By Thomas Curry
Though having to acclimatise to the cold and breezy Scottish coast isn’t always the most welcome return to St Andrews, fortunately this seasons outerwear – with its interesting mix of heavy velvets and suedes, and thick sheepskins – offers good protection against the autumn chill.
Designers have experimented with a variety of different fabrics in their outerwear pieces, with the result that coats and jackets are focal pieces for their fall collections. Whilst Burberry has done its upmost to champion the aviator bomber, Hermes and Dolce & Gabbana have opted for thick suede jackets and duffels instead, where as designers such as Paul Smith and Salvatore Ferragamo have kept their focus on the more traditional tweed blazers. These three styles of coat in particular, it seems, are recurrent throughout numerous collections.
The aviator bomber really engages with an already prevalent trend as designers who incorporate vintage style in their collections, reinvent pieces like the denim shirt or oversized spectacles to keep them iconic and individual. Burberry is the key forerunner for this particular outerwear piece, offering a large number of variations of this classic. Whilst keeping the rich chocolate brown, it has also introduced a lighter olive green shade, and has customised the more traditionally squared off shape by adding industrial looking straps and buckles.
Sheepskin too is much more prominently used, with an inverted, all sheepskin jacket having been designed as their focal statement for the collection. Textured herringbone and tweeds, always a staple for autumn/winter, have also been redesigned, with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Paul Smith and Salvatore Ferragamo streamlining more boxy men’s jackets with shawl collars and more contemporary colour pallets.
My particular favourite however has to be the heavy suedes and velvets jackets and duffels designed by Hermes and Dolce & Gabbana. With such rich, thick fabrics being used, these outwear pieces strike a clever balance between luxury and masculinity; offset in smoky greys and strong, dark blues and blacks they have an urban, slightly industrial feel.
The high street too has really worked to keep up to speed with the high end designers with similar pieces appearing in stores such as Topshop and Massimo Dutti and online at Asos.com, crucially however, though their outwear is more affordable it is still, in many cases, just as durable and well designed.