This week we’ve been working on a beautiful vintage coat that a woman brought in to be remade. She loves the vintage style and fit, but the years have not been kind to the fabric or lining. If we were to try to let the seams out per our client’s request, it would fall apart. Instead, Marilyn will remake the coat, using a tracing off technique, to give our client the vintage look and feel she wants.
With that in mind, on this Flashback Friday we’re reminded of another vintage coat, this one fur. This client had been very close to her grandmother, who had passed away. The coat was a hand-me-down from the grandmother but because of the wear and age, it could no longer be worn. She couldn’t bear to part with it, but she felt leaving the coat buried in her closet wasn’t a proper way to memorialize her beloved grandmother.
We all know this feeling: wanting to hold on to an object from a person who is no longer with us, but being unable to incorporate the object in our regular lives. This may be because we have different aesthetic tastes from our lost loved one, the article of clothing doesn’t fit, we’re afraid the object may break or fall apart, or we simply don’t like to dust that much. Sometimes the best way to revere this object and remember your loved one may be to change the object in a way that will allow you to keep it with you in your everyday life rather than on a shelf or in a box.
Marilyn and this client were able to find such a compromise with this coat. It was a gorgeous Persian lamb fur coat that had been custom-made in the 1920s with her grandmother’s initials embroidered in the lining. Persian lamb, for those who don’t know, is a very textured type of fur that is almost geometric in shape, often looking like a topography map or a traditional picture of the brain.
For our current client, we are using her old coat as a pattern for her new coat. But in this instance, the sentimentality was connected to the fur, not the style. Marilyn found an area of the fur large and strong enough to create a clutch purse, and used the coat lining for the lining of the clutch. When the clutch flap was opened, our client’s grandmother’s initials could be seen centered in the middle of the flap lining. The client loved it! It was small and practical, as well as beautiful, and retained the sentimentality of her grandmother’s coat.
Have you ever taken a sentimental object and changed it to fit your life? What was it, and how did you change it? Or if not, do you have an object for which you would do this? Tell us in the comments!