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!