I want a Belgian coat, dammit.

My mother, who was born in what they call “Old Europe,” doesn’t get my obsession with Belgian and Scandinavian clothing, or what she calls, “weird, trendy, you’ll-get-tired-of-it-next-season” clothing. All my life I’ve been hearing how I’ll tire of clothes that are interesting and daring and should just invest in a camel wool coat and be done with it.

I’m sorry, but if you give me a removable collar, like this one on Mel En Stel’s Wool Tweed Coat, it’s like letting me pretend I’ve a hand in actually dressing myself.

Which, admit it, is a clever trick.

Designer Ilse Eriksson is responsible for the edgy, feminine pieces you see before you…

The success story actually started her career constructing dresses out of parachutes and hostel blankets (I kid you not).

Mel en Stel can now be found on tons of online sites and — though not cheap (dresses clock in at $350) — serve as inspiration behind far more affordable pieces like this one from Modcloth ($139.99):

the Grey-t Cape-r Coat

Still want Mel en Stel? Visit KrisTees Boutique at 24-01 23rd Ave., Astoria, NY. (718) 204-5031. http://www.kristeesnyc.com.

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