Statement coats make sense. You wear your coat everywhere, on top of your actual outfit, so the percentage of people who see your coat is much higher than those who see your outfit. Plus, as far as splurge items go, the cost per wear is going to be lower than almost anything in your closet. Which, I think, is why designers really embraced the statement coat. Even if a basic camel coat will sell predictably well, shoppers will shell out for a really unique topper. So statement coats became somewhat ubiquitous, especially on runways. And what happens when a trend becomes ubiquitous? We move on to the next trend? No! We make it more extreme, make it bigger, make it weirder, make it more niche! Until it becomes a spectacle of itself. Have the Fall 2014 statement coats, which are by and large of muppet-like proportions, veered into spectacle territory? You tell us. Then tell us if you like it.
The big, furry statement coat pushed to the front of the rack right out of New York Fashion Week. Matthew Williamson and Jenny Packham helped propel the trend. Williamson with pink and purple fluffy fur with a Studio 54 vibe and Packham picked up on a profusion of marabou (yes marabou) with a full length fluffy feather show closing look. Rodarte’s lustworthy, sure-to-be cult status coat, seen above left, may not be super oversized or fluffy but it’s got the weird quotient. Teal all-over glitter with a boxy silhouette and wide fun fur collar? Sign those hipsters up. (Okay, and me. I’d wear this all over and solidify my status as that weird girl.)
At Milan, Gucci typified the trend with it’s pink, frothy, exuberant, alpaca concoction, seen above. The trend for fluffy and oversized was present, but tempered at Paris Fashion Week. Givenchy and Saint Laurent had the big furry coats, but they were less extreme and part of collections with much more streamlined silhouettes overall.
I’d say it was all inspired by the polar vortex and particularly rough weather we’ve been having this winter, but of course collections are created too far ahead of time for that. I would bet that the harsh winter will positively affect sales of these big bold coats for Fall 2014, though. Just the memory of this winter will have us all wanting to wrap ourselves up in the biggest, fluffiest coat we can find. And we’ll have plenty of options.