michael novarese

1960s Michael Novarese Ostrich Feather Full Length Maxi Coat

This Michael Novarese could very well be a one-of-a-kind as most of his higher end pieces were made to order. On top of that, it has the added distinction of being the actual coat that Tracee Ellis Ross wore for her first time hosting the American Music Awards in 2017. Michael Novarese designed gowns for many of the Hollywood scene including Jane Russell, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Elizabeth Taylor and others. His earlier pieces from the 1960s and seventies in particular are wonderful. As a designer he made the decision to create only high end pieces using beautiful fabrics and proper, couture sewing techniques. This coat is a great representation of his work. Full on vintage feather coats in such excellent condition are already a rare find, but the ones that are made completely from ostrich feathers, rather then the more typically seen down versions, are the holy grail. This one, with its gorgeous mix of ivory feathers tinged with a slight grey tone at many of the feather tips, in wonderful. Especially with that Hollywood Awards show connection, that has now forever given it a place in fashion & Hollywood history.

This is the coat that you will reach for over and over. It is made from ivory ostrich feathers that have the slightest touch of a grey graduation to them as they reach their tips on some of the feathers. The photos have lightened the color a touch and in person the depth and texture of all of those thousands and thousands of feathers have an even better effect. The feathers are set onto the base fabric in horizontal rows and this in a way creates a bias cut fabric like effect out of the feathers. This allows it to drape on the body underneath perfectly so that when you are wearing it, it moves with you wonderfully. You may remember that moment when Tracee dropped it on stage and it fell from her shoulder like a cloud (I have that moment captured on my Instagram if you want to pop over there to see). Once on, you get this long line and it always seems to sit perfectly in place no matter how you move. It definitely has volume but this just adds to its appeal. You could always recreate Tracee's backstage look and belt it. It feels like next to nothing on and is full, maxi coat in length falling right to the floor. It is truly just amazing. The feathers give it a rich, deep texture and you will be able to wear it over anything.  This is a very rare and special piece. Excellent condition

Fully lined in an ivory matte silk satin with no closures at the front at all. The feathers range from white to ivory to a pale grey. The colors are slightly darker in person and there is a hint of grubbiness to the feathers at the normal wear areas but very minor. There is only very minimal, normal shedding making it strong and stable. This is cut to drape and fit a variety of sizes. Note that feather pieces are final sale.

Sleeves: approx 25" including feather tips
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist-hips: open
Length: 1pprox 62" from neck to hem including feather tips

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# C481

Reference Photos: Tracee Ellis Ross as she hosted the 2017 American Music Awards. Styled by Karla Welch

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

I have a small collection of historically important, key designer labelled vintage furs, fur trimmed & feather pieces stored away in my archives that I will be slowly posting on the site over the next couple of years until I have none left. I will no longer be buying furs for the shop moving forward and have not purchased anything for several years now. I feel like times have changed and while there still is a place for vintage furs for some, including collectors and historians, many modern girls are choosing other options. Many of the pieces in my collection are representative of the designer during a set time period in history that was different then our modern outlook. I have decided that the best course to handle this controversial issue is to let the pieces I have go rather then sit in a cold storage unit. All fur coats, fur trimmed & feather pieces are final sale.


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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.