Once again in North America and Europe we are facing a winter where it's probably safer to indulge in outdoor activities and that includes eating dinner on the sidewalk under a heat lamp. Hence the need for show-stopping outerwear, that is also warm and practical. The puffer coat or jacket fits all of those criteria, and is the obvious choice not only this season but also for the fall winter season to come.
Tracing The Trend
Moncler is usually credited with promoting the modern puffer coat as a luxury fashion item. The label has shown hundreds of styles in recent seasons, from practical versions in the regular collections, to quite fantastical collaborations with designers such as Richard Quinn, Simone Rocha and J.W. Anderson.
After all, who can forget the incredible sight of puffer coat ball-gowns created in partnership with Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli back in 2019?
Indeed it's a brand that dates back to 1952, when in the mountains of Grenoble, the company developed padded sleeping bags. A few years later came similarly designed down jackets and a future key item was born.
On the other hand, we can't forget the impact of New York designer Norma Kamali and her 'sleeping bag coat' In the early seventies, Kamali went on a camping trip to Upstate New York. When she needed to use the bathroom in the middle of a somewhat chilly night, she wrapped her sleeping bag around her shoulders before sprinting for the trees. The designer was inspired and when she returned home she took the sleeping bag apart and made a coat out of it. She started to sell the coats in 1973 to immediate success. Elton John, Cher and the doormen at legendary nightclub, Studio 54, all wore them and updated versions of the coat are available today on the designer's website.
For Fall/Winter 2021, collections from New York and London to Milan and Paris, were filled with puffer coats of every size, shape and color. New York-based brand, r13, designed by Chris Leba, showed a good-looking animal print/bright red reversible coat.
Off-White and Ottolinger both showed elaborately layered looks
At Kenzo, an exuberant model wearing a boldly printed down coat in shades of green and beige with maximal fold-over pockets walked the runway.
Givenchy showed their audience how to incorporate a longer length puffer coat into a glamorous evening look.
In keeping with his futuristic style Rick Owens showed coats with a dystopian feel.
Puffers At Retail
Puffer coats and jackets were also shown for the Resort 22 season including these styles from Balenciaga.
This season a wide variety of puffer coats and jackets are available at the retail level. Founded in 2016 by creative director, Catherine Holstein, New York-based Khaite is offering several silhouettes this season including 'The Jermaine,' a long line zip up coat with knot collar, waist and cuffs and several styles of short puffer jackets, including two in black leather.
New York brand Rag & Bone is offering several puffer styles this winter including 'Joelle' which comes either in solid color or in a geometric print.
Stockholm-based Acne Studios has both belted and hooded cotton/nylon puffer jackets filled with recycled down and feathers.