Welcome to Thanks, I Love It, our series highlighting something onscreen we’re obsessed with this week.
Coats are a big deal in New York, more so than in many other places in the country. In cities and towns where car ownership is common, a person puts on their coat, gets in their Subaru or whatever, drives to their intended destination and promptly removes said coat when they get inside. In New York a person puts on their coat, walks down the street among hundreds of strangers, or gets on the subway with dozens more, runs into their ex in front of a gourmet grilled cheese pop-up while people glare at those two coat-wearing weirdos blocking the sidewalk with their awkward small talk, and otherwise performs many “indoor” tasks outside amongst the backdrop of the city that never sleeps.
A New Yorker’s coat is witnessed (and perhaps judged) more often here. In autumn especially, when enormous, ugly puffer coats aren’t required for survival, the coat is an extension of the city-dweller’s look as opposed to a utilitarian covering for the outfit underneath. HBO’s new miniseries The Undoing takes place during a New York fall in all its crispy, greyish autumnal glory, and Nicole Kidman’s character Grace Fraser is a millionaire therapist with enough spectacular coats to stage her own Lincoln Center Fall/Winter fashion show every day of her life.
Grace is a character squarely in Nicole Kidman’s HBO miniseries niche: a rich white lady whose husband is up to some bullshit. As she did in Big Little Lies, Kidman performs the guarded emotions of a Wife With Secrets extremely well, but the star of The Undoing’s first episode was undoubtedly Grace’s maroon, ankle-length velvet duster with its matching robe tie belt. Look at this coat. Look at how the burgundy of the jacket makes the highlights on her voluptuous ginger wig pop. That cinch at the waist, the color coordination with her manicure!
Just looking at the coat doesn’t do it justice. You have to see this baby in motion.
Ok, one more GIF, because the coat’s slightly lighter red satin lining looks like it slips off her shoulders like a dolphin enjoying a water slide.
This coat is so beautiful that someone could catch a glimpse of Nicole Kidman wearing it and take a few extra seconds to realize it was her wearing it — the look is just that strong.
Later in the first episode of The Undoing, Grace and her husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant, wow) attend a fundraiser for their son’s private school with the dress code “fancy glam.” Grace’s gown in this scene is gorgeous, but who cares about a dress when it’s wrapped up in this embroidered dun-and-scarlet cape with a standing collar.
Yep, gonna need to take a look at that one from the back. Whew.
This year is a sad one for the New York coat. Autumn is nearly over and many New Yorkers have done their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying inside, which is good news for responsible pandemic management and bad news for people who love stunting all over the city in their carefully curated outerwear collection.
Watching Nicole Kidman drop jaws in that velvet duster is the closest thing many of us will get to admiring fall street fashion, so thanks, The Undoing, for giving coatspotters something nice to look at these days. You might be a tense thriller about 5th Avenue oligarchs and homicide, but the coats are killer, too.
The Undoing airs Sundays on HBO.