As proclaimed enfant terrible Jean Paul Gaultier said in a recent interview with The Telegraph, there’s no such thing as a fashion crime considering fashion’s inherent fickleness. And, on the whole, I’m inclined to agree, but certain decisions made by certain unfortunate souls tend to arouse my inner sartorial Nazi. Take, for instance, the puffa jacket. Yes, it’s functional and shields you from every imaginable wave of horrid weather, and yes, it’s made the jump from outdoor essential to ‘fashion item’ (oh the 90s, how crap you were apart from grunge), but the coats themselves are bloody ugly, and there’s little you could do to make their presence more offensive.
Or so I thought, before luxury French house known chiefly for its feather/downing, Pyrenex, turned the whole matter on its head – for the better. Established in 1859, Pyrenex made its name trading in feathers, and then moved on to quilting, pillows, and all sorts of household paraphernalia before targeting the sports/outdoors market.
So far so relatively boring – I know, but this coming London Fashion Week marks a tidal change in the brand’s history with the introduction of famed couturier Alexis Mabille. Known for his dandy-esque eccentric menswear and elegant yet whimsical work for women, Mabille was brought on board to – I presume – address opinions like my own through designing a collection of down-filled jackets that would encourage a re-consideration of all things puffa-tastic. Sure enough, he’s succeeded in halting my torrent of fashion diktats, and rendering me a bit smitten with the whole idea of a padded sleeveless vest that doesn’t remind me of the…er…less than fashion forward farmers of my homeland.
From peacoats to biker jackets, bombers fit for the modern-day Jimmy Dean to oversized capes, the collection is the perfect example of a sad, old, and musty style redeemed. To see them up close, head to the fifteen day pop-up store on Dover Street from 15th – 30th September.