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A Coat is Not a Moat ...

The Real Housewife of NYC breaks down this week's competition and decides which coats she liked the best.

By Alex McCord

It was great to see Issac’s bonus clip about repairs this week, because during the mini challenge I thought to myself that I have done three out of four of those — some pretty often.  Although the last time I made an article of clothing was a truly horrible candy-striped mini skirt in a middle school “life skills” class, I constantly sew on buttons, fix hems, and even a zipper once for myself and the three clothing-obsessed members of the male species in my house.  Lidia did a great job on the shoulder pads, but I wondered if Haven accidentally tacked up part of the skirt with the zipper.  Who messed up the buttons?  Can’t remember now, but that’s something that dry cleaners in the city often screw up. How many times do you get back a shirt with a button sewn on in a different color thread? Take the time to do it yourself and you’ll never have that problem.

A coat is not a moat, a boat, or a goat. Sorry, I’ve been reading to my three-year-old.  Seriously, I have to agree with Keith — a coat doesn’t really need to do anything but keep you warm or dry, unless you are Inspector Gadget.  However, I think that may have been the point of the challenge, so was interested to see what people came up with. I was excited by the end – most people really did well overall.

Lidia’s raincoat – loved the color, the crinkly fabric and the hood – reminded me of a Judy Jetson coat with a dinosaur frill hood (and I mean that in a good way.)  I also really liked James-Paul’s coat, though I preferred it zipped up; he did his job with the sleeping bag but I thought it looked slicker all done up. Daniella’s design really wowed me but the fabric didn’t seem like it would be comfortable. Keith’s coat was a great idea – if I were wearing it I would probably just take off the bottom par, tthough it’s cool to be able to completely take it apart.  One of those situations, like James-Paul’s piece, where you can do something with the coat but you don’t have to.

Johnny’s coat would look nice over a cocktail dress – I don’t actually remember what it “did” so points off for that. Angel and Merlin had interesting designs but I was getting confused with all those zippers. Anna’s coat looked the warmest and the most functional. Yes, it wasn’t a big surprise that the gloves were hiding in the sleeves, but really that was the one that could go straight onto a rack at Bloomingdale's. Which brings me to Reco. It was a really cool idea and very original, though white for a coat isn’t so practical – was it Fern who suggested cobalt and black? Great idea. It will be interesting to see whether Reco’s confidence inspires the group or annoys them.

Practicality is what killed Haven and Markus. Haven’s needed a lot of help but wasn’t awful.  The idea of hairspray and a mirror in the coat just made me think you’d never be able to sit down in it. Glad she’s still in and hoping for more from her. With the opposite problem, Markus had a wonderful idea with the jewelry holder.  You could walk up to airport security, take off your neckpiece and send it right through the machine. Awesome idea. Bad execution. I’m sorry, Markus, but please don’t forget that one. When you do your next collection, work that concept out a little more because out of all of the things these coats did, that seemed like the most original that someone might want to try using.

Andrew’s coat was cool. Yes, Daniella obviously helped. Did she need to make a huge deal about it? It’s probably good that she did so in an environment where she could get feedback from wonderful designers who have been around the block a million times. She’s in her early 20s and hopefully learned a life lesson.

One thing I would have loved to have seen is an opera coat with pockets for glasses and a libretto. In the meantime, have a great Memorial Day weekend, everybody!

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