Friday, June 18

The Slopes Are Fashion’s New Runway – CR Fashion Book


The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and gloomy days are no longer – yes, spring is officially here. But enter the fashion world and it’s a different kind of picture, one that frames glacial habitats with glorious mountaintops and snowy landscapes. That’s right, fashion is yet again having an outdoorsy moment.

Fashion week had its fair share of contemporary quarantine looks and the contrary avant-garde ensembles readying us for post-pandemic life. Yet among the comfortable and the glamorous, there were also a cluster of shows that showcased the sartorial savvy of the great outdoors, the fashionable sensibility of skiing, and the appeal of a snowy backdrop.

For Miu Miu’s Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection, models walked across the mountainous terrains of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy sporting ginormous fur boots and coats, padded quilt sets and ski jumpsuits, full coverage face masks, and teddy bear gloves. Even in silky slip dresses and opaque cover ups, they trudged around in the snow in heavy boots.

At Thom Brown, the household designer took the wintery concept literally, tapping Olympian skier Lindsey Vonn for his Fall/ Winter 2021 fashion film. Dressed in a signature striped tuxedo skirt suit, Vonn swerved down the tree-lined slopes with ease. But taking a moment away from the action, the remainder of the collection striked a balance between black-tie and seasonal sportswear; thick padding was corseted onto tuxedos and dresses (including Vonn’s canary gown) and chunky sweaters reserved for the cabins were tucked into sculptural skirts, while Winter Olympic cities were honored with patches.

Thom Brown

miu miu

Miu Miu

Then, the Helmut Lang Fall/Winter 2021 collection turned ski wear down a nostalgic yet futuristic road. While its touch of utilitarianism – weaved in through earthy tones and structured cuts – resembles that of the ’90s and its space-age metallics aren’t particularly ski-focused, the collection’s functionality (think hi-tech and water and wind proof material), marks its stance as fashion-forward yet sports approachable.

helmut lang fall 2021

Helmut Lang

helmut lang fall 2021

Helmut Lang

It has us asking: Was fashion always obsessed with the mountains and skiing?

Alongside Miu Miu, Thom Browne, and Helmut Lang brands and houses like ski-oriented Moncler and Chanel have had their take on transporting the slopes to the sartorial world. The former’s Genius Project is a destination for bulbous puffers in the shape of full body gowns and coats and goggles paired with leggings while Chanel’s Fall 2019 show was a winter wonderland filled with vibrant ’80s inspired ski lounge looks and a slew of elegant white fur trimmed mini skirts.

paris fashion week womenswear fall winter 20192020

Victor BoykoGetty Images

This inspiration has spilled off of the runway too, sustaining in other arenas like film. Those with voguish wardrobes have successfully encapsulated the grandeur side of the skiing lifestyle, like the 1963 film Charade which featured Audrey Hepburn in a modish Givenchy brown ski one piece. And, more recently, photos from the filming of House of Gucci have exposed the repertoire of luxury après-ski costumes, causing a fashionable frenzy among Gucci-lites.

audrey hepburn, charades

lady gaga and adam driver,  house of gucci

@ladygaga/Instagram

Even in pop culture, celebrities who ski have always garnered more attention for their looks rather than their ability to swoop down the mountains. From modern-day reality stars like the Kardashian-Jenners and Paris Hilton (who’s never let a hot pink moment slide even in the snow) to legendary It-girls including Jane Birkin, Bridgette Bardot, Brooke Shields, and Princess Diana, their choice of mountain wear has influenced the way fashionphiles take to nature in their finest ‘fits.

bridgette  bardot

Bridgette Bardot

Pinterest

princess  diana

Apart from ski’s trendsetting impact on fashion, tapping into the mountains means something more now – a sense of freedom and a connection to humble roots. Although normality is slowly returning after a year of hunkering down, fashion is still craving the openness and opportunity that the outdoors defines, as if it’s still trying to make up for lost time. It mirrors Thom Brown’s desire for an unwavering, boundless approach to dressing and carries Miuccia Prada’s paradoxical message of overwhelming openness and experienced bravery in exaggerated yet confined clothing – both looked to the mountains and utilized their collections to, in a non- ironic way, reach new heights and to express the sign of the times.

Mother Nature in general has had its fair share of love in the past year. Gucci’s collaboration with The North Face married designer concepts with recreational functionality while Burberry’s Fall 2021 Menswear collection featured camping motifs like broad shoulder backpacks accessorized with umbrellas, utilitarian scout like silhouettes, and wild animal prints. Even the percolation of green on the runway and social media have a leafy attachment. The recent ebb and flow of nature is a vicarious way of living out the past and the future in sense of calm, wanderlust, and hopefulness.

gucci x the north face

The North Face x Gucci Collection

Gucci

burberry fall 2021 menswear

Burberry Fall 2021 Menswear

Burberry

Although we’re just peaking into the warmer months, it’s apparent that it’s never too early to appreciate the snowy seasons to come. So strap on your goggles and lace up your boots because the mountains are calling.



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