Brrr – it’s been as cold as a polar bear’s privates this weekend so what a cracking excuse to show off my new ‘covert’ coat pictured above. Technically it’s not a true covert coat for reasons which I will explain below and so I have come up with my own name for it – “The Daddy.”
It’s styled along the lines of “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” pimped up with some purple velvet which came from the same piece used to make a jacket for Elton John – cross my heart this is true! – and made from a Super 100’s cloth with cashmere from Edwin Woodhouse.
A covert coat gets it’s name from the hardwearing ‘covert’ cloth from which it is made – a process which involves the twisting together of 2 threads of a similar colour (usually in faun or green) which results in a durable fabric with a slightly mottled finish. The term ‘covert’ comes from the French “couvert”, meaning shelter, and over time came to mean a hiding place for grouse and pheasants.
Originally worn in the countryside, it is single breasted, has a fly front (you can’t see the buttons) , often velvet collars, slanted flaps on the outside of the coat with a ticket pocket above the one on the right hand side, and, uniquely has a number of rows of stitching on the ends of the sleeves and the hem. In the ‘old days’ this stitching was to stop the lining from getting ripped out as the landed gentry steamed over thorny hedges during a hunt for foxy. Allegedly, the greater the number of rows, the more hard-core the rider.
Mine has three rows (four is more common) which I’ll admit is still ridiculous as the last time I was put on a horse I was nine, the owner smacked it’s arse, it bolted, I threw myself off it in fear for my life and have been scared of horses ever since. I’d like to quote Joan River’s comment about horses – “any animal that sh*ts and walks at the same time has got to be stupid.” Nowadays, I think the stitches are to prevent the lining from getting ripped during tussles to get on the tube at rush hour in London – don’t miss it a bit!! Ah, wonderful Yorkshire….
Anyway, back to my coat – I love it. Whilst I get a real buzz making clothes for my clients and watching them wallow in front of the mirror in their new threads, making something for myself is particularly sweet. So bring on the next cold snap and watch out all you foxes, “the daddy” is ready and waiting.