the Zola coat
I love this top photo taken by French author, Emile Zola, of his daughter Denise. He experimented with photography soon after its invention, and his photos appear strikingly modern, almost as if from our time. However, Zola is not most known for his photography. His greatest contribution is his brilliant novels written in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. I have an MA in French lit and have read many French books. He remains my favorite French writer. The must reads in my opinion are: the Debacle, the Earth, and l'Assommoir, among others. His style is very earthy and descriptive. He portrays humans in their most animal ways, showing the darker side of them. This is not my reason from being a zolaphile; my love centers on his colorful descriptions and rich language.
So in honor of our dear French genius, I've designed this little coat. Rows of alternating antique and pearlized buttons adorn the front lapel and cowl neck collar. My husband thought that my creation barely resembles the Zola coat. I think it was due to the heavy navy twill, which I used for durability. Maybe next time, I'll use a lightweight wool with a nicer drape; then the collar will lay flater like the elegant one on Mademoiselle's coat. The interior of my coat is a silky blue paisley. I added cozy batting in the center layer to make it nice and warm. A tie at the waist is of the same twill fabric. I'm still looking for a pretty belt to match Mademoiselle Zola's...