Here we are in the middle of August, our southern hemisphere winter, and I’m finally talking about the coat!
This winter in Sydney hasn’t been so bad, until the heavens opened up and we were shocked into the realisation that we need some fab warm weather gear.
And one of my favourite accessories is a fabulous coat!
There is something so romantic about a soft, plush coat.
Visions of grey windswept streets and a light smattering of raindrops being held at bay by a cosy cashmere cape or a warm woollen wrap fill my mind on days like these.
This year I was lucky enough to stumble upon coat utopia .
A gorgeous example by Australian brand Bassike.
It was fate really. I was shopping with my husband singing the praises of clean lines and fabulous tailoring when this beauty caught my eye.
Three quarter in length, a stylish black satin lapel with the main body being perfect navy with a fleck of black running throughout the weave.
I grabbed her of the rack, slid my arms in and it was like a warm hug from an old friend, love at first sight!
I did try to resist, my darling hubby reasoning “do you need another coat?”,” is it too modern and will it be passé next season?” “No” I answered to the first question, and a not very convincing “maybe” to the second.
I did walk away, but like a teenage obsession with a favourite pop star, I was dreaming of her life with me.
I could see how amazing she would look with a breton stripe tee, inky blue skinny jeans and my Lack of Colour navy fedora.
Then, in my mind I paired her with a dove grey cashmere sweater and grey leopard print J Brand jeans.
She was also perfect with a navy crew neck sweater with white stars and black tights.
My flat black suede ankle boots by Repetto would compliment her classic lines and my putty coloured distressed leather “rock star” boots would give her a cool edge.
She would adore my studded biker boots as much as my Marc Jacobs “Star” sky high heels.
For a flash of cheeky colour, my lipstick pink Alexander McQueen silk skull scarf would rev her up, and when feeling demure charcoal grey cashmere would be her choice.
My Bassike coat would love my collection of brooches, vintage and new.
Gorgeous 1950’s “diamond” baguettes from my grandmother and another with cascading crystals, a divine gift from my mother in law.
She would be filled with the fun of Lea Stein inspired bakelite style dachshunds and lion heads.
But her favourite would be the simply divine Sonia Rykiel gold star with smaller star crystals.
That would be her favourite. They would meet and be a match made in heaven.
She would feel right at home paired with a chunky alpaca turtle neck, just as she would with a fine silk shirt from Equipment.
Cocktail dress, no problem, my gal could hold her own.
Possum knit beanie, dungarees and Hunter gumboots, she’d love that down home feel and be ready for the truffle farm.
Navy and black was the perfect combination.
The right amount of classic mixed with a touch of vamp.
The wool so soft but with a hint of masculinity and the satin of the lapel, so feminine. An excellent juxtaposition.
Could I get her out of my head? NO! Back I went to David Jones where she had stolen my heart.
Straight to the rack, and no it can’t be, she’s gone, left with another. I scour through the sizes and like a lover scorned she is not there.
I know what she was thinking “Why did you leave me when we were the perfect fit?”.
It feels like heartbreak and I’ll never forget her.
Dreams of us complimenting each other, cosy lunch dates with friends eyeing my love with an envious eye, not wanting to part as she takes her place on a coat rack, all this and more has slipped through my fingers.
But the course of true love is never a smooth one as we are often lead to believe in all the greatest tales. Hollywood has a way of creating happy endings, but is this the truth in every day life?
Months later I find myself meandering in Paddington and happen upon the stand alone Bassike store on Glemore Road.
Maybe she’s there, maybe she never left, it was all a misunderstanding.
Do I dare break my heart again on the chance I may find happiness?
Human nature is a funny thing, we can’t help ourselves.
My eyes draw to the beautiful navy, the satin lapel, the raw edges, I know it’s her.
My heart leaps. What size is she?
” I’m yours” she whispers. “That’s the last one” says the assistant to me, “Isn’t it a divine coat?”. “Yes” I say.
More divine than you will ever know, I think to myself.
We leave the boutique together, she is tucked carefully under my arm.
The air is electric.
Will she live up to my expectations or was it all just a fanciful idea?
Once home, I place her carefully on a satin covered hanger and show her a new domain.
The next morning when a cold, grey sky with a smattering of raindrops catches my eye, I hear a whisper, “Wear me” she says. “I would look so special with the Sonia Rykiel brooch”.
And you know what, she is right!
Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014