Friday, January 10, 2014

Bonnie Cashin: Mohair Blanket Coat, Up Close

This 1960's Bonnie Cashin coat for Sills was found recently by Miss A who shared it with me in an excited text message. My respose: So when do I get to see it in person!. For me, coming across a Cashin coat in a vintage or thrift store is like finding a colorful sea shell on a wide sandy beach. Eureka!

This coat has that classic Cashin silhouette: kimono sleeves attached in one with the body. This allows that bold plaid check to continue out onto the sleeves without breaking up the graphic look.

But what stops the show here is a great, dramatic cape like collar. On closer study, it seems to have been inspired by a triangle shawl shape. Imagine folding a large square wool shawl into a triangle then draping it around your shoulders, over a coat. This has that same effect.

What pushes it over the top is that this shawl collar is cut from a wildly colored double cloth: fuzzy amber, orange and red colors on the outer mohair textured side with a blinding magenta pink and red on the other smooth surfaced side. That contrast is used to its advantage with this collar design since how its worn or draped can effect whether that contrast is seen or not.

Narrow suede trim binds off all edges. The coat is not lined, so that bright pink and red side is clearly seen when worn. Like so many Cashin wool coats, this one has roomy pockets in the side seams. It was designed with a very wide hook fastening at the neckline that at one time were covered in suede. The center front would hang loose and unfastened.

I will share the inner workings of this design and the technologies she used to create the look in my next post on this great coat.

If you are interested in seeing more designs from Bonnie Cashin, you will want to check out the links below:
Bonnie Cashin Online Resource, UCLA, Biography with Photo Archive
Bonnie Cashin, my Pinterest Board (a growing collection of images)


Lizzie said...

How utterly fantastic! I can't wait to see the details.

Lynn said...

I love the back view! To me, this color combination is so sixties. I read somewhere that Cashin had to go into sewing factories and teach the stitchers to make the fine details like that narrow suede trim. Don't I wish I had been there to learn!