Image: Tilla Lindig
February 08 2012
Christina Ohly Evans
Notting Hill-based Tilla Lindig is busy creating a collection of accessible customisable coats. After five years spent building her retail brand in the UK and Europe, she is now focusing on Happycoat, a bespoke business centred around functional, fashionable outerwear – not to mention chic capes and fitted jackets – that is crafted from exquisitely soft wool, in virtually every flattering cut and colour combination imaginable.
A visit to her design space is like a trip to a casual atelier. Raised in Nuremberg by parents in the luxury-fashion-retail industry, she worked at both Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior before launching her own line in 1999. She draws heavily on European tradition for her designs – fine tailoring and attention to detail are de rigeur – but it’s the mix of classic elements (think loden jackets, hand-finished cuffs, woven leather buttons) with just a touch of militaristic Mao thrown in for good measure that makes her pieces so versatile and timeless. All separates are made from Italian wool fabrics, and are produced in Lindig’s native Germany using fair-trade practices.
Her new bespoke process is quite simple. After you sift through a wide selection of pre-made coats in a variety of styles and fabrics (some more wintry, some double-faced, others perfect for spring’s in-between days), Lindig helps identify the shape and colour that bests suits your lifestyle. From the classic Style I (from £350) – a lightweight, unlined coat available in a variety of pastel, bright and classic tones – to the snappy Style IV (second picture, from £380), or structured Kate jacket (named after the Duchess of Cambridge, of course; from £550) in cheerful cerise and purple, the designer is happy to adapt existing models to suit individual needs. You’d like the zippy 1960s cape (first picture, from £550) in toned-down taupe? Simple closures versus bold Bavarian buttons? Lindig is happy to oblige. In addition, she offers a limited number of outerwear options for men and children, all just as stylish as those in the women’s range.
Each commission takes approximately two weeks to complete, but if it’s instant gratification you seek, many of the 40-plus ready-to-wear styles in the Happycoat collection are available online as well, with a new e-boutique opening on the site this spring. In any case, wearing a Lindig piece – especially one in a vibrant tangerine, sky blue or hot-pink hue – will help put a skip in your step for spring.