When a fantasy comes true…

 

vintage picture, vintage raccoon fur coat, vintage fur, remodelling grandma's fur coat

This is what a vintage raccoon fur coat looks like

My great grandmother’s coat will meet today’s fashion and designers– it won’t look bulky and heavy anymore folks! Something significant is going to happen when it’s complete transformation occurs–I will be contributing to my family’s heritage for generations to come. I can only imagine what my daughter is going to say when she sees the coat for the very first time. Hopefully she will say something like” Nice! My mother was hip and had a sense of style!” I would be extremely proud and this adds some pressure to do this right!

musi, jean crisan, lynx fur, sheared beaver, naffem, fur on the runway

A mix of sheared and long-haired furs for a feminine silhouette

There are three characteristics that are going to make this coat a winner– a timeless style, practicality and coverage. When I look at my re-styled coat for the first time I want to say ” Wow! It’s gorgeous, it will make my curvy silhouette look elegant and feminine. My pockets are just the right size for my iPhone and keys! Look at it’s amazing, soft, warm and reversible hood! By the looks of it, it’s going to cover all the right body parts.” I’ll know then and there that it’s transformation was a complete success.

abbey lee, fur photoshoot, fur hood, chanel fur

A giant hood is a must to survive a big chill!

But before any of this can take place we need to address one more issue–who is going to make my fantasy a reality? Who is going to play my fairy godmother and turn a thirty year old fur coat into a wonderful and magical possession? My prayers were answered when I immediately connected with  Marie-Victorin’s 2011 Collection. At College Marie-Victorin Gala, I fell in love with the upcoming designer’s fur creations. Make no mistake, a mentor such as Martin Faucher which contributed at the Gala will become an asset for my kind of fairy-tale ending!

Vintage picture of the couple in raccoon coats from here
Runway picture from naffem.com
Abbey Lee picture from FashionGoneRogue.com

Unforgettable Moments – My Raccoon Coat

There I was waiting impatiently for my grandmother to ring the door bell, as if expecting her to arrive with a treasure box. In fact, she was. The treasure was a very special gift, a link to our family’s history in Canada — and what could better represent our family’s migration to this great northern land than… a fur coat!

vintage, fur coat, raccoon coat, grandma's fur coat, heirloom

My first vintage fur coat

I got so emotional when my grandmother arrived with a red box; inside was my very own raccoon fur coat! She looked at me, laughed and said, “Dear..this raccoon coat could fit three of you! You look so small in it!

Then, more seriously: “You know, you are continuing a family tradition, because this coat belonged to your GREAT grandmother!” I was astounded; this coat was more than 30 years old — but it was still in very good condition. I begged for her to stay a while longer to tell me the story of how this coat came into our family. So she did.

my grandma

Vintage picture: young Siliezar driving to Canada

In 1980, a young Siliezar experienced her first Quebec winter — quite a shock! — and the story of my own life could have been very different if she hadn’t been given this coat. No other gift could compare for a Salvadorian immigrant who was seeing snow for the very first time.  If she hadn’t received it, who knows what she might have done? I may have been brought up somewhere else!

And little did she know that, thirty-one years later, this special coat would be warming the heart — and soon the body — of her own great-grand-daughter.

vintage fur raccoon coat, leather

The leather band still in perfect condition 30 years later!

vintage raccoon fur coat, grandma's fur coat

The beautiful flower details of the lining

In additon to keeping generations of Siliezars warm, fur coats have an additional attribute: they can be re-cut and re-styled as fashions evolve. To celebrate this latest stop in the voyage of this remarkable raccoon coat, I now intend to remodel it to fit my own personality and style. Coming soon! I will visit Montreal furrier to transform my coat and hopefully I will have some material left to design more accessories!

Shaty is the new Montreal correspondent for A touch of Luxe. Read her 2 previous posts here and here