Take a hike: Designers head to the great outdoors

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Fashion followers have been supplanted into the wilds this season, as a host of designers head outward bound, says Rebecca Gonsalves

For many people, a couple of nights of booze-addled sleep at a festival is the closest they get to the great outdoors, while others may throw themselves into hiking with reckless abandon – figuratively only, hopefully. Regardless of your levels of physical fitness, there’s plenty of styling nous to be picked up from the sort of chap who is familiar with the business end of a crampon.

At Topman Design, Gordon Richardson’s design team put a fashion spin on traditionally function-led items. Parkas were oversized or cropped and saturated with juicy shades of orange and red, inspired by an odyssey to Tibet. The technical met the sublime as  waxed fabrics, proofed cotton and gilded leather compass-holders embellished the narrative of the journey, as did the influence of Tibetan printed boiled wool and abstract intarsia Ohm symbols.

At Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones took inspiration from the mountains. The men’s studio and style director succinctly analysed the creation of a collection for the luxury house: “A collection is often an actual journey for us; it comprises what you take with you and what you bring back, both physically and mentally, from the experience.

Literally speaking, the journey to autumn/winter 13’s quilted parkas, hiking boots and Sherpa-inspired accessories involved: “Travelling to the Himalayas for research. It was the mountain kingdom of Bhutan that still had that mystery surrounding it... it feels so exotic, almost from another time.”

Click here to launch gallery

Another brand taking a trip back in time is Bally, which throughout the year has been celebrating the 60th anniversary of the historic first ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay – the latter shod in Bally. To mark the occasion, the Swiss brand recreated the duo’s base camp in a gated garden in central London, to showcase replica artefacts such as Tenzing’s reindeer boots.

While the daily commute is often challenging, it hardly rivals climbing the highest mountain in the world. Bally’s Everest collection is much more functional than just fashion, then, with three styles of boots based on traditional trekking and alpine styles.

Christopher Raeburn is a designer whose whole aesthetic germinated from his outward bound youth. Since he first launched his brand in 2008, Raeburn has consistently produced the sort of technically led designs that get fashion-loving adventurers in a spin. Throughout outerwear, woollens and accessories, function continuously informs Raeburn’s work, which has built a loyal following.

This season may have had a naval theme – with a bold use of red by the designer, alongside stripes and map-print silks teamed with indigo jeans – but these garments are intended to be multi-functional.

At Hermès, menswear artistic director Véronique Nichanian proposed a suitably luxurious take on the trail. Accents of yellow, orange and claret shot through the finest wool and cashmere pieces as slim trousers, fine-gauge intarsia striped knits and, perhaps most charmingly, high-visibility laces woven through the hook-and-eye fastenings of hiking boots. The usual clumpiness of such footwear had been refined by long-time collaborator Pierre Hardy, making them not only highly covetable, but no doubt ridiculously comfortable, too, as is the Hermès way.

Where the catwalks lead, the high street soon follows and the practicality of this trend fits in with a recent re-emergence of more traditional, outdoorsy dress that sees men everywhere from Dalston to the Dales wearing fisherman jumpers and flannel, not to mention the now obligatory Chris Bonington beard.

Chunky sweaters will soon be coming into season and natural fibres such as wool – or cashmere if you can stretch to it – are the best way to avoid feeling frazzled and sweaty as you go about your day. Down-filled parkas are proving popular with more than just Mods, while cords and similar soft-textured trousers are generally better at keeping out the chill than denim. They’re more flexible, too, should you be planning to enjoy the local land in all its autumnal glory.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

    £16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

    £19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

    Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor