This Friday I'm turning my attention to Bessie Coleman. In case you weren't aware, she is the first African-American female to receive a pilot's license, earning her Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) license in France in June of 1921. She learned French specifically so she could travel overseas and take flying lessons since she could find no person in the states who would accept her as a student. She then stayed a few additional months in Paris, taking more lessons to sharpen her skills, and sailed back to New York and much acclaim.
Coleman fought tirelessly for her race and gender, so I wanted to design something that had a lush element, and this piece definitely does:
The Bomber-inspired Hoodie Vest is a luxuriously tactile piece and deceptively easy to create. Worked bottom-up in Berroco Blackstone Tweed and the oh-so-soft Berroco Marmot, the hood, done half in fur, frames the neck in uber-warmth. While it can be worn up, it is rather more for keeping your neck, shoulders and back framed in luxurious good looks. I opted for actual small fur clasps with a leather element positioned at the top of the hoodie front for a completely functional if somewhat understated notions element. I did not want to detract from the hood, which is the star of the piece.
This vest is not only easy to work up, but easy to wear. It can quickly become that go-to piece to throw on when walking out the door for anything from a day hike to a day of shopping. I am convinced that Bessie, who worked as a manicurist in order to save money for her trip to France, would have loved this design.
Pre-ordering the soft-cover book from my Big Cartel online store for $24.99 + shipping before the end of the year will get you (1) a free electronic .pdf version; and (2) a book signed by yours truly. Ordering both together after January 1st will cost more. The book will also be available for purchase in the new year from various other distribution channels, which I'll announce as they become available. I do hope you'll consider purchasing the book directly from the author, as more of your money will go directly to support more designing.
And that's always a good thing in my book.
I hope you are getting through this holiday season in style. Until next time ...