Vintage 1980s Mansfield black white Houndstooth wool velvet collar equestrian riding jacket fit flare tailored fitted figure flattering
Frank Russell was known as the 'King of Coats' for good reason and as 15 year old started as a lookout against Oswald Moseley's fascists in his father's Jewish tailor workshop, where he learened pattern cutting. He was a keen amateur boxer and eventually served in WWII as a radio operator. They should make a movie about him. His coats and separates would by the late 1970s be worn by the likes of Lady Diana.
But of all his pieces over the years this is one of my favourites, and even inspired me to create something similar. It is so figure flattering and eventually I will get one my size! I have sold a few UK size 12 14s and 16s.
This is a modern uk size 12 tough it is marked 14 as vintage sizing was smaller.
It dates from around 1987/88. Just 8 years before you'd have thought houndstooth had been done to death by inferior mass produced tat for the teenage ska market, but then something astounding happened in 1984, which resulted in a revival of the fabric that lasted over a decade. A band called Mat Bianco release a single called 'Lazy Bed' and DJ Peter P:owell sniggered at their 'vintage' jackets: this was something different. The 40s and 50s jazz and do wop influenced band all wore houndstooth but in vintage style with the female co vocalist Basia wearing black leather gloves and tight pencil skirt for a 'total look' : so glamorous. Well that brought houndstooth back with a vengeance and now it had teeth of real glamour.
The styles eventually became even more tailored and by the late 80s Mansfield released this truly iconic jacket. It had an equestrian Edwardian elegance about it and just look at the flare at the rear! Amazing with jeans and boots or indeed a black hobble skirt. Though equally glam with the above knee leather or velvet pencil skirts or even full ones. It was versatile! And so sublimely elegant.
Of all the houndstooth, known as Pied de poule in France where they have eternal love affair with it, of this period or any other since. I'd take one of these over any. That goes for the Chanel and the rest tbh. Chanel keep banging hounstooth on the runway again this year and why not it's been around since well before the birth of Christ, so it is the ultimate classic weave, though the term wasn't coined until 1936.
Only one for me that comes close to it was Alexander McQueen's 'Horn of Plenty' jacket similarly cut and inconceivable he didn't know of this Mansfield one. If it was a size 8 it wouldn't be on here, it is just too full in the back for me. There will be one out there for me I will get eventually!
It's simply magical and iconic don't mess about you won't be disappointed if you like a but of real feminine equestrian look glamour.
Mansfield excelled even by their standards on this piece. a beautiful Edwardian looking button makes the single closure in front and away you skip with a spring in your step it's so lovely!
top of page
bottom of page