Review by TYPEFORTE
I have to confess, that when Steve first made known his interest in producing a replica sixth doctor frock coat - back in late 2009 / early 2010 - I was mildly sceptical that it would actually reach fruition.
Not, I hasten to add, because of any doubts regarding his skills or attention to detail, but simply because of the scale of the challenge: the logistics, the expense, the complexity. It’s a colossal project, from researching fabrics and potential suppliers/manufacturers right through to the assembly.
Steve’s journey seemingly began when he was blessed with an opportunity to closely inspect one of the three screen-used examples of the coat (coat number 2). Some years previously I’d enjoyed a similar chance to inspect the same coat. So I can judge Steve’s replica from the standpoint of having briefly handled a “real” one.
Clothears are best described as ‘costume-makers’, providing their services to the cosplay market. As a cosplay accessory their Sixth Doctor coat remains an excellent piece of work and (barring Steve’s) knocks any other replica into a cocked hat. In contrast, what Steve has produced goes beyond mere cosplay tomfoolery and ventures deep into the territory reserved principally for the ‘serious collector’. It’s a serious piece of art, a serious piece of craftsmanship and comes with a serious price tag to match.
Turning to the back, we see the fiddle back seams perfectly represented, the bias-cut shoulder seam bowing; and the arched seam that runs to the top of the waist pleat tapering elegantly as it heads towards the small of the back. Neither of these subtle lines are so apparent in the Clothears coat.
The lining in Steve’s coat is an impressive extra flourish, and really completes the sense that what you’re handling is almost interchangeable with an original coat, albeit brand new – and unlike the Clothears lining, doesn’t rustle as you move.
In conclusion - leaving aside the superior fabrics used – the real hallmark of Steve’s Sixth Doctor coat is in the superior craftsmanship and construction that underpins every panel and stitch. Arthur Davey - the tailor who made coat number 1 from Pat Godfrey’s design - would be proud.
This Cloth Ears coat has subsequently been sold on eBay for £731.24
6th Doctor Who Frock Coat