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The Times June 2005, How to stay warm beautifully


The Times - 10 June 2005
How to stay warm, beautifully

By Lucia van der Post

As one who has frozen at summer events from Glyndebourne to Ascot, I've been trying to find the answer for years. But this year there is a spectacularly glamorous and comforting solution - a divine evening coat. They're everywhere.
Almost every designer from Marni and Paul Smith to Betty Jackson and Cacharel has a version.

The great thing about them is that you can wear almost anything you like under them and still look beautifully glam. The secret of the coat is that to look suitably swishing and elegant it shouldn't be in wool (or, put it this way, wool may provide the warmth but it doesn't provide the evening glamour). They should be in silk (padded, if you can find them), brocade or satin.

There's Miu Miu's delicious rose-and-cream floral coat which is hard to beat for sheer prettiness. Vera Wang has a supremely elegant, structured number in white and green brocade – very, very cool - while Jean Muir has also turned to brocade for a sophisticated take on the evening coat. Derek Lam goes in for a good mix of prettiness and elegance using a lovely red-and-white floral silk.

For those with more off-beat taste, Karina Duebner of Tamerlane-s Daughters offers one-off items of clothing that she calls 'a fusion of tribal and couture'. She incorporates antique pieces, embroidery from Uzbekistan and golden amulets from Ottoman wedding dresses. She has some good flamboyant evening coats.

A glamorous evening coat isn't going to be cheap but it ought to see you through summer evenings for years to come, so regard it as investment dressing.

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