Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d been scouring The RealReal and YOOX for a past season houndstooth bolero jacket by Stella McCartney.
This is what was holding me in its thrall.
I realized after several months of waiting that it might be a while before this jacket would appear and it might not appear at a reasonable price and even if it did, there was a good chance that the overly stiff fabric would look ridiculous on me.
So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a jacket like this myself.
Understand that when I say “make myself,” I mean “bring something to Fatima and describe what I want and see what she can do.”
This is what I brought to Fatima along with photos of the Stella McCartney jacket and a selfie showing the blouse pinned, wrapped, and held by me.
I seem to have deleted the selfie from my phone.
All I had to do was wear it backwards, reshape the opening of the former back/now front, tighten the fit, and shorten the former front/now back by approximately 24 inches.
As I am sure you can imagine, Fatima was really into it.
Here’s where things get really interesting.*
I planned to wear this bolero jacket with a lace blouse (as Stella McCartney had shown it) and tweed pants (which I don’t own) or jeans (which I do).
But I had to go to a fancy cocktail party last weekend and was planning to wear this old outfit when I realized that the bolero might work very well instead.
The jacket will also look beautiful with this, this (but what shoes?), and this.
Allow me to walk you around my creation.
We’re still walking.
Fatima and I had a mild disagreement about the back. She felt that it should fit snugly, but I wanted the back to hang like a rain shield on a trench coat.
Are you noticing the cats in the background? In this photo, they are in column formation. A sloppy column, but a column nevertheless. Posy is, regrettably, laying on the kitchen table.
You might be asking, “Directrice, why do you bother?”
I’ve asked myself the same question and have realized the answer is this. I don’t have the artist’s hands or the craftsman’s skill to create beautiful things from raw materials, but I do have imagination and artistic impulses. This is my creative self.
I recently was introduced to a reader (one of you!) by Fatima** and we agreed that having a wonderful seamstress in your life changes your relationship to clothes. The specifications of a manufactured garment are only a suggestion. An opening bid. An invitation. The only real limitation is $$$$.
Kate recently wrote that she had a stack of things to bring to Fatima and her wallet was trembling. I love the image.
I like my houndstooth bolero better than the Stella McCartney one!
Jacket: Rokh blouse as modified by Fatima and The Directrice; Dress: Elie Tahari; Boots: Donna Piu
* Really interesting? More like, somewhat interesting strictly within the context of this post.
** Kate needed a good tailor and read about Fatima in one of my posts. Fatima mentioned to me that one of my readers had dropped off some clothing for alteration and so I left one of my cards with Fatima to give her! If you need a good seamstress in your life, you can reach Fatima at Bespoke Tailoring, 1100 New York Avenue NW, Washington DC. Always call first, because her schedule varies; her number is 571/313-9760.
23 thoughts on “My Big Idea”
This is really amazing. I love it! Bravo to you and Fatima for your shared skill and imagination
Today’s post made me LOL. Last week I read a story about the “Topless Jacket taking the internet by storm.” It was a sweat suit style jacket that was cut off just below the shoulders, revealing your entire bra and stomach area. Extremely immodest and not practical for every day wear.
Your bolero jacket is pretty and innovative. It looks lovely on you. Nice to wear over a dress or shirt for added oomph.
Topless Jacket is really . . . sleeves, which is not unlike this bolero — but the bolero is only to be worn OVER clothes. Not over underwear. Shudder, shudder. The bolero will be my alternative to wearing a blouse under certain sleeveless dresses and hopefully will give them more days outside my closet!
Someone alert Stella McCartney – maybe you have a second career as a designer, Directrice! Very cool.
This is one of my favorite outfits you have posted – so cool!
Love it!! And I like yours better than Stella’s, too.
P.S. I am so jealous of your Fatima!
Your jacket is so much more interesting and flattering that McCartney’s. Love it. I really need a Fatima in my life.
Stunning! I second MJ. You absolutely have a second career as a designer waiting for you.
A superb garment!
I am always fascinated by the creations that you and Fatima are able to conceive. I have a dress that needs to be restyled into a skirt but I have no Fatima in my life.
This is truly brilliant.
Those sleeves! *swoon*
It’s great. I adore the floppy pussy bow at the front. So pretty and flattering. The tartan like fabric and the bolero style reminds me of looks from the 1930s, which I adore. Your clever little jacket would therefore look great also with a midi length bias cut skirt or dress. Maybe a black velvet or textured style of fabric? That particular shape would also echo the flared ‘rain shield’ at the back. Further, I think you were right to leave the back in that style you did, as it is reminiscent of the trench coat lining-like print of the fabric. As others say, it’s much better than Stella’s! Bravo to you and to Fatima. (I’d like to see a post with Fatima and featuring some clothes of her own she has made and loves.)
What a brilliant re-style! Insprired by the Stella McCartney, but much more wearable. I agree the stiff fabric would have been overwhelming. Your flowy version is much more flattering and versatile. Well done!
Absolutely wonderful. I want one! And a Fatima I hope she reads your blog. An absolute triumph.
I agree with you Justine — a post with Fatima if she’s willing.
Trembling wallet here. I love that blouse immoderately in both its old and new versions. You and Fatima are a creative dynamo. I’m also a huge fan of that dress. Its shape is exquisite, and the color splendid. While that color and its near kin make me look like death warmed over, that fact never stops me from buying or wearing items in such riotously wonderful shades. In the past few months alone a wool moto jacket, a silk velvet tee, and just a day ago, a six-foot long ribbed wool scarf in these lovely colors have brightened my life—and sworn like a drunken sailor at my complexion!
Thank you, Victoria, for all your compliments. You are the one who help me create this art piece and thank you for your support as always. And I would like to say thanks to every one who wrote heart warming comments thank you guys for the support. Feel free anyone to contact me. Thanks again I really appreciate it.
A gorgeous collaboration and beautiful work, as always, by Fatima. Fatima, if you happen to have a clone in New York City, please share her details, as I’m too far away to enjoy your gifted work.
I enjoy so many aspects of this blog, but one of the most valuable to me has been to learn to see the possibility in pieces that I might have just passed over before. There are a number of pieces in my closet that, with the adjustments I learned about here, have become go-to favorites.
I agree and like your version better than Stella’s! (And I enjoy the background cats 🙂 )
I absolutely love this outfit and I love it even more that you designed the overlay by wearing it backwards!