wander even for a second,” says Simón Espinal, a modest, soft-spoken man who is regarded by his peers as the greatest living weaver of Panama hats, possibly the greatest ever. “When you are weaving it is just you and the straw.”
“你不能让自己走神,哪怕是一秒钟,”西蒙·埃斯皮纳尔(Simon Espinal)说。他是一个谦虚、说话轻声细语的人,被同行们视为在世的最伟大的、可能还是有史以来最伟大的巴拿马帽编织师。“当你编织的时候,就只有你和草。”
Mr. Espinal’s hats average around 3,000 weaves per square inch — a fineness few weavers have ever even approached. His best has just over 4,200 weaves per square inch and took him five months to weave.
埃斯皮纳尔的帽子平均每平方英寸织数为3000,很少有织工能达到这样的精细程度。他最好的帽子达到4200,花了他五个月的时间来制作。
西蒙·埃斯皮纳尔在检查他的一顶杰作。
西蒙·埃斯皮纳尔在检查他的一顶杰作。
埃斯皮纳尔手里拿着一根细长的草,打算用它编织成一顶巴拿马草帽,其价值将远远超过它本身的重量。
埃斯皮纳尔手里拿着一根细长的草,打算用它编织成一顶巴拿马草帽,其价值将远远超过它本身的重量。
埃斯皮纳尔现年52岁,被很多人认为是当世最伟大的巴拿马帽匠。
埃斯皮纳尔现年52岁,被很多人认为是当世最伟大的巴拿马帽匠。
The 52-year-old Ecuadorean is one of a dwindling number of elite Panama hat weavers, nearly all of whom live in Pile, an obscure village tucked away in the foothills behind Montecristi, a low-slung town about 100 miles up the coast from Guayaquil.
这位52岁的厄瓜多尔人是屈指可数的巴拿马帽精英织工之一。几乎所有这些织工都住在佩尔——一个偏僻的村庄,隐藏在蒙特克里斯蒂后面的山麓。蒙特克里斯蒂是一个低洼的小镇,距离瓜亚基尔海岸约100英里。
加布里埃尔•卢卡斯在他位于蒙特克里斯蒂的工作室里,将一顶巴拿马草帽中的一根草替换掉。
加布里埃尔•卢卡斯在他位于蒙特克里斯蒂的工作室里,将一顶巴拿马草帽中的一根草替换掉。
I became interested in the hats about 15 years ago, quite by accident, when I read about straw hats that could cost thousands of dollars. Intrigued, I began researching the hats, made a trip to Ecuador — where all true Panama hats are woven — and discovered this curious, and gently anachronistic world of the hat weavers of Montecristi.
大约15年前我偶然读到一篇关于草帽可能要卖到几千美元的报道,于是对此产生兴趣。出于好奇,我开始研究这些帽子,并去了厄瓜多尔一趟——所有真正的巴拿马帽都是在那里编织的。在那里,我发现了蒙特克里斯蒂帽子织工的奇特而又有点年代错位的世界。
在编织过程中的顶级(superfino)帽。
在编织过程中的顶级(superfino)帽。
加布里埃尔·卢卡斯的工作室,他是蒙特克里斯蒂最伟大的精整工匠之一。
加布里埃尔·卢卡斯的工作室,他是蒙特克里斯蒂最伟大的精整工匠之一。
Although the weaver is the star of the show, the making of a Montecristi is a collaborative art. After the weaver has finished his or her part, the raw hat body passes through the hands of a tag-team of specialist artisans whose titles — the rematador, the cortador, the apaleador and the planchador — lend the making of a Montecristi Panama hat something of the hot-blooded formality of the bullring. (The term rematador is drawn directly from bullfighting: There, it is the finisher, one who “performs some act that will provide an emotional or artistic climax,” as Hemingway describes it in “Death in the Afternoon.”)
虽然织工是这部剧的主角,但制作蒙特克里斯蒂帽是一门合作的艺术。在织工完成他或她的部分后,未加工的帽身要经过一组专业工匠的手,他们的头衔——“雷马塔多”(rematador,收束者)、“科塔多”(cortador,剪裁人)、“阿帕列多”(apaleador,打浆工)和“普兰查多”(planchador,熨烫工)——使蒙特克里斯蒂的巴拿马帽制作仿佛热血喷溅的斗牛仪式。(rematador这个词直接来源于斗牛:他们是“终结者”,如海明威在《午后之死》中描述的那样,他们“负责完成一种带来情感或艺术高潮的行为”。)
帕特里夏·洛佩斯展示巴拿马草帽的编织起点。
帕特里夏·洛佩斯展示巴拿马草帽的编织起点。
In Montecristi, the rematador is the specialist weaver who performs the complicated back weave to seal the brim, thereby bringing to an artistic close the weaving phase of the hat’s creation. After that, the excess straw is trimmed away by the cortador, who then gives the hat the closest of shaves with a razor blade to trim away any burrs in the straw.
