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The Most Beautiful Coat in the World

A Fashion Emergency

Late last Wednesday evening on my commute home, a sartorial tragedy occurred. The last closure on my vintage 70s suede and rabbit fur coat tore from its moorings. Devastated, but preserving a remarkably calm front in the freezing conditions of a Melbourne winter’s night, I examined the mutilated coat. My knees would be cold on the way home, but the damage could be repaired. I breathed a sigh of relief.

The next evening I assembled the tools I would require in the reparation of this fashion emergency: needle, thread, scissors … and a pair of tweezers to retrieve the recalcitrant strip of leather that kept trying to escape its foundations even as it was being sewn back into place.

Fortunately I was able to access the reverse side of the leather as the lining (painstakingly replaced my lovely and charming adored sister Blossom several years ago as a birthday present pour moi) was left open at the base. Let me state at the outset: I am not a seamstress. I loathe needles and thread, and only reluctantly assume the rôle of mender when it is thrust upon me in direst circumstance.

The needle is not made for sewing leather. It’s tough to push through the hide, and my fingers hurt. Bits of fur are caught up in the slit. The tab keeps slipping from my grasp. But intrepidly, I sew on until I am finished. My repair is rudimentary and would probably amuse said lovely sister, but no one will ever see it as it’s on the inside of the coat (ahem). I give the closure a tug, and the stitching is firm.

a stitch in time saves nine and all that jazz …

And voila! The coat is repaired and fit for a princess to wear! In passing I notice that the closure above is loose by a few threads and ought to be reattached (a stitch in time saves nine and all that jazz), but one fit of industry is certainly enough for a single evening and was exhausting for my nerves besides. I must rest from my labours.

It was all worth it though. This coat is unutterably fabulous, and friends and strangers in the street constantly accost me to exclaim and marvel and pat me. I fear however, that it is one of those infamous garments that wears me, rather than the other way around. But I don’t care, I’m persuaded it’s the most beautiful coat in the world and I will love it forever. Or until it falls completely apart.

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