1973 Biba by Barbara Hulanicki Oversized Houndstooth Jacket w Incredible Sleeves & Shoulders

A version of this 1973 coat in a different pattern is featured in one of the Biba books and you can see the same shape through the shoulder and sleeve. I have had this for many years now and it is a very hard piece to let go of. It really showcases her love for all things Art Deco and the cut of this coat is phenomenal. 1973 marked the year that the Big Biba store opened in a seven-story building on Kensington High Street. Every floor had its own theme with floors and millions of people visited.

This coat is absolutely wonderful. It has those fabulous Art Deco lines that Barbara Hulanicki excelled at and that so many of the best of her pieces reference. It is made out of a woven wool that creates a giant houndstooth pattern. The neutral colour combination of the taupe and black is so easy to mix and match with everything. The coat has some weight to it but feels balanced once on the body. I love that you can see the actual weave of the wool. This adds extra texture and dimension to the pattern. The coat falls beautifully once on. It has a single large flat metal hook at the front and then swings open under that. There is no collar, and it simply falls into a V to that hook and then carries on to the hem. It is more fitted through the shoulders and then falls outwards with all of the volume created by the way the fabric has been cut and pieced together. The shoulders and sleeves are spectacular. Each shoulder is set with a high capped and rounded cut. This was something that Hulanicki became known for and pieces with this cut are among the most coveted. The sleeves are equally as fabulous. They are cut wide and full and then the ends flip over to create that huge 7" cuff. Hidden set pockets along one of the more inner vertical seams is the perfect finish. It is just exceptional and I think it is one of the best Biba coats I've ever personally seen. Excellent condition 

Fully lined in black silk. It has one hook to close at the front. Light padding in each shoulder. Pockets on each hip. I see some light water marks on the inner lining here and there. The open should fit a variety of sizes as long as the upper shoulders fit.

Sleeves: 21" and 14" around the upper arm
Shoulder: 17.5" flat across the exterior of the entire upper shoulder
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist-hips: open
Length: 43" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED

Item# DD4659

Reference Photo: Photo feature of the first Autumn collection at Big Biba in 1973 from the book “Welcome To Big Biba” by Steven Thomas and Alwyn W Turner. 

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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.