The concept of après-ski has been an integral part of skiing almost as long as the sport has been popular. To spend a little time at the end of the day eating, drinking and being merry has become as much a part of the ski season as the skiing itself, transforming an individual pastime into a social activity. As with any much-loved tradition, there is a distinct style that has become associated with après-ski. From cosy knitwear to sporty jackets, this has often been more about comfort than the cool factor. But for anyone looking to maintain their fashion credentials this season, a number of the world’s leading luxury brands are offering après-ski options that are decidedly avant-garde.
Cosy knitwear has long been a go-to of the ski set, with chunky sweaters conjuring up images of steaming hot drinks and curling up by the fire. If an oversized jumper is what you’re after, Pringle of Scotland’s autumn/winter 2016/17 collection offers a variety of options, from thick cable knits to sleek funnel necks, with unusual shapes and details adding a subtle edge. Printed knits have also made a comeback. Pringle’s grey sweater with bold striped patterns shows that even in subtle colours this look is anything but old-fashioned. At Sacai, sweaters are boldly coloured and bravely patterned, and at Peter Pilotto traditional knitted motifs adorn modern and unusual styles, be they caped twinsets or ultra-fine-knit funnel necks. At Chloé, a huge sweater dress falls below the knee, its billowing sleeves promising true cosiness. At Off White, a preppy cream and blue number is completed with a motif of horses, proving that even novelty knits can be chic.
Courrèges’s knitted bodysuits – a clear nod to après-ski style – combine the trend for statement knitwear with another of the season’s pervading concepts: high-fashion sportswear, which is also reflected in this French label’s double-layered trousers. Emilio Pucci has also embraced the skintight in the form of colourful bodysuits in stretch fabrics, but for the majority of brands this season, the sports-luxe trend is all about the oversized.
Soft and slouchy
Marc Jacobs’ soft and slouchy sweatshirts fall below the knee, proving that style and comfort really can go hand in hand. At Balenciaga and Vetements – both under the direction of Demna Gvasalia – performance fabrics have found a high-fashion home, and never have hooded sweatshirts and waterproof jackets seemed so stylish. Whether oversized, shrugged off the shoulder, bold in silhouette or all of the three, the jackets at these two hot-ticket brands were weather-ready straight off the catwalk. They might not become a part of your on-piste wardrobe, but they’re perfect for all that comes after.
Balenciaga showcased another huge jacket trend this season: oversized puffer jackets. On trend once again, these padded coats were seen on catwalks across the world, and couldn’t be better for keeping cosy after a day on the slopes. From the overtly feminine at Carven and Chanel to the laid-back and quirky at Acne Studios, there’s a style to suit everyone this season. Iconic British designer Stella McCartney has some particularly strong options, with cropped and sleeveless styles offering something a little different. Her rich velvet puffer jackets are a must for those who like sumptuous fabrics in the winter months.
For those who want to go all out in expressing their love of the slopes this season, what could be better than wearing a mountain scene? A standout fur coat at Prabal Gurung seems almost abstract, but hints at mountains amid the snow. At Carven, a mountain scene adorns a sporty zip-up sweater, while black and white photo-graphics lend a 1980s-revival feel to the look. But it is at Emilio Pucci that the mountain motif has really taken hold this season: knitted sweaters, slouchy dresses, skinny trousers and longline fleece jackets are all adorned with motifs of mountains, made modern in bright, juicy colours.
The standout piece? A sporty, lightly padded below-the-knee puffer jacket illustrated with a huge mountain scene, with contrasting black, orange and purple adding further to the eye-catching element. If one garment is perfect for making a style statement après-ski, surely this has to be it.