MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH TAILORING | TALES OF TWO COATS PART 1
Posted on 21 July 2016
Put a beautiful coat in my hands or just within my sight and I cannot help it, I will start to tell stories. I love tailoring, I love jackets and I really love coats. To me a coat is like some super fashion creation which takes on a force of its own and can out live its maker and first owner.
Recently I had the pleasure of two beautiful patrons in the atelier for an advance viewing on SS17 being inline with the European couture calendar. Being that their visit was on a particularly arctic Melbourne evening such a visit takes particular foresight on the behalf of both women. Such an expedition is made easier with the aid of a beautiful coat. Each woman swept into the atelier wearing particularly terrific coats which immediately demanded my attention as a tailor. One of them was a understated but commanding Max Mara column with an enviable knitted rib inner collar that rolled up snuggly around the neck. The weight of it in my hand when I offered to hang (because I secretly wanted to touch it) it was notable. The sensation triggered memories of wearing many pieces of vintage men's tailoring for solid decade or more.
I use to mix vintage tailoring with dresses, my own creations and the odd piece of new designer fashion. I was fortunate at the time that good tailoring was still available for five to twenty dollars and I spent every last cent on what I considered an active research exercise. Later when I exhausted that exercise I apprenticed with Italian tailors in Melbourne. Followed by Cypriot tailors in London while working with high fashion collections at Liberty of London. It was an exciting time at Liberty as it was championing everyone from Margiela to McQueen when they were producing their early collections which I was also able to study while I was on the shop floor. During this time, wearing coats that were often over fifty years old and still looking great, functioning well and still garnering compliments informed my sincere commitment to wanting to make something that lasts for more than one season, transcends owners and possibly generations.
Then the second patron and sporting a beautiful coat arrived and that unlocked another treasure-chest of memories and desires in my brain which I will devote the next post to.
In the atelier now
SS17 Advance Order
* Star Week End Trench Coat