spruced by marlene

okka’s blazer

By James | Published: 25. July 2012

Over the past year and a half I’ve shared a number of my creations on this blog. When I do, I always hope the pictures tell the story. I do try to add to them, writing what the idea was and where it came from. The truth is that I can only ever give half of the information. Each and every piece I make is for someone in particular, the end result is always the product of two people’s ideas worked through together. What’s more, the posts, for me, are the end of the journey. Which means the most important part is always missing. It is the other person that wears the jacket, or pair of trousers, or shirt. It is they who have a relationship with the piece.

A couple of months ago I made this jacket for Okka. She has very kindly written what it means to her and I thank her so much for putting into words something I really can’t.

A letter from Okka:

I grow by ten centimeters every time I put it on. And lose ten pounds. How light and amazingly soft the fabric is, no other piece in my wardrobe feels this light, not even my summer blouses. The lining is pink, I mean, really pink, a loud colour that you can’t see when I wear it or only if you look closely. But I can feel it, that pink makes me happy, a bit braver than I really am. There’s something festive about wearing it.

This blazer is the first and only piece of clothing that was ever made especially for me, to the shape of my body, for my arms, my back and my not inconsiderably wide shoulders. I get dressed in it when I’m at home sometimes, when nobody can see me, just because, just for me, I wear it when I’m having a bad day, I wear it when I’m having a good day, I wear it when I’m nervous about something and I don’t want anybody to notice.

There is another reason why I love this blazer so much, it’s hard to put into words, because it gets so emotional so quickly. But when James made this blazer for me, I was feeling pretty awful about myself. Uncomfortable in my body like never before. I had never given much thought to my figure or to how much I weigh, but after my daughter was born, I felt terrible. Foreign in my own body, lost somehow. The thought of having something, the idea of wearing something that looked exactly like I imagined it, putting something on that made me feel like myself again – that thought saved me. I liked the woman in the blazer, she didn’t care if she’d put on weight or that the dark circles under her eyes went all the way down to her knees, nobody could touch her, not even herself. And that feeling hasn’t changed. That blazer by James Castle and me, it’s a holy love.


P.S. If you like the idea of having something tailor-made for you, like the blazer I made for Okka, you can find inspiration and buy more of my other designs on my new website and shop: www.jamescastle.de

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  1. Claudi
    Posted 28. July 2012 at 19:00 | Permalink

    Normalerweise mag ich es nicht, wenn im Netz Freunde das Geschäft oder die Arbeit von ihren Freunden loben. Das kommt immer wie ein abgesprochenes Ding rüber. Aber in diesem Fall spürt man echt sehr dass die Okka mit ihrem Jackett üüüüberglücklich ist.

    • Marlene
      Posted 28. July 2012 at 22:56 | Permalink

      Finde ich auch. Und da wir hier eh nur über Dinge schreiben, die wir lieben – auch (gerade) wenn sie von Freunden sind – fand ich’s umso schöner, Okkas Liebe hier zu teilen.

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