It’s been exactly a year since lockdown in NYC. People are tired, people are bored, we are simultaneously exhausted and raring to go…. Slowly things are starting to open up, and the nice weather is both teasing and chafing at us. We’ve binged everything from Bridgerton – (a trope filled and formulaic Romance novel adaptation- but with plenty of eye candy– and costumes!) to Sweet Home for crying out loud!
Everybody wants something exciting, fun, thrilling and out of the house but still so many have not been able to get their vaccine yet.
It’s gonna be a far different City for a while I expect but it will be back. And people are already opening up to dressing (up) both more and differently than in the past. I think the concept of what others might think of you vis a vis your fashion choices is going to undergo a radical shift once we get out again. I believe people will be (and are) dressing for themselves, first and foremost, after this extraordinarily, unimaginable year.
This is one of those projects. I’d had this leather in my stash for years – it’s a striking double faced calfskin – high contrast distressing on one side and the other a velvety black. It was perfect for a reversible unlined garment but, when I’d found the leather, I dreamed of a frock style coat out of it:
But I really did not have enough of the leather for this idea, I’d bought the last of the skins so they wound up in my one-off stock offerings. (All of them very limited in quantity and many vintage now)
This wonderful distressed leather was re-discovered by my client. He fell in love with it just like I had.
He’d come to me with two reference images, of fairly straight forward band collared blazers, and that was it. BASIC.
With his far from basic leather choice, I went with a few details to elevate the jacket further – the back waist and shoulder detailing – that echo more romantic periods. The band collar already nodded to both Bridgerton’s mock Regency style and to the late 60’s. The design started with a narrow double breasted closure – and I envisioned using some small antique buttons I have.
I’ll call it a hybrid of Bridgerton and the Peacock Revolution!
During fitting, the jacket was it was narrowed down to be single breasted once the client got to try it on and really think about how he planned to wear it. The great thing about in-person fittings is the Client get a chance to get a real feel for movement & proportion and are able see how the piece will work with their body and style. A wisp of an idea becomes solid, and together we are able to discuss and decide on what will look best on them and work with their style and life.
I was obsessing over those antique buttons. Which were very finely filigreed antique silver- very ” Bridgerton”. But now, they would not work for the leather jacket at all. They were just too small to use with the changes.
I hadn’t discussed the buttons with my client at this point. With few exceptions, my clients leave the these details up to me.
And with this client, who I’ve made several jackets for – I know he can vacillate if shown too many choices. (like many of us- me included – too much choice is not always good!) So I decided to not give him my thoughts on the buttons until I really got to look into choices.
I knew I wanted to find something like the antique ones, but with the proper scale. If I could find the right buttons they would be perfect. What a search! But I found something , not quite so antiqued. So between that and scaling up in size they become a bit more dramatic – maybe a little too dramatic?
This is why I waited – people get fearful if they’re shown something unexpected – and on top of that- not on the finished jacket, that’s not good. Sadly, nowadays just about any button that is not a plain basic button is “unexpected”. They are so different to our eyes these days, many people just can’t imagine them on their garments.
Still, after comparing many, many other buttons. I felt these were pretty perfect so I went with them. And yes, my client was a little ‘intimidated’ by the buttons at first. But he decided to wear the jacket a bit before making a final decision.
He wore his new leather jacket out of the studio and called me to declare it perfect by the end of the day! He loved the Brian Jones vibe that he got from it!
Brian Jones – What a style Icon, What a complement!
I later earned he loved the vests in Bridgerton – I will have to work on him – I’d love to do a great stand out vest!
If Bridgerton does anything to dandify men’s fashion post epidemic, I will be there for it!