在蒙特克里斯蒂,雷马塔多是一名专业的织工,他会完成复杂的内里编织来封住帽檐,从而以一种艺术的方式结束制帽的编织阶段。在那之后,多余的草被”科塔多”去掉,他会再用剃须刀片给帽子进行最细致的修剪,剪掉草上的毛刺。
晾干的草线。为了做好编织的准备,需要将草略煮大约一分钟,然后在露天晾干一夜。
晾干的草线。为了做好编织的准备,需要将草略煮大约一分钟,然后在露天晾干一夜。
“Sometimes, when I am cortador-ing, I come across a straw that has become discolored or has not been woven correctly,” says Gabriel Lucas, one of Montecristi’s top finishing artisans, as he performs a delicate operation on a fine hat that will be worth thousands when it is finished. “We call these hijos perdidos — the lost straws. I have to carefully cut them out and weave in a new straw to replace it.”
“有时候,当我在做‘科塔多’的工作时,会碰到一根褪色的或是编织不当的草,”加布里埃尔·卢卡斯(Gabriel Lucas)说。这位蒙特克里斯蒂最顶尖的精加工工匠之一正在一顶精美的帽子上做细致的操作,这顶帽子完工后将价值数千美元。“我们把这些叫做hijos perdidos——迷失的草。我得小心翼翼地把它们剪下来,再编上一根新的草作为替代。”
After it has been properly barbered, the hat is pounded with a hardwood mallet by the apaleador to help bed the fibers, then briskly ironed by the planchador to give it the right amount of stiffness in preparation for the final stage: blocking, or the sculpting by hand of the unformed hat into its recognizable styles: fedora, optimo, plantation.
修剪好后,帽子会由“阿帕列多”用硬木槌敲打,以便将纤维固定住,然后由“普兰查多”迅速熨烫,使其达到适当的硬度,为最后阶段做准备。最后阶段即用手将尚未成形的帽子塑造成清晰可辨的风格:软呢帽(fedora)、奥普提莫帽(optimo)和种植园帽(plantation)。
精加工工匠的工作之一就是检查帽子上有没有编错或变色的草。如果发现了,它们就会被剪掉并替换。
精加工工匠的工作之一就是检查帽子上有没有编错或变色的草。如果发现了,它们就会被剪掉并替换。
“科塔多”修剪新编织的帽子上多余的草,然后用剃须刀片给它以最精细的处理,修剪掉所有的刺。34岁的工匠加布里埃尔·卢卡斯在他位于蒙特克里斯蒂的工作室里进行这项作业。
“科塔多”修剪新编织的帽子上多余的草,然后用剃须刀片给它以最精细的处理,修剪掉所有的刺。34岁的工匠加布里埃尔·卢卡斯在他位于蒙特克里斯蒂的工作室里进行这项作业。
Panama hats are uniquely Ecuadorean, despite their curious misnomer. The term “Panama hat” has been in use since at least the 1830s, and came about because the hats were often sold in trading posts on the Isthmus of Panama, which was a shipping crossroads long before the canal was built. The name was popularized during the California gold rush, when tens of thousands of prospectors passed through Panama on their way to the diggings, many of them picking up a hat along the way.
巴拿马帽具有独特的厄瓜多尔风格,尽管它们的名字是一种奇怪的误称。“巴拿马帽”一词至少从19世纪30年代就开始使用了,原因是这种帽子经常在巴拿马地峡的贸易站出售。远在运河建成之前,巴拿马地峡就是一个航运十字路口。这个名字是在加利福尼亚淘金热时期流行起来的,当时数以万计的淘金者经过巴拿马前往淘金场,他们中的许多人会顺便来一顶帽子。
加布里埃尔·卢卡斯牢牢地用熨斗熨住一顶帽子,巩固编织的结构。
加布里埃尔·卢卡斯牢牢地用熨斗熨住一顶帽子,巩固编织的结构。
Panama hats became even more firmly fixed in the popular imagination after the Paris Exposition in 1855, when a Frenchman who had been living in Panama presented Napoleon III with a finely woven hat. His Highness loved the hat and wore it everywhere.
