When I was moving, I gave my totally cool leather jacket to my son Etienne's sweetie, who thought her mother, Natasha, might like it. It was black, tight-fitting, with silver industrial zippers up both sleeves, the front seams, back seams and front closure. (A lot of zips, but it worked.)
Made by someone I never heard of, bought in a tiny French boutique, it fit me for about 15 minutes. Several weeks of patés, patisseries, and profiteroles–all the pleasurable "ps" of Paris–and, voilà, too tight by touchdown at home.
Natty seized the jacket like a fox terrier grabs a show award. She looks like Naomi Watts, slender, stylish and comfortable in both her skin and a cow's. She wrote me a sweet, slightly delirious thank-you note. When we moved to Montréal, I saw her in the jacket, and dadgummit, it was made for her.
Moving forward two years, I became smaller than when I bought the jacket and began to yearn not for my ex, specifically, but a leather jacket that kicks ass. Not a biker, like Lisa's new one, as I prefer aforesaid kicked area covered in our climate, but something with some 'tude.
Someone special (who really likes leather) gave an anniversary gift! J. Peterman's story-based copy referenced Emma Peel and '60's London; Le Duc was smitten. Thank god it wasn't a leather catsuit!
This is my first-ever Peterman piece, the Vienna Leather Jacket. The leather is meltingly soft yet substantial, the details pleased me. I mean, who puts working cuff buttons on a leather jacket anymore? (Hermès, of course.)
I can wear the collar spread or fastened high against our chill winds. The rich espresso colour provides a whisper of softening. Also, though double-breasted, the seamed, shaped body and fitted sleeve keep the line sleek.
One thing, though. See that jauntily-knotted belt? Here's the back of the buckle in real life:
Gah! The glare of metal took the belt from Vienna to Podunk. Why didn't Peterman fully-cover that or use, say, a resin one? I wrote to ask (and mentioned the needed alteration). Kristin from Customer Service replied: "I can certainly see the concern with the buckle, and I'll be sure to pass that along to our production department."
Channeling Frugal Scholar, I requested a $6.50 refund for the alteration; Kristin said she'd "have to take it up with her supervisor". I heard nothing after two inquiries; flick of my cat o' nine tails at J. Peterman for its indifferent service.
The solution? I'm wearing it buckled, not tied, which meant a trip to our local cordonnier, where the cobbler trimmed seven inches.
With the jacket: Thai silk scarf, Chada Import Gallery, Toronto; cords, Lands' End; boots, Hermès; sunglasses: Forever 21.
Le Duc says I indeed look like Emma Peel, even if I don't have the boots...yet.
"I got a lot of very odd fan mail while I was in that show, but my mum
used to enjoy replying to it. Some of the men who wrote to me must have
been a bit startled because she would offer really motherly advice.
would get a letter from a teenage boy, say, who was overexcited and my
mother would write back saying: "My daughter is far too old for you and
what you really need is a good run around the block".
-Diana Rigg about her days in "The Avengers"