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!

The Sick Chicken.

posted in: Day In The Life, Sicky 23
The Sick Chicken by Winslow Homer, 1874. Image: Wikipedia.
The Sick Chicken by Winslow Homer, 1874. Image: Wikipedia.


For the past hour, I have been working on a lovely post about the beauty of friendship. But I have to stop. Because I am sick. I am sick with a terrible cold. My nose hurts. My body aches. My lips are dry and cracked. I am hot. Then I am cold. Then I am sad. Then I feel sorry for myself and I say, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Mary,” and then I say, “It’s too late!” and then I say, “Stop talking because it hurts the head.”

So I have to stop, now. I think it’s going to have to be good enough that I found a painting by Winslow Homer called, “The Sick Chicken.”

Do you remember the last time we talked about Winslow Homer? I had so much to say about this painting. Those were good times, weren’t they? I could breathe back then. I could run and jump and play. But no longer. Now, I shall perish on this couch, wads of snotty kleenex strewn all around, the remnants of my veggie burger drying out on the coffee table. Woe, woe!

In case you’re reading this aloud to your honey and need more material — I know for a fact that PaperGirl is read aloud at at least ten or so breakfast tables across this great nation — may I direct you to this entry (where my darling friend Heather got a sweet treat), or this one, when I loved the dog on the plane.

At least we have the memories. Goodbye, cruel world. Hello, heating pad. Hello, pillow. Hello, darkness…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary’s fine. She does have a cold but she’ll be all right. Being dramatic about having post-nasal drip helps her get better more quickly. Trust me.]

An Open Thank -You Note to Ms. Camilla Skovgaard

Bi-Sepia Ankle Wedge Boot w/Saw Sole by Camilla Skovgaard, now onsale. Visit camillaskovgaard.com, baby.
Bi-Sepia Ankle Wedge Boot w/Saw Sole by Camilla Skovgaard, now onsale. Visit camillaskovgaard.com, baby.

Dear Ms. Skovgaard:

I purchased your Bi-Sepia Ankle Wedge Boot w/Saw Sole last season from a designer discount retailer. You’ll be happy to know your boots were still hella expensive! I knew when I saw them that I was in trouble: they were singular and ferocious. I also needed a boot desperately, as I had actually worn through the leather of my old pair. They went into my digital shopping cart at once. Little did I know what a phenomenal purchase I had just made.

Yesterday, slushy, wet, fat snow came down in New York. It stuck to everyone’s hair and made all the wool in the city smell like wet dog, which was super. Though you are based in London, I have a hunch you’ve been in NYC a few times and have seen the state of the streets here. The state of the streets is not good, especially at the curb of any intersection in lower Manhattan. When the big snow grater in the sky opens up, Olympic-sized pools of evil slush form in these canyons and you find yourself quite literally at an impasse.

Unless you’re me. In your boots.

When my sister first saw them she rolled her eyes and said, “Okay, so you’re going to break your neck.” True, your boots do not look practical for snow and ice. But we know better, don’t we, Ms. Skovgaard. We know you have created the perfect city winter boot precisely because of the height. It’s like walking on wooden blocks 5” above the slush and snow! These things are freaking stilts! My socks never get wet! I can practically wade through the slurry! And I look hot doing it!  

But that’s not all!

The saw sole is genius. I have never found a lady’s boot with this kind of traction, and that includes ladyboots found in the Circle B farm equipment store in my midwest hometown. The rubber teeth on these boots are for serious urban-winter walking. I do not slip. I do not stumble. I do not slide. I crunch. I stomp. I skump. (I don’t know what skumping is, but I don’t know what’s in that NYC slush, either; all I know is that I don’t get any on me when I’m skumping around in my sick, sick boots.) Your brilliant design of the heel must also be noted: as you know, it is very, very narrow. I was alarmed at first, thinking the extremely narrow heel would cause balance trouble. Quite the contrary. It acts as a damn ice pick if I have to scale a small (dirty) snow drift either here or in Chicago! Sometimes I hit a skump of ice with my heel first to get purchase and then I vault over it with a push from the other leg. Can you hear me right now? Slow-clapping and whistling my approval?

This is my second winter with my boots, Ms. Skovgaard, and I am as pleased this year as I was last. I feel like a character in a video game because a) I look like a character in a video game and b) I feel like I have special powers that not everyone has. Not that they shouldn’t have them, too. Everyone should. I hope this thank-you note leads to even one more pair of your boots sold.

Hats off to you and your team. Hats off, boots on and on.

Mary Fons