How skiwear slalomed into our wardrobes
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The act of getting ready for skiing can be as exhilarating as the actual task. Hitting the slopes brings with it delicious sartorial possibilities: all-in-ones, big puffer jackets, cosy knitwear, as well as goggles, gloves and hats. Diana, Princess of Wales, famously exercised her style cachet on the ski field, wearing scarlet or blue suits with nipped-in waists by American-Austrian brand Head, or a black-and-pink ultra-’80s one-piece by Kitex. Lady Gaga, as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci, sports a figure-hugging red jumpsuit with a furry hat and goggles in the Alpine town of Gressoney-Saint-Jean.
But it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 film Spellbound, in which Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman head down the mountain in tailored jackets, louche trousers and jauntily tied scarves, that has inspired Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. “I always remember it for the incredible beauty of this black-and-white ski run,” she says. The designer launched the house’s dedicated ski collection DiorAlps last year, translating the house codes with a distinctly retro and sporty flair. “I have always liked skiwear and especially that unmistakable style that combines protection, comfort in movement, and fashion. And just think how many garments that come from skiwear have become part of everyday wear – down jackets or anoraks, jumpers, balaclavas… The list goes on.”
Anass wears Isabel Marant nylon Ficaja puffer jacket, £495. Giorgio Armani Neve wool scarf, £350. Ally Capellino recycled PET Harvey convertible tote/backpack, £125
Ella wears Jimmy Choo nylon JC degradé puffy coat, £1,550, wool-knit sweater, £415, nylon JC degradé Varenne phone case, £625, nylon JC degradé Laya soft tote, £950, and nylon JC degradé mittens, £315. Mackage nylon quilted Aeryn trousers, £420
Skiwear is a burgeoning part of the global outdoor apparel market, valued at $33.54bn in 2021 by Euromonitor International. And luxury brands are increasingly investing in winter sportswear: last year Louis Vuitton launched a dedicated skiwear line that lends a futuristic look to snow attire, as did Isabel Marant, bringing a bohemian sensibility to the slopes. Chloé joined forces with heritage ski brand Fusalp in 2020, and Chanel has had Coco Neige, its après-ski range, in its stable since 2018. Other brands include Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Moncler’s Grenoble line.
One of the smaller yet highly successful names in this luxury realm is Perfect Moment, the brand founded by filmmaker Thierry Donard in Chamonix, France, in 1984. Initially positioned as a technical-sportswear offering, it has, since 2010, been geared towards a more fashion-focused clientele. Its popularity has been buoyed by Catherine, the Princess of Wales, influencer Chiara Ferragni and a collaboration with Goop. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas took a minority stake in the company in July.
Perfect Moment is one of Net-a-Porter’s key skiwear brands, selling intarsia merino bodysuits, bootcut ski salopettes and metallic puffer two-pieces, as well as on Mytheresa, where it sits alongside heritage ski brands Bogner and Fusalp. “Sexier silhouettes tend to be very popular, and customers are not afraid of colours and fun patterns,” says Tiffany Hsu, Mytheresa vice-president of womenswear. “We also do well with retro influences.”
Ella wears Roksanda X Fila polyester coat, €1,295. Guess recycled polyester Active top, £65. Brunello Cucinelli taffeta trousers, £2,050. Chloé leather and knit Nikie ankle boots, £1,003
Anass wears Robyn Lynch X Columbia upcycled nylon Bubble jacket, £810. Moncler Grenoble nylon down-filled jacket, £1,020, and technical fabric jumpsuit, £950
Hsu also notes that the growing category isn’t limited to functional wear: “We do a lot of après ski and winter boots for clients who live or travel in sub-zero climates.” This, too, is evident at Dior, where the collection includes technical kit as well as snow-white handbags and quilted snow boots – which wouldn’t do so well past the bounds of the chalet. “The collections of a house like Dior, regardless of what goes on the catwalk, must include a series of offerings that are restitution of what is life, the activities, the tastes of today’s women,” adds Chiuri. “And anyway, skiwear today is not only what we wear in the mountains; it can be an attitude that complements the way we dress in the city.”
Alexa Chung once told HTSI that on a trip to Verbier in Switzerland one year, she had researched “cool” skiing outfits before going, pulling together a look that included an Argyle jumper and a neckerchief. A self-confessed novice on the slopes, she ended up “tumbling down the mountain”, and arriving at lunch with “mascara down my face and a soggy jumper”. Maybe getting ready for skiing is, in fact, better than the actual event?
Ella wears DiorAlps wool knit and cashmere sweater, £1,600, and technical taffeta quilted ski trousers, £2,050. Anass wears Dior technical water-repellent fabric Alpine skiing jumpsuit, £1,850
Anass wears Dolce & Gabbana satin jacquard coat, £2,350, jersey T-shirt, £850, and satin jacquard trousers, £1,700. Hunter recycled polyester Wanderer boots, £150. Yeti stainless-steel bottle, £50
Ella wears Louis Vuitton polyamide boat-neck one-piece, £825, polyamide ski bib, £3,100, ruby half boots, £1,140, snow mask (in hand), £925, and nylon maxi bumbag, £1,610. Loquet gold chain, £110, gold pendant, £500, and gold and sapphire paw charm, £260
Ella wears Max Mara wool-mix sweater, £510, nylon-mix skirt, £485, wool balaclava, £150, and wool gloves, £115. Hunter recycled polyester boots, £175, and nylon pouch, £30. Hermès skis, £13,300
Models, Ella Richards at Kate Moss Agency and Anass Bouazzaoui at Supa. Casting, Tiago Martins at Ben Grimes. Hair, Hiroki Kojima at Caren using Oribe. Make-up, Dan Delgado using Jones Road. Photographer’s assistants, William Richards and Stephen Elwyn Smith. Stylist’s assistant, Ady Huq