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.
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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.
"A spirited tour of fashion history . . . "The Coat Route" compels us to remember that behind every garment is a deep history and a pair of human hands--whether those hands stitched the dress's hem or pulled a lever that stringed together that $30 must-have jacket."--"The Wall Street Journal"" " "Delightful . . . "The Coat Route" celebrates those who work with their hands, creating something beautiful and lasting."--"The Seattle Times"" " "[Meg Lukens Noonan's] exploration of the business of fashion is fascinating and thorough, and her examination of bespoke goods redefines the words luxury and obsession."--The Daily Beast "Traditions of bespoke tailoring (and other related crafts) are skirting the edge of extinction. Noonan's delightful story makes us hope they endure."--"Publishers Weekly"" " "Lush writing and eagle-eyed reportage uncloak the insular world of bespoke fashion. . . . Globe-trekking travel writer Noonan is well-equipped to bridge the chasm and bring back a narrative every bit as finely rendered as the title's subject. Outfitted with an infectious curiosity and enviable eye for detail, the seasoned correspondent executes a sartorial odyssey that spans a remarkable portion of the planet. The fantastic journey is both fast-paced and rich."--"Kirkus Reviews" "A fabulous story, brilliantly told . . . I couldn't have enjoyed it more."--Bill Bryson "As captivating as any mystery or thriller, "The Coat Route" demystifies the rarefied universe of bespoke tailoring and provides a lens into the culture that covets it. It educates and inspires. I couldn't put it down!"--Tim Gunn "If there's anything as unlikely--or as unnecessary--as a $50,000 overcoat, I'm not aware of it. But if there's anything more interesting than a book about the worldwide network of vicuna ranchers, button makers, silkworm breeders, gold engravers, pattern weavers, and master tailors who make such a coat possible, I hope someone as
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 26th June 2013
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.8 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1