Vic­to­ria Moss

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - STYLE -

It’s per­haps a lit­tle­known phe­nom­e­non in these parts, but the Mi­lanese love a puffer coat. It’s usu­ally around this time of year that they bring them out, re­gard­less of whether the tem­per­a­ture has ac­tu­ally dropped or not, and they will stay in them un­til May. But then, all that easy ac­cess to the moun­tains, not to men­tion the cult ap­peal of lux­ury ski­wear la­bels, gives them a stylish pass­port into du­vet-dress­ing.

I know what you’re think­ing, I don’t ski, why might I care? Well, me nei­ther, but then, who could de­cline the op­por­tu­nity to dress as if one was still in the warm com­fort of bed?

As it goes, the mod­ern non-ski take on the puffer came from this very thought. Norma Ka­mali, a for­mi­da­ble fash­ion grande dame of New York, came up with this en­dur­ing con­cept after com­ing back from a camp­ing trip in the early-Seven­ties, The Sleep­ing Bag coat – its ear­li­est pro­to­type cre­ated lit­er­ally from her tent kit – was thus born.

For full geek points, please note that Ed­die Bauer engi­neered the first down-filled coat (patent is­sued in

1940) after a trip to the moun­tains with his, as it turned out, quite cold wife. Fash­ion and ski­ing have long been en­twined, a stylish sa­lopette be­ing the holy grail of any ca­sual Eight­ies school trip.

Di­ana, Princess of Wales, was, as in most ar­eas, a swift pi­o­neer of the Sloane-does-sport look, which has since be­come the go-to for a cer­tain breed of Clapham Dad.

You mustn’t let that put you off, though. Puffer jack­ets have been en­joy­ing a high-fash­ion pa­tron­age ever since Ba­len­ci­aga added crys­tals to one. Cult brands have ap­peared whose only mis­sion is to turn a hum­ble down-filled ny­lon gar­ment into In­sta­gram-cat­nip: see Per­fect Mo­ment and Ienki Ienki. The au courant puffer re­quires a lit­tle more thought to it than the slop­ing ver­sions of yes­ter­year – try adding a belt to your old mucker to give it some def­i­ni­tion. Or, of course, try some­thing new, safe in the knowl­edge that, while you may be skirt­ing close to fash­ion­abil­ity in your puffer, you’ll also be in­cred­i­bly cosy.

SLEEP­ING BAG KNEELENGTH COAT£640, Norma Ka­mali (match­es­fash­ GLOSSED-SHELL DOWN JACKET£1,405, Mon­cler Ge­nius 4 Si­mone Rocha (net-a-porter. com)

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