Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

Good coat gone bad : Balenciaga camel coat

balenciaga camel coat

It’s always disappointing when a good item of clothing goes bad, isn’t it?

We’re talking here about those otherwise perfect items: the ones that SHOULD be on our “Wanted!” list, but which end up in Fashion Police Jail, on a minor misdemeanour. They’re the good clothes gone bad: the ones we’d love if it wasn’t one for one tiny little detail that ruins an otherwise perfect item. We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? There you are, rummaging through the rails in your favourite store, when all of a sudden you see what LOOKS like the perfect dress. Excitedly, you pull it from the rack… only to find that it has a giant cut-out section on the ribs, or it’s completely backless, meaning there’s no bra in the world you could wear with it.

Take this Balenciaga coat, for instance.

It was love at first sight when we saw this coat: in fact, we were all set to add it to our ‘Wanted!” list earlier this week. Well, a camel coat is one of those timeless classics, isn’t it? It’s one of those items that always appears on lists if items “all women” must own, and with good reason, too: we don’t always agree with the items on those lists, but we do love a camel coat, which adds an instant dose of style to almost any outfit.

On first inspection, this one looks perfect: beautifully cut, classic colour, but with the asymmetric buttons giving it a nice little twist. Then we scrolled down, and WHOA! What’s happening at the hem? Because it looks like the last person to wear this coat must’ve leaned against a freshly-painted railing or something, and OMG! Is that PAINT on our £1,995 Balenciaga coat? Because we don’t know about you, but that definitely looks like paint to us – and although in this case it’s supposed to be a design feature, it has exactly the same effect on us as an act of vandalism would: it ruins an otherwise beautiful coat.

Why do they do it?

Why do these good clothes go bad? We’ll probably never know, but it’s likely the designer’s attempt to make them look “edgy”. That word is to blame for a LOT of fashion crimes, we find. Because designers just can’t leave well alone, can they? They can’t content themselves with creating the perfect camel coat: they have to make it “different” and “edgy” – and often that comes at the expense of totally ruining it.

Think about it, though: if you were spending that much money on a coat, would you want a timeless classic, or a coat with a strip of pink paint on the bottom, which guarantees that every time you wear it, you’ll spend the entire day telling concerned friends that no, it’s OK, you didn’t ruin your coat with paint, it’s SUPPOSED to look like it’s been ruined with paint, because that’s the difference between “fashion” and just “clothes”.

Because we know which one we’d choose…

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