What: 1980/90s kimono inspired jacket
Where: Beacon’s Closet, Brooklyn, US
History Behind the Garment
Throughout history fashion has progressed from simple and functional to wearable art. Claude’s garment is an example of clothing that is not necessarily practical, yet it’s a statement piece with its glittery pattern, shape and pleats which make it stand out from other black jackets. However, once upon a time some of us would not have been permitted to wear such garments.
With the increased use of different materials, feathers, embellishments and trimmings fashion became more and more varied over time and by the fourteenth century laws were introduced to put limitations on what people wore in order to restrict and differentiate classes. These laws stated what materials and colours of fabric people could wear. For example people who earned twenty pounds a year were allowed to wear a satin doublet but not a satin gown (the same fabric from which Claude’s garment is made). If you were lucky enough to earn one hundred pounds a year you were permitted to wear as much satin as you pleased, however you were only allowed to wear velvet on doublets and even then they couldn’t be crimson or blue velvet. Thankfully these restrictions no longer exist, otherwise if Claude were a poor student she would be breaking the law by wearing this garment.
Story Behind the Garment
This is a true story written by Claude…..
When I used to live in New York City I met a group of cool kids through a video clip set. One of them was Swedish and worked in fashion. He had the coolest and craziest style! We became close and I was very inspired by him, I would borrow his outfits all the time because I was too shy to buy anything similar. He always looked so fabulous!
For Halloween in 2013 I decided to dress as Michael Jackson and once again borrowed one of his fabulous glittery embroidered jackets. I had so many compliments that I asked him if I could buy it. He firmly refused as it was one of his favourite jackets but instead he invited me to go with him to Beacon’s Closet where he had purchased it. For those that don’t know it is the Mecca of every fashionista fan of vintage in Brooklyn. You can sell your own articles as well. No matter the reason for your visit, you WILL find a treasure. So I went there in order to find a similar jacket but couldn’t. Disappointed I was leaving when I saw a rack with all the items that people had tried but weren’t sure of and would leave on “Hold” for the day. That’s when I saw it, this amazing glittered kimono. Why would anyone have to think twice about purchasing it when for me it was love at first sight?! So I took it from the rack when no one was watching and went straight to the cashier to purchase it. My first fabulous purchase! Ever since I have been obsessed with kimonos, glitter and sequins, and have not been afraid to look too over the top again.
Cotton and Woolley xx
Illustration of Haley Kigbo