This week, we take another look at the lives our clothes have led and the memories forever linked with them. For some reason, we associate memories with objects—or in this case, clothing. Every time I look inside, I think that my closet is, in a small way, some sort of prism through which I see the world.
Project Alabama Garment #17821
Built in September 2005
Pattern: A-359 Long Coat
Fabric: 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Outer layer color: Sapphire
Backing layer color: Black
Beads: Black bugle and chop
Sequins: Gun Metal
Seams: Inside felled
Owner: Natalie Chanin
The Beaded Facets Coat was originally created for the Project Alabama Spring/Summer 2006 Collection, as you can see in the picture above left. It was presented in the first and only runway show we ever produced (thank you Gail Dizon, Jennifer Venditti, Lori Goldstein, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Ruby Jane, and to UPS—who sponsored the show). I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that show made the cover of Women’s Wear Daily the next morning. I had to look three times to realize that it was actually the cover and not from the interior of the magazine. There were eventually 14 of these coats produced in both the Amber and Sapphire colorways shown above for Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Jeffrey Atlanta, and a few special clients.
The garment you see above at right is my coat as it looks today, created in Sapphire and Black for the 2005 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards red carpet. In the photo below, you can see the coat—ten years ago—after the awards ceremony at the Lakeside Lounge photo booth (one of my favorite spots on earth, RIP).
The coat has since been passed around to several friends, has walked down other red carpets, and danced at a few parties (perhaps on tables). It’s back in my closet now and one of my all-time favorites. At some point, I sewed an Alabama Chanin label into the garment, as the original garment label went missing. Wonder what happened to that?
P.S.: Thanks to my friends Lisa Fox, J. Wes Yoder, David Latimer, and Maggie’s father, Butch Anthony for such a lovely document of that time. You’ll notice that I was also pregnant in this photo above; I PROMISE not to make all of these posts about pregnant me.
See the first “From the Archives” post here.