2.18.2008

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...

47 comments:

Kari said...

So pretty! You are a very talented seamstress! The thought of all those buttonholes...

Kari said...

Oh! Upon further inspection, they aren't button holes at all, but little tab/loop thingys (what would those be called?) Even more impressive!

Courtney said...

beautiful! We have a Cafe Zola here. Next time I go, I'll have a cafe au lait for you...

Bethany Hissong said...

You are so amazing... this coat is FABULOUS!! I can't stand how cute it is. Melissa --you seriously need to do something with this talent-- like sell special one-of-a-kind pieces to people who appreciate fashion and would pay big $ for something like this. Now I have to research Emile Zola because I have an art history background through art ed. and I love this photo!

Stephanie said...

Wow! Beautiful coat! I'm curious, how long have you been designing?

Cakies said...

This is beautiful! Yes, please sell it!!! Who will be the lovely recipient of the this wonderful masterpiece?!!

lynne said...

melissa, once again, amazing!!! this is a gorgeous coat. very zola-worthy, I think! I love the offset buttons and the silk lining is PERFECT!

Carrie said...

Gasp! The coat is gorgeous and sapphire blue is a color that takes my breath away...

Leslie said...

Amen to everyone's comments. Gorgeous!! I like your saturated blue choice. So modern and So adorable. Do you sell your creations or just make for your own children?
(friend of Courtney)

Leslie said...

Makes me want to start sewing again. It's been a long time.

Audrey said...

Melissa, this is truly an amazing creation. I love the sweet fold over collar and the way the buttons go up the side of the coat. Beautiful.

k e n d r a said...

a brilliant seamstress AND an m.a. in french lit??!!! no fair smarty pants

Emily said...

Holy smokes. You are just amazing in your talents and abilities. Love it.

Poshyarns said...

It is stunning, and very much the essence of the original but a contemporary version.

Emmi said...

J'aime Zola et aussi ce si joli manteau, vraiment bravo!

jessica said...

soo gorgeous!! i am continually in awe of you, mellissa.

oh, and congrats on all the blog love from wee wonderfuls!

TeamMcDonough said...

Found your blog thru Wee Wonderfuls and what a delight it is. The coat is B-E-A-u-T-i-Ful :) I must admit I also took a sneek peek at your flickr photos and left a comment :)

platinum blonde said...

Wow these are gorgeous!!!

Di said...

Wow - I think your coat is just amazing! The colour is beautiful and I think you have added a modern twist to a classic look!

Viv said...

Oooh, am also a big fan of Zola - but have only read him in English unfortunately! Found your blog via wee wonderfuls and am loving your beautiful creations. Great!

SugarShop (Dena Rooney-Berg) said...

This coat is stunning, really beautiful!

Kristine said...

Your work is so lovely. I love your modern take on classics like a white frilled shirt. There's so much gorgeous stuff here. Thank you to Wee Wonderfuls for pointing you out.
Kristine

Bethany Hissong said...

Okay... Hillary stole my idea of posting about your coat while I was busy/sick/not paying closer attention! I think you're a household name now :)

nathalie said...

wow!!! i'm impressed at the beauty of all of your clothing. i would love to make something like that someday. thanks for allowing us to have a peak into your beautiful world.

mary said...

The coat is amazing. First time visiting and I clicked back months and months enjoying all your beautiful images and designs. Thank you for all the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

you make such beautiful children clothes!! happy to have found your blog =)

joanna
www.candlelight.hk/blog

fanja said...

wow, an MA in French literature! the mention of Zola reminds me of my days at school, his books do stay with you all your life.. Lovely picture of his daughter and yet again gorgeous interpretation - love your reference points a lot x

Sarah said...

You have one stunning blog here. The clothing you make is exquisite. Loving it all!

mikodesign said...

Hi Melissa, see my blog for a surprise (send me your postal adres?)

mikodesign said...

hi melissa, I left the adres on my blog, see my last post.

Alicia P. said...

Jeesh! Absolutely gorgeous.

Mally said...

I love your blog. I love to sew and I really admire your clothes! I will be checking back to see what else you are making. Very inspirational!

lilou said...

First I find today your beautiful blog...and second...I didn't know that Emile Zola had such a beautiful daugther...

Your coat is very 19th century French...and my favourite book of Zola is l'Oeuvre...do you know it? the story of his frien cezane, the French impresionnist painter...

Voila, bravo encore et a bientot!!!

Sarah said...

So very beautiful! Love this coat.

letter9 said...

I'd love to make coats like this one and the adorable one from a few weeks ago with the orange buttons, but I'm in an anti-pattern stage right now and making one from scratch seems daunting.

LOVELY.

Joanna Goddard said...

wow! AMAZING!!!!

Cakies said...

Melissa... I forgot to mention... soy chocolate is delicious!

Heather Lee said...

i need this coat for my little baby Holland! I wish you'd open an online store! And I prefer your collar over the one that lies flat.

amy said...

this coat is marvelous. i love it!

kendall. said...

This is incredibly beautiful. I am so glad that I found this blog from wee wonderfuls!

fine little day said...

Wow, what a lovely coat!

Chrissy said...

You've made a dream coat. It's beautiful.
And you have another fan.
I picked up your blog from Wee Wonderfuls and Higglety Pigglety - so many thanks to them.

cathy nichols art said...

This is the most adorable little coat I've ever seen. I can just imagine my blue-eyed 1/2 French baby girl wearing it. Sigh. Double sigh. I also found your blog from wee wonderfuls...

Heather said...

I want one! I love it! You're soooo talented.

Longhorn Diva said...

(breathless)
That is the most beautiful little girl's coat I've ever seen. I just found your blog, and I am loving it! As a newbie to sewing, it's very inspirational.

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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