I was watching CountryFile on my Tunnelbear this evening.
I suppose that I should parse that sentence for you. CountryFile is a weekly BBC1 television program that explores the aspects of country life, from farming to hunting and everything in between. It’s long been a favourite of the Royals, especially Prince Charles who runs an 1,100 acre organic farm, Duchy Home Farm, in Gloucestershire. In honour of the 25th anniversary of Countryfile, Prince Charles edited and presented one of the episodes.
I was able to watch this on the BBC’s iPlayer via my Tunnelbear connection. If you have an American or non-UK address, you can’t play BBC iPlayer shows at all. Tunnelbear basically changes your computer’s address to that of one in the UK, so you are able to access BBC and other UK television programs over the internet. (Which means you don’t have to wait for Downton Abbey to make it across the Atlantic!)
But what does this have to do with shabby chic?
Prince Charles, whose family is not lacking for funds, appeared in a segment of the show with the most tattered and mended Barbour jacket in existence. It’s an old coat, and he said he’d had gotten someone to patch it with bits and pieces of leather. So much so, that he could hardly move his arms, he joked. He’s been known to wear his uncle’s top coats and to wear sweaters with patches, although he is the patron of British Wool, which recently gathered fashion editors, designers and farmers to promote British Wool, one of the most sustainable resources for clothing. He even has a pair of shoes made from bales of leather salvaged from an eighteenth-century wreck off the Southwest of Britain. He said that he’ll wear out before the shoes do.
But the Prince is not alone in his love of patchy clothes. My friend David has been thinking about the shattered silk coat that Robert Downey, Jr. wore as Sherlock Holmes. So David got to playing around with some fabrics, and created his own coat, using an old smoking robe as the base.Very elegant, very chic, and just a little bit shabby!