The best way to Spend It
One enthusiast is designer par excellence Nigel Cabourn, who describes himself as “an outwear specialist drawing on military history”. His collaboration this season with Peak Efficiency – a primary for the Swedish ski brand in its 30-year historical past – is Cabourn’s maiden foray into black, and among his ordinary display of camouflage and khaki designs, these pieces are what stood out. The roomy, thigh-size strong-black stone island raso gommato tortoise shell ovd dark red jacket Snow Patrol sheepskin jacket (£1,700) was inspired by the white shearling worn by the Swedish Snow Patrols and, with its generous fleece collar, large canvas map pockets and large arrowhead zip, it’s one of the most putting coats of the season. The black Snow Smock (£500), in a waterproof cotton/polyamide Japanese fabric, has navy-style front pockets and, with its taped seams, waxed cords and leather-based hood stoppers, is ideal for off-piste city manoeuvres.
Certainly, the intersection of high-performance skiwear and urban cool is what lots of this season’s black action jackets are about. One of many strongest examples comes from Stone Island, a brand based on action-inspired design and fabric-expertise exploration. Its trench (£695) in black David TC – a signature polyamide compound fabric that looks like a cross between chilled putty and malleable performance leather – has an asymmetric storm flap and throat tab and flush epaulettes.
The trench coat was one among the primary modern performance technical navy garments to turn into a civilian basic. Milanese brand Sealup’s Black Beauty bike trench (£950) is a short 1960s-inspired take in cotton gabardine with a curved raglan sleeve and water- and windproof “felled” seaming. The belt, cuff straps and throat tab all glisten with steel eyelets that work nicely against the black. There’s extra motorbike trench motion from Barbour, whose new mannequin of the International A7 (£279), in a lightweight 6oz beeswax cotton, features box-pleated bellows-type pockets. The Weir wax jacket (£279), also new, stone island raso gommato tortoise shell ovd dark red jacket uses numerous waxes to achieve a more matte surface, but retains that familiar Barbour feel (and inimitable Stone Island odor). Mackintosh, meanwhile, has used all-black rubberised cotton for an elongated double-breasted trench (£985) with minimal features: just storm flaps and a throat tab.
My own private black city-action fall-back has long been my vintage CP Company goggle-hood Mille Miglia jacket, teamed with black tracksuit bottoms, black vest and black working sneakers. The black fishtail parka (£395) from the brand’s present assortment has a shell of Lycra over a membrane bonded to an inside polar fleece, leading to a fabric that is each weather-resistant and amazingly smooth and warm. CP’s nifty little Pro-Tek brief jacket (£325), in a high-efficiency stretch polyester jersey, is water repellent, packs down minutely and is as easy to put on as a sweatshirt.
I’m eager too on the new black model of Nanamica’s basic M-51 parka (€770), whose exceptionally light Gore-Tex membrane is impervious to rain and in addition packs proper down, and on its low-key black moleskin coat (€780) with a particular Kodenshi down lining. Excessive-efficiency Gore-Tex can be key to the great-trying GTX Mountain parka (£680) from Woolrich based mostly on a 1970s design, with anti-rain zip and duck-down/feather fill. Its GTX Mountain jacket (£640) with patch and welt pockets and the identical fill is a winner too. A black hybrid area jacket from Norwegian Rain (£770) in matte waterproof recycled polyester reworks the traditional navy four-pocket design by extending it down like the tails of an extended overshirt, while the CPH jacket (£700), made in the same polyester, has one thing of a martial-arts armour look about it, with ribbed cuff part and concealed zip pockets.
Within the case of Collide – a collaboration between Moncler and the artist/designer Greg Lauren, recognized for his extremely distressed fabrics and hybrid garment designs – two different kinds are melded diagonally: for example, in the Bady jacket (£2,465), a typical Moncler down puffa fuses with a heavily distressed cotton-drill military parka. And at Maison Margiela, a black techno-poly cotton blouson (£1,360) features a number of jetted pocket particulars and cinching with a spray-painted rope-gathered waist – a nod to the maison’s creative heritage – whereas the ultra-trendy fabric keeps it convincingly action prepared.