Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wait, Bill Cunningham Is The Godfather Of The Down Coat?

So according to my favorite street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, this is apparently the first down coat. It was designed by Charles James in 1937.

As Cunningham explains in his latest NY Times audio slideshow, he introduced James to some hotshot illustrator/club kid named Antonio Lopez [below] in the 70s. Lopez saw the coat, flipped out, and eventually made a presentation to fashionistas assembled about how down sleeping bags are the Coats of The Future, which prompted Norma Kamali to race home and design one.

Someone needs to sit Bill Cunningham down pronto and start prying all his other fashion secrets out of him. That man is a national treasure.

On The Street | Puffed [nyt via theawl]
Evening Jacket, Charles James, 1937 [victoria & albert museum]