Sunday, February 10, 2008

Julie Christie's Coat

All this chilly weather coupled with the imminent Academy Awards has me thinking once again about cold-weather dressing. Specifically, I’ve been musing on Canadian Sarah Polley’s beautiful film Away from Her, starring Rowdyman Gordon Pinsent and the luminous Julie Christie.

I love Christie’s cross-country skiing garb in this film—her jacket with the belted waist, her funky hat that reminds me of the Balenciaga scarf—but all that snow and Christie inevitably call to mind another fashionable film: Dr. Zhivago.

Some fifteen years ago, I purchased a Cossack coat a la Dr. Zhivago—from Laura Ashley, of all places. It was on a deep, deep sale (I believe I paid about $50 for it) and even then I wondered whether it was a rash decision (I was still a graduate student).

But every year I pull it out of my closet and remember exactly why I bought it.

The coat is navy blue, fitted from shoulder to waist. From there it swirls out and down, close to my ankles, but not long enough to drag in the snow and slush. It has a generous dark brown faux fur collar, which lies flat or can be turned up to cuddle my neck and throat in very cold weather. There are two pockets in front, which I’ve never cut open, because I don’t want to wreck the line (sometimes pockets can sag).

I wear it with my navy beret and black riding boots and feel “dressed” no matter what city or town I’m in.

Do you have any clothes that have stood the test of time and trends?


enc said...

That sounds like a brilliant coat. I have vintage bags that have stood the test of time, and (surprisingly) a pink trench that won't go out.

K.Line said...

I, too, have a great formal coat that has weathered many a (Canadian) winter. My mother bought it for me at Holt Renfrew when I was still in university. It's blue cashmere, opera length (but, like yours, not slush grazing). It was made in Italy - a nondescript but no doubt classy brand I can't remember right now, and I'm too lazy to walk upstairs to figure it out.

It's not my go-to daily coat (I'm a bit of a coat slut and I've got one for every mood) but it's perfect when I need to look timeless and elegant.