In today's world of fast fashion, is there a place for a handcrafted $50,000 coat?
To answer that question, Meg Noonan unravels the story of the coat's provenance. Her journey takes readers to the Sydney studio of John Cutler, a fourth-generation tailor who works magic with scissors and thread; to the remote mountains of Peru, where villagers shear vicunas (a rare animal known for its soft fleece); to the fabulous Florence headquarters of Stefano Ricci, the world's greatest silk designer; to the esteemed French textile company Dormeuil; to the English button factory that makes products out of Indian buffalo horn; and to the workshop of the engraver who made the 18-carat gold plaque that sits inside the collar.
These individual artisans and family-owned companies are part of the rich tapestry of bespoke tailoring, which began in 17th-century London. They have stood against the tide of mass consumerism, but their dedication to their craft is about more than maintaining tradition; they have found increasing reason to believe that their way is best — for customers, for the environment, and for the workers involved.
Fascinating, surprising, and entertaining, The Coat Route is a timely love song to things of lasting value in our disposable culture.
Read Caroline Baum's Review:
Most of us will never be able to afford the luxury and pleasure of bespoke clothing, made to measure to suit our individual physique. Such costly refinement is the domain of a very exclusive privileged few. But Noonan shares some of the secrets, traditions and craftsmanship of the world of personalised tailoring in this marvelously readable, fascinating story of a costly overcoat, which begins life in the hands of master tailor John Cutler in Sydney.
It’s an international story about high-end suppliers who won’t compromise on quality for their customers and a comment on the wastefulness of our disposable shopping economy.
You’ll never look at a button in quite the same way again.
About the Author
Meg Lukens Noonan spent ten years as a correspondent for Outside magazine and has written for The New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, Men’s Journal, Vogue, and many other publications. She lives in New Hampshire.
Reviewed by 2 customers
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This book would appeal to all who are concerned about the fast way we consume clothes; how the fashion industry is contributing to unsustainability and what are the skills and values that are being lost in this relentless process. All those who value quality over quantity will be elated by this book! I have several friends waiting to read this book.
A wonderful descriptive of a discipline fast going out of fashion - the pride and care that goes into making an item of lasting beauty. Perhaps these words don't apply to an everyday overcoat, but to this one, which is worth so much, they are inadequate. I found this detailed story of a handmade coat really informative with a glance at a sincere 'bespoke' trade.
Published: 26th June 2013
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.8 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 21.0
Edition Number: 1