ELLE (UK) - - Mood Board -

IF YOU LIKE A SPOT OF SARTORIAL pea­cock­ing, then I ded­i­cate this month’s col­umn to you. I can guar­an­tee that noth­ing will elicit head-turns in the street quite like a pair of hairy feet, arms or legs. Peo­ple will look. They will stare.

If, like me, you love the fan­tasy of fash­ion and the sheer joy of dress­ing up – whether that’s mix­ing weird colour com­bi­na­tions or pair­ing se­quins with denim, or in­deed wear­ing footwear that looks like it should be­long on the feet of a four-legged friend – then I’d be hard pushed to find a bet­ter trend for you to em­brace this win­ter. On the flip side, if you pre­fer clas­sic, time­less pieces that don’t shout look-at-me, then I would stop read­ing now. Trot on in your smooth, hair-less bags and shoes; this one def­i­nitely isn’t for you.

Right, so how does one go about pulling off hairy shoes with­out look­ing like you’re wear­ing your nana’s house­coat and slip­pers? Af­ter much trial and er­ror, I’ve de­cided that a dress or a slinky skirt works well to el­e­vate a furry san­dal from slip­per ter­ri­tory. I’ve al­ways loved Birken­stock’s sheep­skin san­dals – they go with ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing – for all of their ugly prac­ti­cal­ity (and con­se­quently their power to sub­vert a pretty flo­ral dress).

And I still reg­u­larly check Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive for Phoebe Philo’s furry Cé­line slides, gut­ted that I didn’t blow my en­tire stu­dent loan on a pair of them years ago.

So­nia Rykiel opened her AW18 show with four smil­ing mod­els bounc­ing down the cat­walk in full yeti out­fits – match­ing coats, knee-high boots, bags and gi­ant trap­per hats. And they looked like they were hav­ing a great time. Your take-away from this? Furry bags are in. So are coats. Wear them to­gether in com­ple­men­tary colours for max­i­mum im­pact.

If this all sounds a bit like fancy dress, then there is a mid­dle ground, of course. En­ter, stage right, the teddy-bear coat. Seen at Dries van Noten, Preen and MaxMara, the shaggy coat (in faux fur, of course) is this win­ter’s an­swer to last year’s sheep­skin avi­a­tor jacket. It’s big, it’s cud­dly and, most im­por­tantly, it will keep you very warm. And let’s be hon­est, who doesn’t need a hug on a cold, grey Mon­day morn­ing in the depths of win­ter?

The teddy-bear coat comes in many dif­fer­ent guises. You could go printed short faux fur from Shrimps, whose now-iconic coats come in ev­ery shade, and new rose and heart prints for au­tumn/win­ter. You can even get your­self match­ing shoes and bags. Not for the faint-hearted. Or you could opt for a long-haired rain­bow coat from Mis­soni. Again, shrink­ing vi­o­lets need not ap­ply. For days when you sim­ply want to blend in with the crowd, Top­shop has a cud­dle­tas­tic, caramel-coloured num­ber for £85 that is your child­hood teddy bear reimag­ined as out­er­wear. Now what could be more com­fort­ing than that?


Pho­tographs by ARI­ANNA LAGO

TOP Coat, £1,62O, MARKUS LUPFER. Gloves, £39, ARKET. Shoes,£695, SI­MONE ROCHA.ABOVE Coat, as be­fore. Shoes, £63O, PREEN

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