Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Ultimate Shearling Coat

A couple of weekends ago I was photographing some rather wonderful clothes for a lovely boutique called Image in the historic city of Bath.  Check out the website: if you're a regular reader of this blog you might get a sense of déjà vu looking at some of the photos of the clothes!  I've known the owner for years, always drop in when I'm in the area and inevitably come away with a bag of goodies.

Image caters for sophisticated customers who enjoy good design and are looking for something classy but a bit different.  There is a good selection of classic clothing with a twist for the older and professional ladies but I'm always delighted to find some new and quirky designers which are a little off the mainstream fashion radar too.  This is where I bought my velvet tuxedo jacket with the chiffon peplum featured in my Harper's Buy Now Wear Forever post.  It's by a relatively new designer called Kaylee Tankus.

And then of course I love trying on all the really luxurious clothes just for fun!  If only this sumptuous floor length shearling frock coat was mine!  This is by a British design label I've been introduced to by Image called Nigel Preston & Knight.

The late Nigel Preston was a British designer who specialised in suede and leather for over thirty years and I was interested to learn that in his heyday, where he led, houses like Gucci and Hermès would follow.  He was an artist, musician and singer who had a love of clothes design and who started out making stage clothes for friends and rock stars of the late sixties, working from Pete Townsend’s (The Who) recording studio in London.  In the mid-seventies he opened his own shop, Maxfield Parrish, just off the Kings Road.

The Nigel Preston & Knight collections were founded by Preston and his wife Brenda Knight in 2007.  They became renowned for artisan hand-painting and decorative techniques as well as for exquisite form and pattern cutting inspired by Knight’s collection of 18th century antique clothing, accessories and fabrics - a collection which was sourced from her travels to the antique markets of European cities like London, Paris, Milan, Venice and as far away as India. (Doesn't that just make you want to quit your day job right now?)

Knight also released her women's collection in 2007 and when Preston passed away a couple of years ago she took over the business.  Knight's designs take inspiration from 18th century old French Priest Coats, Edwardian frock coats and military jackets or antique silk and lace jackets, blouses and skirts.  Now that is my kind of designer!

The design house's expertise in cutting leather is evident in the cut and fall of this coat.  It looks more as if it has been cut from luxury cloth like satin or heavy velvet.  I love the way the collar falls into a relaxed frill.  It makes the perfect partner to dress up blue jeans and would also look fabulous over evening wear.  And it is so warm!!! As a petite, short person I am often warned away from floor length coats by style guides, but try seeing if I care wrapped up in this when we plunge into subzero temperatures in the height of winter.

Boyfriend dearest, this is on my Christmas wish list!  Have a word with Santa will you?

Nigel Preston & Knight floor length black Shearling jacket. Available at Image in Bath.


  1. Wonderful coat. it does look on you. I am sure boyf will have a word with Santa, he, he, he.
    I love Bath. Last time I was there acouple of years ago we had delicious tea and scones in Sally Lunn´s.
    Un abrazo de los fuertes.

  2. The coat is killing me, it is so great, and I love exactly what you're wearing with it. I hope Santa swings by your house this year!

  3. That coat is magical, I'm not surprised you love it so.
    I love those jeans you're wearing...details, please! xxx

  4. @sacramento @jill815 - I'm just teasing the poor boyfriend ladies - It's all right honey I'm JUST KIDDING! (he reads my blog on his commute home)

    @Vintage Vixen - the jeans are J Brand's Love Story - bought a couple of years ago and they were not cheap. I've noticed the price of them has gone up by 50% since then!!! I'm wondering how much of that can be blamed on the price of cotton skyrocketing.
    Tip for your jumble sale hunts - check if they still do a line for Topshop. After I got mine Topshop collaborated with JBrand and they sold EXACTLY the same designs for half the price as "JBrand for Topshop". I was so incensed I err..bought another pair in black!

  5. Whazt a wonderful coat! I hope Santa will be kind ;)

    (Damit, we have night-frost already and I have no new coat or "kind Santa" anywhere near me...*freezing*)

  6. It's a gorgeous coat...are the edges unfinished?

  7. Wow. My jaw hit the floor. What a gorgeous coat. I hope Santa and your boyfriend are on good terms because you deserve this beauty!

    (Regarding your comment, I'm not entirely sure why that Labor Day "rule" exists either! I did a little research and found this article: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1920684,00.html)

  8. My god, so gorgeous -- coat and model! I can see the 18th century and other historical inspirations in the cut and fall. This thing was made to be worn by you -- I hope boyfriend dearest sees it, too! Then you can tie a nice silk scarf to cover your face, choose some tall boots, find a brace of pistols and a fast horse (midnight black), and hold up some elegant carriages on rural highways all winter long.

  9. It looks fab! It really should be a must on the Christmas list!


  10. OMG. That's leather?!!!!!! I really hope Santa brings you your dream coat - you look wonderful in it. Stuff the rulebook. You look hot! Yes I wish I could have Knight's old job of trawling the planet for 100+y.o. clothing. I've checked out Image - very, very, spesh! xo

  11. WOW! That is one glam coat, hope Santa comes through for you!

  12. What a beautiful coat! This would definitely be a forever item, which then doing the maths on 'price-per-wear' might actually not be THAT expensive (especially not if you lived in Greenland where you could wear the coat pretty much every day).
    I loved reading all this information about Nigel Preston & will follow your links to find out more.

  13. Beautiful coat. I have a washable faux shearling coat because the real shearling seemed somewhat heavy on me. I can actually put the coat in the washing machine and hang to dry. I will post a picture of it this weekend on my blog. Shearling reminds me of riding on a horse in the snow and after a long jaunt coming back to the cabin and reading a book by the fire.

  14. @Boheme Noir - it is on those kind of freezing nights you describe when paying out for a coat like this suddenly seems like it will be worth every penny spent! Hope you get the winter coat of your dreams.

    @Terri - the edges are indeed unfinished.

    @Jessica - deserving...hmmm yes I should whisper that word into bf's ear every night...Thanks for the article about white after Labour Day - some interesting theories!

    @Cloud of Secrets - LOL! How did you know "Stand and Deliver" was my favourite track and Adam Ant an early fashion icon of mine!

    @Ioana Liliana Gheorghe, @Pearl Westwood, @kirstyb - thanks ladies, I might just sneak it back on to the wish list again!

    @Pull Your Socks Up - oh so glad you had a look at Image! And yes - oh to wander European markets for antiques for a inspiration.

    @TJWisdom - "Shearling reminds me of riding on a horse in the snow and after a long jaunt coming back to the cabin and reading a book by the fire." Oh that is such a romantic and beautiful image! Damn now I want that coat even more!!

    @SabinePsynopsis - I get cold enough in England to wear something like this every day during winter! Glad you liked the links. Nigel Preston is a very interesting designer.

  15. WOW! That is absolutely gorgeous!!! How much is it? I must have this in my closet!


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