Pink coats are apparently the in thing this year, much to the rage of some commentators.
I read with some amusement the other day this article in the Guardian by Hadley Freeman.
In it she rails against the current fashion for pink coats. I must admit to being blissfully unaware of this trend. Buried here in the French countryside, the fashions, shall we say, are somewhat different from what you might get on a London street. More mud than Mad Men.
The pink most in favour, though, is rather paler than the one shown here from M&S - more of a flesh pink - and generally has a finish to the fabric that strikes me as very likely to pick up dirt quickly, with its matt surface and unbroken texture. I once had a summer raincoat this colour and it was great, but you could chuck it in the washing machine whenever it got soiled.
I have a weakness for pink coats. In fact, to my shock, I realise that I currently have six: a magenta silk velvet 1950s swing coat; a screaming magenta Boden moleskin tailored coat; a pale pink tweed coat from Next with slubs of green and blue in the weave; a shocking pink silk coat from 1960s US department store Bullocks, with rhinestone buttons; a magenta 1960s silk and acrylic coat with a red lining that came with a matching dress; and this lipstick pink 1960s bouclé mohair coat (right).
I love all of them. They go brilliantly with black, grey, chocolate brown and colours such as red or burgundy. And yes, whenever I go anywhere, I am always the only person in a pink coat, and yes, I do get a lot of compliments.
God knows, we need some colour in winter. I once sat in the window of a café and counted the colours of the next 100 coats that came by. All but two or three were black, and those that weren't black were navy. God, how depressing is this? Not even a red one? Never mind aubergine, plum, purple, forest green or half a dozen other perfectly practical colours that might have livened up the grisly scene.
Although I have the usual selection of cream, brown and blue coats for when I don't want to draw attention to myself, I do generally prefer to stand out, especially when everything else is so miserable. My favourite winter coat, when we lived in London, was a saffron dressing-gown wrap by Alistair Blair for Jaegar, with black velvet collar and cuffs - a fantastic splash of colour on a grey day. I also have coats in lime green fun fur, emerald tweed, scarlet mohair, burgundy mohair, primrose yellow wool and almost fluorescent orange wool. They are all wonderful for livening the winter mood and they all cost peanuts on Ebay.
So, I am firm in my defence of this year's pink coat from M&S - I hope it sells in the hundreds.