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The Puffer Coat is Winter’s Hero Piece


Photographed by Valentina Frugiuele

Bundle up in fall’s most dominant outerwear piece—the puffer coat. The voluminous down feather jacket that conjures images of the Marshmallow Man, was a mainstay throughout designer Fall 2016 collections. At Balenciaga, the cozy cover up was styled off the shoulders. Meanwhile, Alexander McQueen wrapped models in oversized, blanket-like coats that featured embroidered details; and Stella McCartney presented a plush, on-trend velvet version in a deep blue hue. Designers’ fresh take on the puffer coat comes with a fashion forward aesthetic powered by a spectrum of bold colors that range from cotton candy pink, and bright red, to rusted orange—all will pack a sartorial punch.

Conceived out of necessity, the puffer coat’s humble beginnings date back to 1936. Invented by Eddie Bauer, the explorer imagined the puffer while on the brink of losing his life to hypothermia during a winter fishing trip. After pulling through, he went on a mission to create a garment that was warm and lightweight. He had an idea to stuff down feathers into a quilted fabric. To his success, the padded squares insulated heat, ultimately keeping the wearer of his creation warm. He patented his practical design in 1940 and called it the “Skyliner.”

Meanwhile, Charles James, a renowned British designer dubbed America’s first couturier, is also credited for crafting the first version of the fashion puffer jacket in 1938. The jacket, which is considered to be one of James’ most prominent designs, was a multidimensional evening silhouette made from swan down feathers encased in ivory silk.

Fast forward to the ‘90s, the puffer jacket proved very popular in hip hop culture. Rappers, such as the late Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy harnessed the jacket from brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Helly Hanson. Today, when Drake dropped his video for Hotline Bling, he donned a red Moncler Maya down puffer jacket, one of the French brand’s iconic styles. Online sales of the jacket doubled following the release of the viral video as reported by Vanity Fair.

Shop Vogue Arabia’s edit of puffer coats in the gallery below.

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