Since watching An Education in 2009, I have probably listened to the soundtrack a few hundred times. I love the incredible jazz selections, from pianist Floyd Cramer’s “On the Rebound” to Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothin’s.” For whatever reason, though, I always tended to skip over Melody Gardot’s “Your Heart is as Black as Night.” I think, perhaps, because it is the only song not actually from the ’50s/’60s era. This morning I gave it a chance. Gardot is obviously heavily influenced by jazz and blues, and her voice had a profound depth in texture and emotion that stuck with me through the day, and inspired this black-on-black, vintage-based ensemble. I love music with every bit of my heart, and when I find a song that really makes me feel something, it affects everything — from my outfit to my mood to my makeup to my daily activities.
This jacket, which is sort of the center of today’s ensemble, has become something of an obsession. It was my mother’s in the mid ’80s and is designed by the once upon a time, high-end brand Direct Action New York (D.A.N.Y). I remember her wearing it when I was a kid, but in recent years I’d forgotten it existed. Last time I was home, however, it resurfaced after a mega-closet-clean-out, and I knew I had to give it another life. Though D.A.N.Y. is no more, this exact same coat is available in a 2XL on Ebay, along with several other designs in varying sizes. In combination with living in English countryside, this coat makes me feel like I authentically belong in times passed. And I always appreciate that in any clothing.
I chose to pair the fur-on-leather coat with a black cut-out dress by Cache from their spring collection this year. I love cut-outs in the neckline of dresses (though some may say it’s a bit of an S&M-inspired design), and I remember finding this dress while shopping in New York before moving overseas, and knowing I just had to have it. As cliche as it sounds, every woman does need a little black dress, and this is mine. I kept my makeup minimal, placing emphasis on the vamp lip. With a song like “Your Heart is as Black as Night” stuck in my head all day, I was feeling broodiness. Ironically, it was broodiness that led to the turquoise hair dye earlier in the week. It’s quirky, I think?
Get the look:
Vintage D.A.N.Y. Coat, Ebay, $100
Dress, Cache, $188
BCBG Shoes (similar), Zappos, $193