As any wannabe sartorialist or religious fashion follower knows, the fashion seasons work in advance – so when we have blue skies and sun aplenty outside, fashion designers have already set their sights on what wares they can create and peddle come the winter months. Recently, I have decided to imitate the fashion greats and launch a series of articles detailing the upcoming trends and themes for autumn/winter 2012.
However, fear not, these articles are designed to showcase upcoming trends with a spring/summer 2012 twist – so you can start getting involved ahead of the trend and become the forward-thinking fashion visionaries you really are. One of the most important (and necessary) items of clothing for any autumn/winter period is a good coat – and it seems one of the most popular outerwear trends for AW12 is the puffa coat/jacket.
I must admit that in the past I haven’t been a big fan of puffa jackets, as the shape tended to be too large, swamping the body in a very unflattering way. However, high fashion designers have put forward a bid to resurrect the puffa-style, with collections by Rick Owens, Lanvin, Balmain and DKNY all featuring puffa jackets at AW12 Fashion Weeks.
One of the biggest AW12 advocates of puffa styling was Moncler Gamme Bleu, a brand which is stereotypically known for its puffa coats and jackets. Historically, Moncler was founded in 1952 as a company that manufactured high end puffa jackets and sportswear. Throughout the 50s and 60s, Moncler supplied clothing and equipment for several highly-publicised mountain-climbing expeditions, which were anchored by vital warmth-retaining puffa coats.
Based on these roots, Moncler is the obvious choice when considering a brand that could propel the puffa style back to the fashion forefront – and their A/W 2012 collection did not disappoint. Moncler Gamme Bleu took Formula 1 as the inspiration for the collection and every single outfit paraded down the catwalk contained an element of puffa-styling in some capacity.
This collection took puffa to the extreme, with the first outfits consisting of full-on puffa jumpsuits that would not look out of the ordinary in the Formula 1 pit. The collection also featured puffa-style shorts, trousers and even whole suits. In terms of outerwear, there were floor length puffa coats and puffa-style double-breasted trenches in primary reds and yellows, along with sleeveless puffa gilets:
At the more wearable end of the designer spectrum were fur-collared puffa parka jackets by Viktor and Rolf and puffa shearling collared jackets by Band of Outsiders. Band of Outsiders also included hooded puffa jackets in corduroy, and puffa scarves – which added an interesting dynamic to a standard accessory:
In the fashion press, the puffa resurgence has not gone unnoticed. In their most recent issue, Esquire Magazine featured an impressive Moncler puffa coat in their style section and their current advertising campaign features a model wearing a white hooded puffa jacket cuddled up to 2 polar bears on an iceberg – clearly demonstrating the key selling point of a good puffa jacket: warmth.
Esquire online are also featuring the limited edition ‘Ocean Racer’ jacket by Henri Lloyd, describing it as ‘a practical yet stylish puffa jacket.’ On a more affordable level, Shortlist Magazine recently ran a feature on Marc Newson’s new G-Star collection, which includes a stylish puffa jacket with removable and reversible sleeves to maintain a sense of variety within a single garment.
At the more affordable end of the puffa jacket market, several high street brands have also released a range of puffa jackets, coats and gilets for the coming months:
So what do you guys out there think? Is there room for the puffa jacket to make a comeback this autumn/winter in a stylish manner? Or is this type of puffa styling a step too far in the sportswear direction?
Askmen.com have described the puffa jacket as a retro fashion faux pas, but this seems to be at odds with the opinions of the high fashion designers whose collections contained a lot of puffa influences.
As always, all opinions and comments are welcomed below…