I have long admired the wares of HeyDay and am fortunate enough to know the lovely Shona in person. Having met through a mutual friend back near the beginning of my vintage-style adventure, I was more than a little in awe of her. With her cheery disposition and cheeky sense of humour, not to mention her hair. It’s the kind of natural red I can only dream of. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met and now consider her a dear friend.
So - when I had a fairly casual conversation with her at a party last year, little did I realise that what I was waffling about would come to fruition. The chat went a something like this:
Me: I love your new coat range, love.
Shona: So pleased you like it
Me: Do you ever do them in different colours? I am really after a nice brown coat. You know, like a proper dress it up or down coat. An everyday coat. In brown. It has to be brown. Brown is where it’s at for me. Brown.
Shona: What sort of brown?
Me: hmmmmm – (scanning the room) like Colin’s coat over there (pointing into the darkness as he was trying to say goodbye to people)
Shona: Right, hold on a mo (taking out camera) I’ll be right back
Shona: Can I take a snap of your coat please Colin?
Colin: (eyebrow slightly raised) errrrrr…. Sure.
Shona: (snap, flash, snap) Thanks!
At this point, I was also saying fare-thee-well to various party goers and I trundled off into the night. I literally thought no more about it until Shona messaged me with some shades of brown. I told her the ones that I liked and off she went. Once again, I thought no more of the conversation. I wandered aimlessly around the shops looking for the brown coat. Neither the charity shops nor the high street had it. And boy did I hunt. But to no avail. Boo-hoo said I.
The summer (remember that season folks? Hold on tights, it'll be round this way again soon enough!) came along and all thoughts of extra layers were fried from my memory. Fast forward to December and a little message pops up on that there smarty-pants phone of mine. I let out a squeak at my desk. I get a bit hot and flustered. I most certainly clapped. Shona had let me know that the coat was now ready. Ready and set to go. That exact shade was now in beautiful coat form. It had a skirt. It buttons and pockets. It had a waist. And most shocking of all - it had my name! The 5th Avenue Coat in “Charly Brown” had been born.
How fancy do I feel now? Very much indeed.
Am I in love? Errrrrrr …. Just a bit. It is perfect for me and the exact shade of 1940s-we’re-making-the-best-of-it-nature-pallette-rust-brown I was after. Something that can be made all the brighter with a few accessories, but holds its own without them. A fantastic base to be dressed up with a big felt flower brooch, a smart hat & shoes or dressed down with a pair of boots and a turban. Just like in these beach action shots. A very windy beach in February. Whenever I see any Forties things on the telly box - it is always the everyday wear that I am enamoured by. Yes, I like the slinky ball gowns and furs, but it’s the making do aspect that I love. The whole “one-coat-for-the-duration” aspect. And here is was.
Now, Shona kindly offered me a very good deal on my coat (thanks S!) but I am as thrifty as the next person. I am aware of the cost of this delectable item. However when you consider that this is a lovingly made, warm, stylish, durable garment that will literally last you years, I think that price tag is warranted. I think you would pay something similar in a big department store. And it suits both us 40s gals and also those of a 50’s persuasion. The one I have is a Large, which Shona has advised me has actually sold out in this size and that some colours have sold out in others. If it is most certainly the brown (remember - in my world that’s where it’s AT) then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and they shall do their very bestest to help you.
So from something in my minds eye to something keeping me warm this Winter, well into Spring and shall be coming leaf kicking with me for many Autumns to come.
Well done (and thank you!!) that clever HeyDay!