Maggie Norris Fashion Icon

OK, so how totally gorgeous is this jacket?  It is called the Astaire jacket and it was designed by Maggie Norris couture.

Normally people like me don’t get to meet people like her but, well, last spring the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston must have been in desperate shape and they invited me to join their fashion council.  Fashion Council.  Yes indeed.  Me.  Yup, pretty sure it happened.  I am quite sure that they hoped for a large check and light participation but instead they got a small check and a lot of participation.

In May we headed to NYC to visit the Ateliers of several spectacular couturiers such as Christian Cota, Issey Miyake and Maggie Norris to name a few.  Each worked with  incredible fabrics and sketches and the visits were really interesting.  The Designers were generous with their time and shared with us their fashion visions and inspirations.  For the first two days I managed to keep my credit card firmly inside my wallet (mostly because I was not able to remove the crazy glue that my darling husband had surreptitiously slathered  on it prior to placing it back in my wallet when he heard I was going to New York with the Fashion Council and my shopping buddies Nancy and Patty.).  But I digress.

HOWEVER,  several solvents,  10 short fingernails and a couple of days later everything was going just fine.  I was behaving AND yet I had freed my card in case of fashion emergency….

BUT THEN we walked into Maggie Norris’s studio on Seventh Avenue at which time I almost fell over from the quality of her work.  I was utterly seduced.  Stunning detail.  Incredible workmanship.  I mean the stitching and the way in which her pieces are put together is just extraordinary.  Each of her pieces have beautiful historic reference, the MOST ELEGANT bespoke workmanship, and a modern look all rolled into one.   Her pieces are the sorts of things that could be worn to a formal dinner in the country with a long skirt, around town with some denim jeans or anyplace in between.   This versatility is generally a total requirement for virtually my entire wardrobe.   I ooh-ed and awe-ed over all of her gorgeous pieces and after staggering around the studio because I was so giddy with awe I decided that I just HAD TO HAVE one of her “Astaire jackets”.  I mean LOOK AT THAT DESIGN!!

Naturally I also had to purchase the long scrumptious cotton blouse with pique detachable sleeves and optional button holes for studs.  I mean I just HAD TO buy it.  It was crying out to me so sweetly and it is just the most perfect combination of extravagant and yet casual.   She is brilliant.  Thankfully, Maggie is one of the Couturiers out there who creates pieces that celebrate the female form and that make the wearer feel special, and gorgeous, and regal.

When I visited Maggie last week for a fitting she showed me the above photograph taken by David White of the Astaire cutaway jacket.  Cynthia Altoriso posed this lovely 13 year old violinist as a young Nicolo Paganini.  I just love to see this young girl posed so graciously in a swallow-tailed coat inspired by the men’s coats of that era (1840s).  It works so well.  It is just so beautiful.

I’m counting on wearing it a zillion times in the next 25 years to amortize the cost.  I am also hoping that this jacket will improve my violin skills.