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Ah wonderful such soft smooth quality suede unlike much of the coarse suedes of the late 1970s and 70s this is much more supple & fine like a kid doeskin or chamois leather. It has trim & cuffs of the most gorgeous immaculate soft glossy sheared sheepskin 'mouton' also referred to as shearling now, or beaver lamb back in the day, as it resembled sheared beaver. Really is special the fur on this one.


It is ideal for a UK size 10, or an 8 (I am the latter, so would be a little more fitted on a 10)
It is a light coat, in very fine suede so not a winter coat but perfect for Autumn and Spring and for British seaside breeze in the evenings! Or of course if you are from warmer climes but like the glamour of such a coat but don't want anything too heavy and warm. Having said hat it is lovely and warm round the neck and cuffs! 

Has hidden brass popper fastenings, that actually look quite cool & Mod when the coat is undone I think too.


There is one tiny mark barely noticeable on the suede at the front, but I really don't want to mess with it as its faint and it could make it worse. You will see it if you look but you will have to. I just need to let you know it's there . Otherwise the coat is perfect exterior. And as I say such smooth luxury. Chic and classy.


The evolution of this style is a fusion of influences, that come to a head to me in this perfect example. The early 1960s saw suede coats with a straight lie, both in  utility straight masculine styles Mod girls favoured for seaside scooter runs on less than ideal British bank holidays, and more luxurious fur trimmed ones, both 'big' fur and shorter sheared type. As the 60s progressed other influences came in to play.


 You had in 1966 the movie Dr Zhivago, which brought in to play Russian Tasrina looks, and often this exact kind of coat would have added front frogging braid for eg. In addition the French, already pioneering what would become later Mod looks in their New Wave cinema with the style of actresses like Anna Karina in fur trim coats (eg Alphaville) with of course her Mod bob a re-boot of 1920s flapper haircut. Talking of 'reboots', this was also the time of Soviet pioneering in fashion and their teaming of tailored slightly flared short furs & trim coats with a variety of lengths of their new zipper boots invented by Vera Aralova. The Soviets declined commercial interest due to their anti capitalist stance so the west simply copied the styles. Ankle, calf, knee and over knee boots caused sensation and were soon everywhere in the west. Russian had actually pioneered fashion heeled boots for women in the 1920s too, but only thoroughly Modern Millies ever wore them they did not catch on at that time in the west. But by the mid 60s, boots were everywhere in film tv and in the shops and streets. It was a revolution and especially teamed with the later fitted coats that flared, and shorter skirts. The zips enabled much more shape to boots, though the initial styles were fur trim flat ankle boots. But thank Vera Aralova anyway if a fan of any zip boots. And of course, the Cold War Russian spy girls in the secret agent movies of the 60s always had to have that bit of fur.


If anyone could rock these modern boots apart from Nancy Sinatra , it was The Avengers girls. Diana Rigg as Mrs Peel then Lind Thorsen's Tara King in 1968. Espeically with the right coat be it Diana Rigg's Jean Varon coats and dresses or Tara seminal style. In fact the Secret Agent theme inspired first by James Bond 007  movies then The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was everywhere in popular culture, and the Mods more than anyone embraced it as a lifestyle inspiration. The suits, the girls, the glamour all aspirational for working class youth. As they aged, the girls in particular wanted more feminine glamorous styles than the boyish looks they began with, and embraced style icons like April Dancer, played by Stephanie Powers in the spin off Girl from U.N.C.L.E. that aired 1967.


By now too in France Pierre Cardin, Courreges. YSL and Lanvin were mixing the space age Mod looks with new fit & flare shapes including with natural fabrics like suede and leather and teamed with boots, and even some of  that Russian influence. So you also had necklines reminiscent of cosmonaut funnel neck for eg. This has an element of that , though some may say well there were Nehru and mandarin collars too that time. And for sure ethno suedes and sheepskins were making waves, and the Afghan coat had made its debut. But the 'shaggy' and embroidered coats would never have been up the Mods street. It HAD to be smart, and have a modern not archaic ethno look. That was for hippies and so there were also these much more chic styles. So the clean line of the neo funnel neck on this coat for eg was ideal for the bob haircuts they sported. And that fur in the front kept the scooter rider in mini skirt and boots warm. I spoke with an original Mod I met at Goodwood Revival who sold me a few examples 7 years she had collected and recorded her reminiscing to me (cue Bromley Sarf accent):


"I had a leather and suede coat for a few years but was never warm enough riding pillion on a Lambretta in a skirt - so you'd be stuck in 'orrid ski pants ....and I didn't like those scruffy yak coats. So think it was 1966 before I got one cut like the Alphaville coat in front but with a collar. My daughter took that to Uni in the 90s and had it knicked unfortunately. but I bought these four over next 2 years, all suede and fur diff colours. All regular scooter wear but I didn't get my own Vespa until 69 the Mod scene was still going strong Margate and the London clubs we wuz ideal placed Bromley.  We then got an MG and that was just as cold with the top down! But so we felt like in a James Bond movie in that doing the coastal routes....but was so cold! Did you know we were getting sick from wearing minis back then? Mini Skirt-itis straight up...literally the draught ! Gawd knows how these girls nowadays manage they ain't got any sort of coats but I suppose they aren't out in it for long everywhere's heated these days now."


A real character and still so cool and I learned much from Val about the Mod scene I told her she should write a book as the ones I've read don't really have all the nuanced input from such people. She had Paco Rabbanne stuff too but that was way out of my price range she sold at auction well I think.  Of course I bought the coats . One of them very similar to this but with frogging on the front. That was from 1967 she thought but I think this one a more refined and perhaps slightly later version I'd say c 1968 or even 69. 


Another Mod I follow on social media modelled himself on Napoleon Solo down to mannerisms! Such great style. 


So my 'Spirit of the Age' song for this coat, is 'Secret Agent Man' by Johhny Rivers 1966

"Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Oh, be careful what you say
Or you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret Agent Man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Swinging on the Riviera one day
And then laying in a Bombay alley next day
Oh, don't you let the wrong words slip
While kissing persuasive lips
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow..."

So the only question now having decided on acquiring this coat, is who you are going to seduce in it Spy Girl? I think this coat has many more stories of intrigue romance and secrets never to be told to come.....

vintage late 1960s suede mouton fur front collar cuffs MOD spy girl Dr Zhivago

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