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Power dressing

1 year ago

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Andrew English | Journalist


13 January 2023

I used to walk through Brighton’s North Lanes when it was still a cornucopia of tiny musty-smelling shops selling dusty bric-a-brac. One particular shop predated by decades ‘vintage’ as a fashion trend, but for several months had displayed the most extraordinarily beautiful coat in its front window.

It was a worn and faded magenta leather coat; high collared, wasp-waisted and double breasted with two columns of buttons fashioned as tiny rose buds. Highly distinctive, this was clearly an elderly fashion piece of the highest quality and made regardless of expense; but it was tiny, really tiny.

Eventually I walked in and asked about it. Turns out it was an Edwardian women’s motoring coat, over 80 years old, but still highly desirable and in quite wearable condition.

‘Just a pity there’s no one small enough to wear it,’ said the proprietor wistfully.

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