Yes, a new project has taken off… and once again it’s because I must be looking at too much French couture fashion! First it was Kim Jones at Dior. Then I fell down the rabbit hole of Hermès. Now it’s Givenchy, and the initial offering of their new designer Matthew Williams. You can see the whole Spring 2021 collection here.
So what exactly has caught my eye?
This coat! (if you can look past the ridiculous styling).
I love the simplicity of this look, and the metal closure immediately caught my attention. From what I’ve read, the metal elements in the new Givenchy clothes and accessories are inspired by the bridge of “Love Locks” in Paris.
Which is apparently being dismantled because it’s become too heavy!
Undeterred by these husky workmen, I remain inspired to run with it. Somehow, this coat triggers all sorts of influences that pull at me. Do any of you remember the Perry Ellis “Big Coat” of the 1980’s?
Oh, to swoop around in one of these!
Of course inspiration only goes so far. Eventually there has to be a plan to get from concept to reality. So here’s what’s developed so far.
Once again I’m going to be riffing of Closet Core’s Sienna Maker Jacket. Hopefully, Heather Lou will approve. (Can hacking a pattern over and over be sign of love? I hope so.)
Long version “A” looks like the perfect jumping off point. It’s a wrap coat that closes with hardware, so I’m pretty much half way to what I’ve envisioned. The other advantage is that I’ve already made the short version. So the fitting at the top half of the coat is already done, and that’s usually the most challenging part.
The big pockets will have to go, naturally. And speaking of pockets, I can’t say I’m in love with the welt pockets on the Givenchy coat. Maybe it’s just me, but they look kind of, dare I say, cheap; especially the way they sag open. I would expect something more structured on a coat that probably sells for between $3,500 and $4,000. Would you?
I’ve decided to go with a vertical double welt pocket, in hopes that it will visually lengthen the lines of the coat. I’m not a tall man, so I’ll take whatever illusion I can get. Something like this….
Here’s proof that I can find inspiration just about anywhere. Even at the book store for Juniors!
I’m going to be using a boiled wool fabric that I purchased sight unseen from Kashi at Metro Textiles. At the time he was running a 50% off sale. His description was something like, “boiled wool in Indian Teal with an interesting texture”. Classic Kashi!! At 50% off it was too good to pass up, so I jumped. I’m happy to report that it’s turned out to be a dream to work with, and I love the color. Win / Win.
Before going too far, I always like to make a practice pocket on a bit of scrap. I want to be sure that my plan is actually doable. Welt pockets are scary enough, I don’t need to wade into a potential disaster. A patch pocket can be picked off, but once that welt is slashed there’s no going back. The welts here are 3/8″ by 6″.
Reassured that the pockets can be made, I’m ready to move forward. File this under…Time well spent.
There will be plenty of tailoring geekery in the weeks to come, which I know my longtime readers have come to expect. I love making outerwear. It’s practical…It can be beautiful…and most of all, it’s supremely fun and satisfying. Hopefully, you’ll catch the outerwear bug!
Until next time, please stay safe and sew. It’s the best social distancing!