This ladies’ ‘Song Coat’ is modelled on turn-of-the-century men’s frock coats. Its calico lining is emblazoned with block-printed images (patched and pin-stitched) summoned from Somerset’s oldest and best-loved folk songs.
The coat can be made to order in our standard size range (UK 8-22) in a choice of Harris Tweed or Japanese wool & linen. Prices start at £1400. Our current lead time is approximately 6 weeks.
Details include: a high, buttoned, masculine collar, left breast pocket, hip pockets, fitted bodice with hand-stitched buttonholes and Blue black washed buttons, a pleated skirt at the back to create fullness and a vent to reveal the coat’s lining when on the move. Working sleeves are buttoned and shortened a little.
Block-printed imagery is in Midnight blue and comes from the songs ‘As I walked through the Meadows’, ‘Bruton Town’, ‘Green Broom’, ‘Sovay, Sovay’, ‘The Crystal Spring’, ‘The Seeds of Love’, ‘The Sprig of Thyme’ and ‘The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O!’
The coat has a block-printed, patched maker’s label.
As with all our garments, this highly individual coat - the brainchild of artists Janet Tristram and Cameron Short - is entirely handmade in rural England. Consequently, it is imbued with a gentle, artisanal feeling.
The story behind the ‘Somerset Song Coat’ - Our ‘Song Coats’ celebrate the exploits of song-hunter Cecil J Sharp in 1903. Over the course of a few years, Sharp roamed Somerset on his humble bicycle, amassing more than 1,600 songs from 350 singers. His objective was preservation, and he recorded both lyrics and melodies expertly - his only tools a pencil and a well-trained ear. Sharp understood that these songs wove generations together, and bestowed on folk a sense of identity and belonging. Indeed, they are a powerful combination of utility and beauty. It is these two qualities we wanted to mirror in our coats - each should warm not just the body but the heart too. The coats’ linings are patched with a variety of strange and beautiful images concocted from the lyrics of the songs (these songs tell fanciful and peculiar stories - some dark, some light - and provided us, the artists, with an abundance of rich imagery to interpret). As the singers of yesteryear carried these folk melodies close to their hearts, so too does the coat wearer - literally.
If you’d like to order a coat or have any questions, feel free to email (email@example.com) or telephone 01460 30268.
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