This coat was once a set of drapes that hung in the apartment of Mrs. Potter Palmer II where Mrs. Eugene Davidson moved following Mrs. Palmer's death. The drapes did not suit Mrs, Davidson, so she took them to James and asked him to create a coat for her. So much of the fine fabric was available that James used it for the exterior, facings and lining.
James executed the original design of this coat by cutting and pinning the material while it was draped on Lily Pons, the first to wear this design, in 1947. He continued to reproduce it: first for private clients, then for sale in department stores; the last version of the design was created around 1970 for Elsa Peretti, a jewelry designer in New York.