1855年巴黎博览会之后,一名住在巴拿马的法国人送给了拿破仑三世(Napoleon III)一顶精心编织的帽子,这使得巴拿马帽的形象在大众心目中变得更加牢固。拿破仑三世很喜欢这顶帽子,到哪儿都戴着。
巴拿马帽子是用巴拿马草——Carludovica palmata——的纤维织成的。
巴拿马帽子是用巴拿马草——Carludovica palmata——的纤维织成的。
巴拿马草的幼枝被剥皮,像意大利宽面条一样的纤维被一次又一次地撕开,用来制作一顶漂亮的帽子所需要的精细草线。
巴拿马草的幼枝被剥皮,像意大利宽面条一样的纤维被一次又一次地撕开,用来制作一顶漂亮的帽子所需要的精细草线。
Then, as now, celebrities set the tone in the fashion stakes, and nobody was more A-list than the Emperor of France. Silky fine Panama hats for spring and summer became de rigueur among the rich and famous. King Edward VII is said to have instructed his hatter to spare no expense but get him the finest Panama available. Fabulous sums were paid by him and others for the best hats. A Talk of The Town article in The New Yorker from July 1930 describes a $1,000 Panama — around $16,000 today — on display at Dobbs hat store in the city. Florenz Ziegfeld was discussed as a likely buyer.
和现在一样,当时的时尚界是由名人定下基调的,而没有人能比法国皇帝更能成为一线明星了。春夏季节丝绸般精致的巴拿马草帽成为了富人和名流的必备行头。据说,英国国王爱德华七世(King Edward VII )命令他的帽匠不惜一切代价给他买最好的巴拿马草帽,他和其他人为买最好的帽子支付了大笔的钱。1930年7月,《纽约客》上一篇“街谈巷议”的文章描述了一顶陈列在多布斯帽子店的、价值1000美元的巴拿马草帽,放到现在大约是16000美元。有人说,弗洛伦兹·齐格菲尔德(Florenz Ziegfeld)是可能的买家。
These days, the overwhelming majority of Panama hats are woven in Cuenca, an attractive town in the Andes whose residents, prompted by the local government, turned to hat weaving in the mid 1800s, once Panama hats became popular. These are the hats you find in department stores and most hat shops. Nice hats, they are woven in a light, simple “brisa” weave, which can be turned out swiftly and in commercial quantities.
如今,绝大多数巴拿马帽都是在昆卡编织而成的。昆卡是安第斯山脉一座漂亮的小镇。在19世纪中期巴拿马帽开始风靡的时候,在当地政府的推动下,昆卡的居民开始转向帽子编织。这是你可以在百货公司和大多数帽子店找到的帽子。这些漂亮的帽子由一种简单的“布里萨”(brisa)织法织成,可以迅速、批量地生产。
巴拿马帽子的顶部叫做plantilla——这是埃斯皮纳尔编织的。
巴拿马帽子的顶部叫做plantilla——这是埃斯皮纳尔编织的。
Montecristi, on the other hand, is the seat of the art. Locals have been weaving fine hats out of the fibers of the toquilla palm for centuries. Here, hat making has remained a cottage industry, the weavers gathering and preparing their own straw as they have for generations, weaving their hats in their artistic and time-consuming “liso” weave, a pretty herringbone style.
另一方面,蒙特克里斯蒂则是艺术的中心。几个世纪以来,当地人一直用巴拿马草的纤维编织精美的帽子。在这里,制帽仍然是一种家庭手工业。织工们聚集在一起,用世世代代延续下来的方法准备草线,用他们富有艺术性和费时的“里索”(liso,一种漂亮的人字型)方式编织他们的帽子。
Their output is necessarily small, and that of the elite weavers in Pile smaller still. In a good year, Simón Espinal might make three hats.
他们的产帽量必然很小,而精英织工的产量则更小。顺利的时候西蒙·埃斯皮纳尔一年可能会做三顶帽子。
在编织另一顶帽子时,埃斯皮纳尔专注于把数不清的草线捋直。
在编织另一顶帽子时,埃斯皮纳尔专注于把数不清的草线捋直。
Lately the government has been urging the weavers in Pile to become more commercial, to abandon the old ways, not to weave such fine hats — but they’ve refused. “This,” says Simón Espinal, “is a gift from God.”
最近政府一直在敦促聚集的织工们变得更商业化,放弃旧的方式,不要再编织这样上等的帽子——但他们拒绝了。西蒙·埃斯皮纳尔说:“这是神的礼物。”