Fashion Statement: Take your wet-weather style tips from the New Yorkers
Storm-proofing oneself may not sound like the height of fashion, but if they're doing it in New York, it's time to take note. Everything of theirs ends up over here, after all; I feel like I can hardly move for hipsters and hot dogs.
Style and practicality are uneasy bedfellows even when the outlook is fair, but when it's tipping it down and you're caught in a Frankenstorm, looking good is likely to be the least of your worries. How thoughtful, then, that designers this season should have concentrated so considerately on outerwear. Once again, fashion proves a more reliable barometer than the Met Office.
When the rain comes, there's Swedish label Acne's oxblood leather (below) and PVU coat, worn stiff and starchy, and cinched high on the waist. For the snow, pick a Puffa – reworked as tailoring at Peter Pilotto and in crimson silk moire by Christopher Kane. Banish all thoughts of the "Int milk brilliant?" man from The Fast Show; instead the look is Bond Girl holidaying at Klosters, perhaps, but equally at home in the East End.
The trench is a perennial favourite, too, and one that has made Burberry the powerhouse it is – designer Christopher Bailey this season presented variations on the classic shape embellished with peplum frills, ideal for when the precipitation is dripping off you in rivulets. And at McQ Alexander McQueen, Black Watch tartan was manly and military, bagged out on the hips and deep in the sleeve to summon a hard-edged sort of cyber Land Girl.
Ultimately though, what you really need in a post-tropical-storm scenario is some sort of duvet-coat-cum-living-system (there's an enormous one in H&M's forthcoming collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela). It's a concept that designer Issey Miyake often looked to as well, with his superbly functional, hi-tech offerings, from garments with inbuilt climate control to ones which can be rolled, cut and worn according to each individual's needs.
But until the storm hits here – the Franken- one, not the fashion one – you'll find me clad in a slanket. On the sofa. Watching the leaves blowing on the six o'clock news.
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