The Coat Route:

When Meg Lukens Noonan reads about a bespoke coat costing $50,000.00 being made by the Australian taylor John H. Cutler, she decides to learn more about it.  This takes her on a fascinating journey behind the coat's rare and expensive materials.  She travels to South America to find out about the costliest material in the world, vicuña, and she goes to the wild moors of Yorkshire to learn about wool.  She also learns about gold engraving and silk. 

This fascinating book also relates the history of the Australian wool trade and technology's destructive effect on the English 'rag trade'. I especially enjoyed the information about dress in the young Australian colony.

Anyone interested in fashion, luxury and history will enjoy this book.  In these days of cheap and disposable clothing largely made by people suffering in dreadful conditions, it is good to read about luxurious materials and garments being made with loving care.  I was also pleased that the famous and prestigious taylor who made the coat is an Australian, but saddened to read that his company is in some trouble. I am not sure about the Australian who wears bespoke cashmere underwear, however - that is really a bit much.


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