Friday, June 24, 2011


I am sad that Columbo has died, because I used to watch that show when I was supposed to be studying in the middle of the day. And because, unlikely as it may sound, Peter Falk in his crumply trench coat with his wonky glass eye, spoke to me from a style perspective. I know, I know, weird man in a mack, what's fashion about that? But think about it...the trench is a style staple beloved of all sorts. It's not all splendid royals and Kate Moss in sleek Burberry lines. No, the mack is a great leveller. The queen wears one; my mum wears one. The guy at the corner shop wears one too. Some are very posh indeed; some come from Gap. Some of my faves, like Jane Birkin and Catherine Deneuve's iconic 60s Frenchy versions, are soft, and yes, close to Columbo's almost-duster-coat-like vibe. Rumpled chic!

The best mack story is a rumply one; it's about the writer Norman Mailer showing up to Truman Capote's Black & White Ball in trench coat in dire need of ironing only to have Womens Wear Daily write it up the next day. The shame! Or should that be fame?

I reckon most of the best stuff has a lived-in look. I'm sure Leonard Cohen's famous Blue Raincoat was creased like a bastard (pardon my French). Anyway, life's too short to iron. Goodbye Columbo. May your trench coat look live on.

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