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Love is a trench coat

Look of love ... Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Look of love ... Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The following event is real.

It was a foggy morning. Soupy, white haze filled the air. The mist was cold, drizzly and grey. Empty streets slowly creaked to life. Waiting for breakfast caffeine at the local café I noticed a young woman through the steamed up window. She grabbed all of my attention. Dark brown hair thrown into a ponytail, cheeks flushed pink and bright eyes scanning the road ahead. She wasn’t particularly beautiful and yet in this moment, on this morning, she was breathtaking. A splash of colour against a backdrop of grey.

So many great romantic moments happen in beige raincoats 

My heroine was wearing a cream, double-breasted trench coat and clutching a daffodil yellow umbrella. I could feel her anxiousness in waves through the glass. Was she waiting for someone? A bus slowly rumbled into view. The doors swung open and a man wearing a dark suit, black fedora (I'm not kidding) and holding a single daisy appeared in the frame.

She smiled. He smiled. I smiled.

He ran to her, she ran to him, I tried not to run to them both.

Then they kissed. Hollywood style. Right in the middle of the street. Oblivious to everyone. Lost in each other. Then … it started to rain.

Cue tears. Roll credits.

Driving home it occurred to me that if it weren't for her sharp trench coat I may have missed this magic moment. They're one of fashions most enduring symbols of elegance and style - they grab attention. If, like me, she’d been dressed in tracksuit pants, ugg boots and a beanie it wouldn’t have been the same. It wouldn't have looked like a movie. This got me thinking about just how many of the world's great cinematic moments star the trench coat. The humble beige raincoat is the un-billed star of many classic films.

So, because it was raining and because it’s a hobby, I dedicated much of Sunday to making a Nick Hornby style list – here's my All Time, Top Five, Desert Island, Most Romantic Moments In Trench Coats.

1. Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, Breakfast At Tiffany's

The final scenes of this classic film see lead characters Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak hurtling across New York city in the back of a yellow cab. Holly is unraveling, Paul declares his love, they fight, they lose the cat and then they kiss in the rain. In trench coats. It’s so iconic it's almost cliche.

2. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca.

The loner hero in the immaculate trench coat. A breath-taking Bergman. Jealousy. Passion. A love gone wrong. Bogart's trench has become one of the most enduring fashion images in cinema. Full stop.

3. John Cusack, Say Anything.

Growing up this movie was a favourite. Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) melted teen hearts around the globe as he declared his love for girlfriend Diane by standing outside her house holding a boom box (playing Peter Gabriel) high above his head wearing ... a trench coat. The picture above is one of most downloaded wall papers on Google.

4. Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, Paris Blues.

They were in love off screen. The movie is forgettable but their double trench moment is not. If happiness were a poster it would feature them like this - for always.

5. Meryl Streep, Kramer vs Kramer

Nothing is greater than love for a child. My heart always falls out of my chest when I watch the park scene in Kramer vs Kramer. Meryl Streep in the Burberry trench coat, in the park ... lost.

Clothes are not supposed to steal the scene in a film, or in life, but when it comes to trench coats I think they might. Perhaps it’s because they personify glamour at it’s most real. Most grounded. Or maybe it’s because all that beige soaks up love like a sponge?

Paula Joye is Editor of www.lifestyled.com.au or you follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

9 comments so far

  • Is there any chance we'll get a followup article on cultural moments defined by tracky daks, ugg boots and beanies? :)

    Commenter
    amybdenum
    Date and time
    June 13, 2012, 12:00PM
    • I had one as a uni student. It was great to wear. Eventually it wore out and I never got to replace it. I miss it now...

      Commenter
      Spike
      Date and time
      June 13, 2012, 2:00PM
      • never lend the trench coat to friends as the coat will not return

        Commenter
        pockets
        Location
        your town
        Date and time
        June 13, 2012, 9:40PM
        • Yep, I had one for decades. Now I have a second one. They last forever don't they?

          Commenter
          Jim
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          June 14, 2012, 7:39AM
          • After years of longing and thinking about it, I finally bit the bullet and bought a Burberry trench coat, classic style, and I just cannot help but wish I had done it years ago. It's perfect, goes with everything and I get many compliments on it.

            Commenter
            Rebecca
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            June 14, 2012, 9:14AM
            • Where can I find one that will cover (or at least touch) my knees? I'm not so tall (171cm) but they are all much too short for a winter's day in Melbourne.

              Commenter
              Cold Knees
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              June 14, 2012, 11:10AM
              • I favour the proper 'Fields of the Neph' style trenchcoat....

                Commenter
                Philo
                Date and time
                June 18, 2012, 2:19PM
                • The photo of Meryl Streep looks just like Kate Winslet.

                  I've never liked trench coats. Beige bulk? bler. they were big in the late eighties in London. Very yuppie.

                  Commenter
                  mnermner
                  Date and time
                  June 20, 2012, 2:36PM
                  • I bought one of Meryl's from Burberrys in London in the late '70s when in my 20s and it's mid-calf length (I'm 167cm). It hasn't even worn out, however, it's now 4 sizes too small, so hangs in the wardrobe with a couple of other good memories!

                    Commenter
                    Bee
                    Location
                    Tweed
                    Date and time
                    June 22, 2012, 3:33PM

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