I Want The Coat

posted in: Fashion 46
There she goes. Image courtesy the Fashion Gods!


The store was Neiman Marcus. The time was 1:12 p.m.

I had only dipped into the place to kill time between a doctor’s appointment and a meeting, and lo! ‘Twas in that space and time that I did spy a garment that I coveted so terribly — that I instantly desired and so intensely — that I am shivering in my yearning, even as I type these words.

The item: a velvet coat, created by French designer Isabel Marant, featuring a dazzling Pineapple Log Cabin patchwork pattern. It’s the jacket pictured above — which I literally cannot look at much longer or I’m going to go dip into my IRA and take out the money and buy it, consequences be damned. What good is retirement money if I don’t look fabulous when I get there??

The official name of the coat is the “Tao Southwestern Quilted Velvet Caban Coat” and was it not made for me? Seriously, don’t you just suppose there could be a tag inside that says, “Made For Mary Fons”?? It’s too perfect, the fashion/quilt blend, the homage paid to the Log Cabin quilt … I am almost hyperventilating. Still!

You know, quilts and fashion have long been involved with each other. Every few years you’ll get a handful of designers who are using patchworky motifs or embellishing with reverse applique on skirts and jackets. Designers like Alexander McQueen, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Ralph Lauren have all drawn heavily on American quilt and patchwork motifs over the years. Ms. Marant is only the latest in a long line of fashion designers who know the color, scale, and shapes found in quilts are pure genius in other applications, too.

[That was me attempting to make a wanton display of fashion lust include some kind of edifying moment. Can I be done now? Good, because I need to talk about the coat some more.]

All winter, I would wear my size 40 coat walking up Michigan Avenue. I would skip a scarf because I would never want to cover up any part of my coat’s glorious piecing effect. Maybe I’d have a little neck wrap or something, just plain black. I would wear a simple black stocking cap on my head and plain leather gloves on my hands. I would love to wear this coat if I were wearing black tights and black shoes! Wouldn’t that just be fabulous??

Okay, so the coat is $1,850.00.

Yeah. That’s really a lot of money. I don’t have it. I mean, I’m just not at a place in my life when I can waltz into Neiman Marcus and buy a coat at full-boat retail. The cost of the “Tao” coat is not quite the same amount as my upcoming biannual property tax bill will be, but $1,850.00 would take a significant chunk out of it. That’s a lotta pineapples. Too many, and I know it.

But a girl can dream. And sigh. And weep. Can’t she? And can’t she just appreciate something without having to own it?

I very, very much want to say yes to this purchase. Right now, though, no way.

Except that .. you guys …  It’s velvet!

46 Responses

  1. Penny
    | Reply

    Could you make the fabric and have a tailor create a coat?

  2. Susan Brown
    | Reply

    May it go on sale for an affordable price!!!! You would look fabulous. Few people would, you’d be picture perfect…do share a pic when that day arrives!!!!

  3. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    Mary, the design looks pretty simple–I think you could make that coat. Hopefully the cost of the velvet fabrics would not add up to $1850! I bet you could find a pattern with very similar design lines & make yourself up a bunch of pineapple blocks!
    To tell the truth I love that coat & want one too! I’d love to see it up close & personal!

  4. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    Won’t it go on sale for, say 70-90% off? Like they do at Macy’s? I hope so, Mary. I don’t shop at Neiman Marcus.

  5. Janet
    | Reply

    I want this coat!!!! Would be willing to make it. Just not right away

  6. Susan
    | Reply

    Hi Mary, I searched on Ebay for “Patchwork quilted coat” and found some other ideas for a lot less moolah. Try this one. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Women-Warm-Coat-Long-Quilted-Jacket-Outwear-Winter-Blazer-Patchwork-Floral-Top/282717791214?hash=item41d34b23ee:m:m32Dd_qx33PN17NaSEjCoIw
    It would look great on you.

    • Kathlene
      | Reply

      I like that one even more!

    • Jan Sturtevant
      | Reply

      For me, a quilter and maker of wearable art, the coat on ebay doesn’t even hold a candle to the velvet log cabin coat. Just sayin’.

    • Sheila Mark
      | Reply

      Nah, just not the same.

  7. susan
    | Reply

    Sigh….coat lust.

