Stories from AGENdA

The Slouchy Trench

The Slouchy Trench

My old trench coat was almost ten years old. It was not expensive nor unique in design but fitted me well and made me look put-together. After I noticed the polyester lining dying and divorcing with the shell cotton fabric, I started to search for a new trench - this time, more fluid in look and sustainable in its materials and production. 

I did not have much luck.

One coat was cut in sustainable fabric but used polyester lining. I did not want polyester. Another one made me look like a potato sack. Who wants that? Unfortunately, most did not have a clear explanation of the materials. So since I was working on sketches for the first samples, I decided to make one for myself.

The Slouchy Trench follows a simple structure of body and sleeves. Dropped shoulder silhouette with oversized epaulets can create a relaxed and clean impression. The right-side gun flap is a square, aligned with the aesthetics of pockets. Sleeves are full, and the cuffs are finished with self-fabric ties. It is classic and relaxed and still feminine. It is It can go with almost any style.

I was overjoyed reviewing the very first sample. It only took me two rounds of samples before deciding on production. Key specs like shoulder and bottom width are slightly adjusted, and another layer of fabric is added to the pockets so that pockets are accessible on sides for better functionality. I made the belt longer and added a top button so you can close the coat all the way up. 

After the joy, anxiety came through.

Can I make this happen actually? 

It was a pretty expensive piece. The imported Tencel shell fabric was expensive, and the yardage was so big, each piece taking more than four yds. So I thought I should find a different quality with the same impact. Tencel is widely known and used so that shouldn't be a problem. I went on to research further and to meet other mills, but nothing matched the quality. Its weight and drape were crucial in creating this flowy look, and I had to stay with it. Then the lining still was the issue. I was firm using Cupro, a cellulose fiber made out of cotton lint. It is not only sustainable but also durable and beautiful. For months, I was searching for a Korean mill making Bemberg Cupro, but I could not locate one. Fortunately, I found a Korean company importing Asahi Kasei Bemberg Cupro and was able to use its stock service. 

Colors are decided, and materials are ordered.

Then the factory informed me that they might not be able to produce the Trench. My heart dropped. I already ordered the fabric! But I kept my calm and called. Considering the workflow and capacity, he was concerned with the delivery timing of the shell fabric. I assured him that the shipment would arrive in time and persuaded him to take the order. There were many more moments of surprise, anxiety, and frustration. Like, when I found out how much button cost. Like, when I entered the wrong information on wire transfer to make payment to the factory.

Every morning I would think about every possible thing that can go wrong. Every day I would dream about seeing you wearing it.

Will you like it as much as I do? I do not know. I am still scared. But I can't wait to find out.