It's time to embrace the superb softness that you will be wrapping yourself with in the upcoming season – après-ski on the snowy mountains of Gstaad, ice-skating at Somerset House in London, or shopping in New York City on a chilly day... Fur is back, and in a huge way. Long, long gone are the styles that our grandmothers used to wear. Replacing the mousy brown fur coats so heavy to wear over extended periods of time that they would require some body-building is a new generation of gorgeous outerwear. Eye-popping colours, innovative treatments and, above all, unexpected combinations with other materials have transformed a mere coat into an investment piece. Our care guide will keep it in top shape, the best return on any memorable purchase.
Blumarine’s pre-fall outerwear is a visual and tactile experience: fuchsia and deep wine colours of the patchwork silver fox fur, the leopard-print goat fur with oversized bijoux, Xiangao lamb fur, and dégradé mink fur coat that blushes demurely at the end of the sleeves and generous hem. It does not end here, as Anna Molinari recreates the classic shearling coat in dusty pink and bold rivets, one of the major trends for autumn/winter, and a ruby-red embossed leather coat with a butter-soft mink fur collar. While natural materials have superb tactility, they do require specific care as direct sun exposure should be avoided, and should not be stored in nylon coat covers that tend to trap moisture.
Wool gets a facelift at Anya Hindmarch in beautiful shades of cobalt blues and burgundy reds. Satin wool gives past-knee-length styles an incredible lightness, and mink trim on the shoulder and arm, as well as diamante details that play on the collection’s digital art theme, add to the minimalistic silhouette. Though not specifically crease-proof, have your coat steamed or pressed carefully when you take it out of the suitcase. Store it on a hanger, and it will soon be in great shape again.
Coat care knowledge is not just a woman’s privilege as shearling is causing quite a stir in the menswear department. Ralph Lauren Purple Label offers several superb Italian-made updates on the rugged essential. How about the Arbury shearling coat that crafts incredibly soft lamb shearling in the aviator-inspired silhouette? It is reinforced with wear-resistant calfskin trim and a raw-edged hem for an extra touch of sportiness. The Clerk jacket’s Toscana lamb shearling shell is an effective windbreaker, and individually-cut and hand-stitched cowhide appliqués highlight craftsmanship. For serious blitz, zip up and hood up.
The important thing to remember is not to wear your shearling coat during heavy snowfall, and never leave it near a heat source, such as that lovely, crackling fireplace, or direct sunshine. Before you put it away at the end of winter, don’t forget to have any stains, spots or blemishes taken care of by a leather specialist, who has the right cleaning agents, equipment and tools that effectively prevent discoloration, drying-out, or worse, cracking of the suede side and damage on the fur side.
But if you do get caught in the rain and snow, Brunello Cucinelli’s innovative outerwear might just save the day. New ‘membrane-lined’ fabrics feature a protective inner layer, for example, in opaque nylon which improves water-repellent properties, or a technical fibre membrane that makes pure wool flannel wind- and water-proof. And since no one likes a very heavy coat, Brunello Cucinelli has combined lightweight materials, like cashmere fabric on a bias and waterproof cashmere, with sumptuous, natural fabrics such as double-faced wool, to keep it soft and relaxed. Just what we need in winter.