RARE Vintage Monique CDV Paris 1970s snow leopard faux fur coat animal print hip length jacket fit flare fitted wide lapel glam rock punk
I purchased this from a vendor in the Croydon/Bromley area, but its a vintage 1970s piece made in France by Comme de Vrai.
Likely made early to mid 1970s, though I chose for styling theme the later 1970s as for a period in the mid 1970s they had
gone out of fashion swiftly, partly down to Coronation St's Bette Lynch who ironically would later be part responsible for making them cool.
In the 1930s 1940s 50s & 60s leopard print coats were associated with luxury & elegance. Jane Wyman, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Bancroft, Eartha Kitt, Sophia Loren, Jackie Kennedy, all wore real leopard ocelot etc fur coats; and as they were rare & expensive, they inspired a host of dyed stenciled sheepskins, rabbit & mink (the vast majority of 'real') & carious experimental new synthetics often mixed with cotton & wool, mohair used especially efectively, which still also carried kudos. Stenciling was not cheap when done well; and the very poor 1940s nylon faux furs were replaced by better quality and for the quality these processes too were expensive.
But then a barmaid in a soap opera had one. Shock horror; and the kudos the leopard coat once had of saying 'I'm a rather expensive exotic wild animal; was suddenly gone.
The mid 1970s saw charity & vintage shops awash with leopard coats and consigned to the attic, by the aspirational women who had once worn them.
They did NOT aspire to be a barmaid especially if they already were!
The connotation of barmaids and high class hookers held no issues for the punk girl. Indeed it added to the style effect and especially as there were so many discarded. By the end of 1976 you'd see both very nice leopard coats on the back of punk girls hanging round the top of King's Rd at Vivienne Westwood's shop teaming the look with fetish gear like latex fishnets & thigh boots, cheap plastic sunglasses & dayglo, striking graphic t shirts, torn & pinned back together shorts, biker leather jackets, and granny's old twin set . It was 'bricolage': the teaming of incongruous items to produce a surreal & visually 'shocking' effect.
They raided every period of history and looks from workmen''s donkey jackets to tailcoats, plastic flasher macs, old military & bandsman's jackets, to brother creeper & drapes. And the Teds, did NOT like their clobber being appropriated & their music 'abused' by out of tune guitars and vocals.
So while Teds & punks fought pitch battles on the King's Rd at this time, the girls often picked each other's styling looks especially via the King's Rd hairdressers, American diners & pubs with good juke boxes. Quiffed hair and the rockabilly revival was underway by later 1978, with punks refining many of the looks, and shops springing up to service both as the crazes swept the nation. And the Americans had come and they too had brought leopard print with them. Poison Ivy of The Cramps & Deborah Harry among them.
Against this backdrop I heard a story form an old punk about how they had waited 2 hrs trying to thumb a lift to London on the M4 from Bristol to go to a Generation X gig. 2 leather clad punk guys and a girl, who wore a faux leopard coat 'not the dayglo stuff this was seriously nice'. She wore it with torn fishnets and boots, and sported a high platinum blonde quiff a la Paula Yates look. They'd been drinking beer, and needed the loo so descended the hard shoulder bank to relive themselves. They hadn't even finished when the young lady whistled to them and they realized she had pulled a HGV driver who had stopped immediately at the sight of this glamorous punk/rockabilly girl. The driver was a bit of a Teddy Boy and his eyes rolled when the guys also climbed in; but he couldn't refuse without looking a perv. A few hours of banter on music and they were dropped off at Hammersmith. Too late for their planned visit to King's Rd so they just hung round the area for a bit. Fulham. and the famous Greyhound pub, immortalized in the punk anthem 'KIss me Deadly' By Billy Idol & crew wasn't far.
When they got there...the Greyhound was rocking alright with Maximum rockabilly as the song goes... they realized Generation X were NOT in fact playing there that night; and they had to make a mad dash to Croydon where they were actually playing; at the even more famous for punk rock, Greyhound.
'Come on, I'll give you a lift in the Cadillac...you'll go with the seats like a regular Jayne Mansfield....' a quiffed mid Atlantic guy besotted with the young lady in leopard print offered.
When they got there, the gig was half over but a roadie who looked after her coat while they threw themselves down the front. After retrieving the coat, he helped her on with it like a gentleman, and asked the three backstage. Next day...she wore it to meet her dad who lived in London for tea at the Ritz. No problem but no admission for the spiky topped leather clad guys so they had to wait for her. ''Opens doors this coat doesn't it?' she told them and they never forgot.
So I like to imagine this coat too, such sexy fitted cut and unusual markings & colour- more snow leopard - had similar experiences back in the day.
And taking of Croydon/Bromley, where this one came from, while many London hipsters consider Croydon and Bromley with a bit of snobbery, worth remembering Billy Idol was from Bromley as was Siouxsie Sioux (the Bromley 'contingent'), and The Damned & Johnny Moped were from Croydon. And you think Isliington is cool huh? And.... if the 'London sound' was actually from 'Sarf' London, Surrey & Kent then, the London look of the last 2 decades is most definitely Croydon too; and she has made the hip length leopard coat iconic: Kate Moss.
It's never going out of fashion, as long as its a quality one which you'll often get with vintage. This faux fur by Comme de Vrai (like the real) of Paris is certainly a head turner and door opener.
Size UK 10 , light in weight, and back of colour and inside edge in soft beige vinyl.
Can you rock it and look after her?
top of page
bottom of page