The ultimate guide to investing in new-season outerwear
Universally flattering, long coats are a wardrobe fail-safe. This season, the style arrived oversized at Loewe and Off-White, allowing for another autumn trend: layering. This year, the belt is a design feature, not merely a waist-cincher. Dries Van Noten’s already exaggerated coats, which featured leg-of-mutton sleeves and cocoon silhouettes, were amplified further with sashes tied tightly into neat bows. Chloé, on the other hand, offset lustrous parkas, blazers and fluid dresses with tough leather belts.
Perhaps the best example of fashion-meets-function, parkas have been a feature on the fashion circuit since the 50s. A favourite come festival season, traditional features – popularised by Mods and Britpop aficionados – include fishtail hems, khaki, and fur trim. However, today these requisites are less rigid. Fortunately, the parka remains a great insulator (though designers are less likely to treat the finish with fish oil, as the Inuit did). Isabel Marant Étoile offers a raspberry version, while No.21’s is cast in satin. Indeed, the parka has come a long way since Quadrophenia.SHOP PARKAS
The tactile trend returns for Autumn/ Winter 2018 with teddy-bear fabrics spun into oversized coats (in contrast to another key trend: the plastic trench). The fashion pendulum swings this season with S&M hallmarks and protective outerwear on one side, and fluffy faux furs and shearlings on the other, adding comfort against turbulent times – a high-fashion hug, if you will. Further proof that textiles are set to be a major trend: the contrast of colours, from Tango orange at Stand to Shrimps’ dusky rose and Pinko’s bottle green.SHOP SHEARLING & FUR
Cut away from coat convention with vibrant faux furs, hazard-tape-style high-vis – as seen at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC – and animal prints. A continuation of Spring/Summer 2018’s penchant for primary colours, paint-box brights dominated the catwalks. Keeping with the tonal trend of the past two seasons, designers focused on single shades rather than clashing colours – though this, too, was seen on a lesser scale. There’s an assortment of standout styles, from the much-hyped workwear jackets that have created a viral sensation, to the less polarising (and probably more timeless) embellished coats by Roksanda and Christopher Kane.SHOP STATEMENT COATS
From Audrey Hepburn’s iconic gabardine version in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (no roundup would be complete without mentioning this fashion moment) to Parisian poster girl Françoise Hardy’s insouciant take, the trench is timeless. Recall the sultry take on masculine tailoring championed by 1940s starlets – notably Marlene Dietrich – and the ascent of 1980s Japanese designers and their avant-garde appropriations. Today trenches are again being revamped. Christopher Kane experiments with eroticism with his lace-and-PVC design, while Rejina Pyo returns to retro glamour with a neck-tie detail.SHOP TRENCH COATS