  8. Kerry
    | Reply

    Lol! It is a thing of beauty. I couldn’t wear it – it would make me ten sizes larger than I already am! I currently have something that resembles the coats that Rock Hudson and Patrick McGoohan had in Ice Station Zebra. It wraps around me one and a half times – weight loss has done that – before it was all I could do to fasten it. But it’s soooooo heavy! I feel like I’m carting the world around on my shoulders. I then had to tie it round my waist (where it used to be) and that defeated the object. It is also very warm and long walks soon were unbearable with the weight (this time not mine) and the density. Most of the time I just have a jumper and a rain jacket with waterproof leggings to wear over the top of my trousers/pants because I heat up so fast nowadays. But oooh I love that coat. It serves me very well when we go to ice hockey matches – or even in summer at our cricket grounds on the coast – boy those cold winds whip around the stadium!

    But a parka doesn’t exactly look “THE BIZ!” Your coat has it all. Now you will have to bat your eyelashes at your family. A lot! Seems it needs to be yours and what better home could it wish for!

  9. deb hanahan
    | Reply

    Maybe a Go Fund Me campaign! I certainly think you deserve that coat. Or perhaps a witty letter to the designer? After all, think of the publicity you could garner for her in our industry… perhaps she never considered that?

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Deb Hanahan, for TWO SECONDS that idea crossed my mind, a “Help Mary Get This Coat” crowdfunding thing but I would be excoriated for such a thing. (I was going to say “crucified” but that’s really a pretty awful way to put it, don’t you think? Yikes.) I can’t do that, but I love you for being open to suggesting it! [lol]

  10. Paula White
    | Reply

    It is beautiful. I want a coat just like it, too.

  11. Kathlene
    | Reply

    Honestly Mary, I don’t like it. (Sh. Just trying to help you reject it).

  12. Melinda Seegers
    | Reply

    Buy it! You only live once!

  13. Barbara
    | Reply

    Save your money Mary, it’s only a coat. You are surrounded by so many beautiful quilts. How about making a quilted scarf to go with a coat in your close. You can still think about it though!

  14. jen
    | Reply

    Kickstarter or Go Fund Me. Its an awesome thing of beauty. You should have that coat. Yep. Velvet. Its beautiful and beauty inspires.

  15. Marie-Claude Lajoie
    | Reply

    Did you try it on? Maybe it would look awful on you and you wouldn’t like it anymore…or it would look perfect and make your heart ache even more…

  16. Pamela Keown
    | Reply

    Mary! You are a seamstress! All quilters are seamstresses. You can have this coat. Start looking for fabrics. And get busy if you want to wear it this year. If next year is soon enough, you’ve got some time. You CAN DO IT!

  17. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Dear Mary,
    I understand, and feel your pain. Been thru’ the same scenario myself a few times. My heart ache had to be ignored, however, since there was just no way I could afford such luxury! The coat would get stained, dingy, and perhaps would wear poorly, and start to come apart at the seams. Then, you’d just have a dowdy coat, and be short the $1,850.00. It wouldn’t look as nice, wouldn’t feel as spectacular, and you’d be struggling to pay your taxes. Keep the dream, and in time, it too will fade! : )

  18. Jean G-Bauer
    | Reply

    Maybe a bunch of us could get together and purchase it as a group and take turns wearing it?! I am going to start saving all the money I find in the dryer when I do the laundry. Will have enough when the style comes around again – like bell bottoms jeans did!

  19. Dallas Sills
    | Reply

    Did you at least try it on? Sometimes that makes your mind up faster…

  20. Sue
    | Reply

    About 30 years ago i saw a log cabin jacket at a designer shop in florida. Husband thought it was ugly until he saw designer price tag. Went home and found a pattern by black porch quilts and made it. Too small to wear, but still have it. Probably 3-4″ blocks. Had to assemble a piece of fabric equivalent to 3 yards of fabric

  21. Nadine Donovan
    | Reply

    Yep- tempting and beautiful but oh the price!

  22. Sarah Murray
    | Reply

    Awesome, I want it too but I’d have to make my own!

  23. Barb Walsh
    | Reply

    I love this coat too. It wouldn’t look good on me but it would on you. Can’t a sad and weary log cabin crazy quilt be found that you could use? Then go to one of the fabulous fabric stores in Chicago or Mood in New York and get the velvet? I bet you could make it for less than $1850. Have your mom make it for you. When I was younger I would find beautiful styles and ask my mom. She usually said yes.

  24. JeanneB
    | Reply

    Maybe Santa has heard your wish and I know you have been a very, very good girl. You might want to send a letter in case Santa doesn’t always read minds or gets them mixed up with everyone else’s thoughts of Christmas gift desires.

  25. Jeanne B. Brophy
    | Reply

    Maybe Santa has heard your wish and I know you have been a very, very good girl. You might want to send a letter in case Santa doesn’t always read minds or gets them mixed up with everyone else’s thoughts of Christmas gift desires.

