Finding the perfect $50,000 coat

Mark Bennington

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Think $50,000 overcoat, and it’s easy to picture a story in Us Weekly about a celebrity shopping binge which also includes $100,000 shoes, a stop for multiple Hermes purses, followed by merengues with Victoria Beckham. A $50,000 coat is undoubtedly an indulgence, but what Hanover, New Hampshire author Meg Lukens Noonan found in her book “The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury & Obsession on the Trail of the $50,000 Coat ” was something far more reserved. The coat in question represents a hundreds-year-old tradition of bespoke clothing with some of the most luxurious material available, assembled by skilled craftsmen. She traced the route of the materials that make up the Vicuna coat with Italian silk lining, and collected her adventures in “Coat”

Q. How did you come across the coat?

A. I had done a story about the ultimate down comforter. I had an interest in luxury items that are made in

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