Over the years, I’ve worn a handful of python coats. Prada lent me their runway sample when I worked on a project for them in Tokyo a few years ago. Michael Kors lent me a lovely python trench — Anna Wintour even told me she had the same coat at a show during fashion week. Unfortunately, like a Hollywood celeb wearing a loaner for an Awards show, I had to send them back. That’s the reality of it all.
I bought a number of python skin garments during a trip in Bali two years ago — three python skin shorts and a python biker jacket. I thought they were pretty cool. We’ve already established I’m more of a coat person rather than a jacket person so naturally, that jacket is sitting in my closet gathering dust.
Let me tell you one thing — if pink is the navy blue of India, python skin is the navy blue of Indonesia!
My family and I decided to celebrate the New Year in Bali. Weeks before my trip, I made a mental note that I wanna get a bespoke python skin coat done as a Christmas gift to myself. I’m an adult now. I deserve it. My idea is a simple, above-the-knee natural skin “car coat” with three buttons and a detachable collar made in several colors with a hidden zipper. I like the idea of having changeable collar so I can have a “different” coat depending on my mood.
Before hopping on the plane to Bali, I researched a wholesale provider of python skins in Bali as well as a tailor who can turn my idea into fruition. Naturally, I found one on the internet. I went to the manufacturer the next day I arrived in Bali. We were only there for 8 days — I want to make sure I had it all done before I left.
I’ve had bespoke things made for me in the US and Europe and they usually involve several fittings but my tailor in Bali was eerily confident. He barely spoke English. I didn’t even have a fitting! He took my measurements and told me they’ll deliver it on January 2 — a day before we left. I’ve sent daily text messages for four days, asking for updates and a photo of what they had so far… and the guy sent one or two word replies, usually “YES” or “PLEASE WAIT” but nothing else after that. By January 1st, I seriously thought they ran away with my money.
On the morning of January 2, our villa people called and said there’s a man waiting for me. It was my tailor and he had my brand new coat. My new coat is MAJOR. It’s DIVINE. Sure — the quality is miles different from, say, if I bought one from Prada or Gucci but for US$1,200, the coat is pretty fabulous. It’s BEYOND. You go to Barneys and you probably won’t even get a leather or a skin coat for that amount. No shit Sherlock, you probably won’t even get a cashmere sweater for US$1,200 let alone an exotic skin coat.
It’s still fur season here in New York, a tad too cold, but once the mercury drops a few notches, I’ll wear it out on the mean streets. I’m happy. Truly, truly happy!
Bespoke python skin coat
White t-shirt by Adam Lippes
Blue linen jacket by Linen & Co.
Blue linen shorts by Linen & Co.
Lizard sandals by Jason Wu
Shot in Bali, Indonesia
Photos by Mr Sweden