>> The question that has been popping up most frequently during the shows is “How are you staying warm?” I don’t know whether everyone has experienced minus 15 wind chills. Coming from mild and grey UK, I’ve certainly never done so. I might have experienced it in Switzerland when I was about six and violently ill throughout the whole trip. That gives you an indication of my ability to handle such temperatures. This is the sort of cold that has been making my brain freeze whenever I stand still for more than a minute and my skin has been going into plasticine mode (pinch the skin on your hand and it stays like that…). In answer to that initial question, I’ve moved away from my default answer of Uniqlo Heat Tech (duh…doesn’t everyone wear Heat Tech?) and instead have given thanks to Etre Cécile for their pre-fall padded hoodie jacket that has acted as a layering device or a sole piece of outerwear. What started as an insider t-shirt brand has now been gradually building up its repetoire with a full blown wardrobe that feels essential without being dour. Ditto goes for their newly introduced range of parka jackets and 70s ski inspired pieces for pre-fall 2015.
It’s pretty much the grown-up version of the sort of jackets that my mum used to dress me and my sister up in – waterproof, lots of pockets, with a hood (qualities that my mum highly valued) and resolutely not stylish. Etre Cécile’s version has bit of a kick with its cropped shape and contrasting blue bungee cords but essentially its DNA is rooted to the ones my mum made me wear circa 1990. I’m refusing to succumb to the designer practical answers to these arctic temperatures which are Canada Goose, Moncler and the like. I can’t quite justifying paying £500 or so for a garment stuffed (quite literally) with that much practicality and function. Etre Cécile red puffy parka is the happy medium.