  26. Lois Borton
    | Reply

    To be truthful…it’s nice but I wouldn’t buy it . I would like it as a bathrobe.
    $1850.00 can help lots of needy ones.
    Don’t touch your facts.

  27. Diane C
    | Reply

    On their site it says quilted velvet with Southwestern PRINT, so it’s not pieced. Velvet is pricey, but not enough to warrant that
    price tag. Your family has some connections in the fabric world. How about designing your own printed velvet and then having it made into a coat? Maybe it’s time for the Fons family to join the fashion world.

  28. T. Barritt
    | Reply

    You would have at dry clean it and that would cost moolah also. If you are a tactile person like me, you would be stroking that velvet for its sensual feeling in your mind and consequently rub a hole in the velvet very soon. Don’t be tempted, just admire and pay your taxes respectfully on time, fully knowing that it is a wiser move to keep you in your home, out of debt. I’m practical; logically and too lately, wise.

  29. T. Barritt
    | Reply

    You would have to dry clean it and that will cost $ also. If you are a tactile person like me, you would be stroking that velvet for its sensual feeling in your mind and consequently rub a hole in the velvet very soon. Don’t be tempted, just admire and pay your taxes respectfully on time, fully knowing that it is a wiser move to keep you in your home, out of debt. I’m practical; logically and too lately, wise. And you can only wear it on COLD days outside which will be fewer and fewer due to global warming.

  30. Mary
    | Reply

    Is this coat made out of an antique quilt? Maybe they have a layaway plan or you could get friends and relatives to give you oarts of it as birthday and Christmas oresents for the next couple years but in advance.

  31. Jan Canyon
    | Reply

    When I was in art school I went in Neiman,s in Dallas. I found an awesome pair of shoes. Hot pink with hand painted flowers on the heels. I coveted those shoes but didn’t have near enough cash for them so I opened a charge account t and bought them! I eventually paid them off, wore those happy shoes for years until they finally fell apart and never regretted it. I never bought anything from Norman,s again. I sure loved those shoes though!

  32. Judy
    | Reply

    Don’t live with buyers regret… Open a charge account, you might even get a discount, then pay it out…

  33. Patty Mack
    | Reply

    If you’ll quilt it, I’ll sew it. My son lives in the Loop in Chicago and I am up there every chance I get. You would look great in it! He’s single too, but that’s a different story. LOL

  34. Kathryn Darnell
    | Reply

    I loved every single reply from your BRILLIANT fans…particularly the gal with hand painted shoes. Go try it on, if the coat refuses to come off, open a charge account and walk BEAUTIFULLY out the door. Look stunning all winter and send a picture!

    • Sheila Mark
      | Reply

      I like this idea. I once bought an expensive pair of shoes. I tried them on, loved them, and didn’t want to take them off. I wore them for many years, didn’t miss the money, and never regretted my purchase. The thing is to try it on and see if you’re okay taking it off.

  35. Ginny
    | Reply

    Mary, you only live once…..go for it!!!!!

  36. Stacy Michell
    | Reply

    We were doing a “Cultural Study of Modern Living” while in Paris recently. A “Cultural Study of Modern Living” is what we call a visit to a city full of museums, but we go to the department stores. After touching every garment at the Issey Miyake exhibit, having a coffee on the roof top of Galaries Lafayette, discussing the pros and cons of packing for 2 weeks at Quilt Market and Festival in a $25,000 “steamer trunk” suitcase, we stumbled upon this coat. We were so pleased to see a Quilty influence in our”Cultural Study of Modern Living” tour of Paris. It is a pretty fabulous coat. Having seen it unclose and personal, it would be so much better pieced, then out of the printed velvet it is made out of. So Mary, I Challenge you to Make that coat, Not Buy that coat!!!

    Bon Jour!
    Stacy Michell & Marti Michell

  37. […] haven’t been back to Neiman Marcus to drool on the coat I fell in love with the other day, but I really haven’t needed to: You guys have kept the item very much in my mind — and I […]

  38. Jan Sturtevant
    | Reply

    Talk to Rachel Clark (rachel@rdkc.com). She can make that coat or guide you while you do it.

  39. […] Remember this coat that I coveted MOST DEARLY? Well, high fashion is back with a slightly-ugly-but-also-totally-amazing PATCHWORK SHOE. People, it’s Pucci. Pucci! Not Gucci: Pucci. The famed 70s designer who made the flamboyant, wacky, swirly-print scarves and the disco pantsuits? That’s Pucci. Gucci is like, ladies who lunch in the Gold Coast and have three cell phones for reasons no one should probably ask about. […]

  40. […] the patchwork coat? That was in September. Remember the patchwork Pucci shoes just the other […]

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