Fabulous vintage glossy black soft and long (47.5 inches) faux fur coat. All about dark romantic elegance, this dates from either the late 1980s to mid 1990s; when they were a perennial in top dept stores every year in this style. I worked in a London dept store then and each year they would come in late August on a long rail in black or dark brown, and you'd put them on the shop floor and the rail would be mobbed, and replaced with another lot of stock before finally selling out by late September. Never could understand why they didn't order more for run up to Xmas. I suspect they just couldn't keep up with demand. I can recall fights between the cosmetics counter girls over the last remaining ones, and same would happen following year! I lent mine to a friend and she never gave it me back an she moved away! Annoying as they were about £250 at the time!
They were simply classic black elegance, and I know this is one of them but they'd have the same model in each high end dept store, usually labelled with the store brand. This one however the label has come off.
They were a 'must have' for those years, and even now they are still worn which is why they are hard to come by in good condition. You'd see them at the races maybe it saw Desert Orchid run (still see them at the races now...they are warm), in the snow Chelsea & Kensington at Xmas & lounging at Harvey Nicks 5th floor cafe afterwards (still do) and definitely in the queues for bands like Sisters of Mercy, or contemporary dark wave bands now like She Past Away. People don't part with them and they are rare and timeless if you look after them.
But whether a classic vamp or a wannabe vampyr, these coats were not for the shrinking violet. They oozed glamour, and the soft sensual nap, the way they'd float out behind, the depth of the back, yet the glossy sheen, you just had to have one!
This one all over is as new, but there is one issue. The collar has some 'crush marks' on the one side. You can see these in the last picture. I suspect they could be from a cross body handbag buckle (which were in fashion at the time), or possibly hair straighteners accidentally touching as the owner gave her hair a final tweak before going out , or pressed against something like a metal hanger for a while in an over packed wardrobe. It doesn't to me detract from the overall look of the coat, as you get these marks anyway as it is touched temporarily in the nap. Apart form that it looks exactly as they did on our rails, with no loss of the sheen as fax furs are inclined t get with wear. No 'seat mark' for eg or general shoulder bag shoulder wear, or signs it has ever got soaking wet (which affected the sheen esp if dried near direct heat). If it wasn't for the small marks in the pile on the collar which as I say don't really detract, it is like new; and I'd have no hesitation of pricing it at £300 as these are so much better than modern fax furs. Not a heavy coat but certainly has enough weight to drape and move rather more nicely than those too.
Size wise, it would fit up to a UK 12 (a 14 a bit more snugly) as you'd want a bit of room in them for the drama when you walk, though I am a size 8 UK and can also wear.
The cuffs turn back to the required length or can be pulled down over the hands on real cold days! Done up it has a straight column sheath look but open because there is plenty of fabric as you can see from the video it has a real cloak like swagger when you walk. Unlike the md 1980s, it hasn't got the huge shoulder pads, so it's very long and sleek looking.
And when you see those girls dressed in their summer clothes...in Autumn and winter shivering...well hun you just Paint it Black and watch their heads quickly turn away as you catch them looking at you....a real elegant femme fatale head turner.
I recall 1988 when I first saw this particular style, both the Mighty Lemon Drops and Echo & the Bunnymen did covers of 'Paint it Black' and you'd even wear your coat like this on the dance floor to dance to them in Camden or Electrowerks. Ultimate goth glamour.
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