My client really, really wanted a re-creation of a Givenchy Shearling coat from about ages ago.
I am a hired gun here this since this Asymmetric shearling coat is definitely not my design, but my re-interpretation.
I don’t like to “copy” per se. It’s not interesting to me. For one, people who ask for “copies” often want to recreate things that quite honestly, don’t bear repeating, and those asking for this type of service very often don’t want to pay what my time and expertise is worth. They simply don’t understand what it is I do.
This client understood exactly what it is I do. She did not want a cheap knock off, she wanted a beautifully fitted and constructed garment that would last her for years. She understands the investment and the value – even though there seemed to (maybe?) be a few pieces of this authentic Givenchy piece available online – purchasing an Off- the-Rack, Ready-to-Wear size was just not an option for her. She is 6″ tall and very well proportioned. RTW clothes simply aren’t cut for her, especially in sleeve and torso length.
I had been completely unaware of this style (doh!) – but I soon saw that it has been knocked off endlessly in very, very cheap iterations made up in the worst possible plastic excuses for shearling. My client had even bought one of these to double check that the silhouette would work for her. It was very funny when she tried it on for me as the “waist” hit a couple inches below her bust line and the sleeves not much past her elbows! She had to wrap it around her waist to check how the skirt might fall since the flare (literally and figuratively) of the piece is all below the waist. It was a pitiful garment, and that’s being generous!
I’m calling it asymmetric, but it’s more like an extreme Hi-Lo shape. Regardless, a great fit is really paramount to achieving that nice curvy silhouette that the skirt creates.
My #1 rule when I do have to recreate anything is: If I can’t improve on the original – don’t do it!
A lot happens in the re- interpretation of a style. Leathers and finishes can never be replicated – that is simply not ever possible. The technical finishing (the pattern, the sewing techniques) generally won’t be the same, due to restrictions in machinery, and various finishing components. Production styles are farmed out to factories that have very specialized machinery, where here these techniques if they are replicated must be replicated manually- which is much more time consuming.
In re-developing this style for my client, I took the fit a quite bit further, shaping the bodice under the pockets and slenderizing the sleeves from how the original coat appeared to fit. The original clearly did not have that bodice shaping which is fine on a standard fashion mannequin fit. But on someone with broader shoulders the body would just be too loose and skimming when curves were what we were going for. Slenderizing and shapely was the goal. Thick Shearling like this in an East Coast City environment, is going to be plenty warm without needing any thick layers underneath.
The shearling itself was a custom finished Toscana from Italy. The tannery’s stock mid-brown was offered only with a deep tan fleece. The beautiful contrast between the creamy fleece and the brown makes all the difference. I’ve noticed that people really love the higher contrast shearlings – when they are brought in by my vendors – they sell out the fastest. We were lucky, while the minimums are much higher than I could use for this one coat – my vendor special ordered it for me because they knew they could sell the balance of this color-way very quickly.
Why the tanneries don’t offer more of these classic high contrast shearlings right off the bat – I will never know! Ever since that striking black and white shearling Motorcycle jacket with the big oversized collar & loose curly shearling that Nicolas Ghesquiére did for Balenciaga in 2004, it seems to me that this classic high contrast look is all anyone wants!
A custom made piece like this Asymmetric Shearling coat will always, always, be more expensive than any the Off-the-Rack equivalent. So if you are interested in a custom-made shearling coat or any other type or leather jacket, Please see our pricing guide.