lunedì 21 dicembre 2015

Repli-Kate Review: Mulberry Double-Breasted Cerise Coat

Here's the latest in my series of repli-kate reviews! This time we are discussing an excellent alternative to the Duchess' double-breasted coat in cerise by Mulberry.

The coat was part of the A/W 2014 collection and is now sold out, although you can still see it "in action" in this video on Mulberry's YouTube channel. It was made of a double crepe wool/silk blend with "extra lustre" and featured a small Peter Pan collar, slit pockets with a flap detail and flat round black buttons. It retailed originally for £2,500 (or approximately €3,560 or $3,760).

As many may recall, this garment made its first, somewhat controversial, appearance in NYC on 9 December 2014, at a visit to the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. There was debate in the online community at the time as to the appropriateness of wearing such a bright colour to visit a place of remembrance, and I personally feel a more sombre colour might have been more in keeping with the mood of the occasion. But let's not dwell any more on it now - whatever our respective opinions may be, there's no denying this is a gorgeous piece!

For the New York appearance, the Duchess accessorized with black opaque tights, her black suede 'Bayswater' clutch, also by Mulberry, black suede Episode 'Angel' pumps, black Cornelia James 'Imogen' gloves in merino wool and Kiki McDonough green amethyst and diamond cushion drop earrings.
The second time this coat was worn coincided, as you might remember, with Catherine's last appearance before going on maternity leave ahead of the birth of Princess Charlotte. That was on 27 March 2015 and the coat was recycled for a series of engagements in South London, including a visit to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

The Duchess once again opted for black suede accessories, repeating the "Bayswater" clutch and selecting her "Power" pumps by Stuart Weitzman. A nod to the warmer spring weather was in the choice of nude thights and pale pink Kiki Classic morganite and diamond cushion drop earrings.
I was thrilled when Kate's Closet shared on Facebook this brilliant find from BHS:

Described on the website as a "fun, modern and on trend" style, the coat is available in magenta and pale blue and is 88% polyester, 10% viscose and 2% elastane. The main differences with Catherine's Mulberry coat are in the number of buttons (the BHS one has an extra set), the pockets (slit with flap detailing in the Mulberry, simple slits in the BHS) and the stitching (the BHS coat has decorative stitching down the front and back, plus a sort of half-belt stitched detail at the back which is totally absent from the Mulberry original). I do think the BHS coat benefits from this stitched detailing: it adds structure to a garment that would otherwise probably look a bit drab and shapeless were it an exact replica, as the polyester mix fabric is way less forgiving than the original wool/silk crepe.

BHS do not offer delivery outside the UK at the moment, but of course nowadays you can work round such minor inconveniences of with the help of an online handling service of your choice. Personally, I always use Borderlinx and I'm happy to recommend it. For those of you not familiar with the service, they provide you with a P.O. box address in selected countries, were you can have your goodies delivered and then forwarded on to your usual home address. There's no sign up fee, or subscription fee, you just pay for the shipments you require and that's it. A return service is available, too.
Having the coat forwarded to me in Italy costed around £39 (€54/$59), but it was part of a big pre-Christmas shop and therefore coming in a large parcel. I expect shipping costs for the coat on its own to be cheaper (you can find a shipping cost calculator here).

My coat took around a full working week to be delivered to the Borderlinx depot, then two business days to get to my door via fully tracked express courier.
I was slightly worried the fabric was going to be a bit stiff, being dyed such a bright colour, but it actually feels really soft and the coat is made up to a high standard, fully lined in a matching magenta satin-y fabric (which I can guess is also polyester, or some sort of poly mix, although the label doesn't specify) with black piping around the edges. For the record, the lining of the original piece was described on the Mulberry website as midnight blue.
Very true to size: I purchase my usual UK size and it fits perfectly. I know there was some debate as to the lenght, and it does look a bit on the short side on the website photos. My size 12 one is 34 in (or 86 cm) from shoulder to hem, and definitely looks like a reasonable lenght over the knee coat, as opposed to a long jacket, on my 5ft 5 frame.


Apologies for the artificial lighting in these pictures! The coat colour is actually much brighter in real life and closer to the images on the BHS website. 

The thing the buggers me most about this repli-kate are the buttons: Kate's are a flat black style in polished horn, whereas the BHS ones are black resin with the holes showing, as detailed below:

Mulberry (l) vs. BHS (r).

This was quickly remedied with a quick browse on Etsy, though! For about 10€ (7£/11$), I got myself a set of flat shank buttons in black resin that are a closer match to the originals and plan to swap them as soon as they arrive. I'll share pics when I do!

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