Why Ski Style Is All Over Our Instagram Feeds
You might know fashion fixtures like Giovanna Engelbert and Caroline Sieber for their presence in front rows, at haute dinners, and on red carpets. But they’ve recently found a way to make another venue runway-ready: the mountaintops, where Swarovski creative director Engelbert, for one, has snapped herself showing off high-flying ski outfits. (She even shared a chic unboxing: Moon Boots emblazoned with the brand’s signature crystals.)
In keeping with this elevated vision of skiwear, the slopes have become an actual runway, not just an Instagram one. At Miu Miu, the cast decamped to the Dolomites wearing Miuccia Prada’s takes on everything from parkas (in iridescent pastels) to snow boots (quirkily fuzzy and thigh-high). For Thom Browne’s fall 2021 film, Olympian Lindsey Vonn virtually slalomed around models who were clad in looks like puffer gowns. And while Gabriela Hearst’s debut show for Chloé took place in Paris, not Val d’Isère, the earth tone–centric collaboration with Moon Boot that appeared on her runway would certainly be worthy of both venues.
Haute mountaintop looks have fulfilled a thirst for glamour during a time when events (and their attendant eveningwear) have been in short supply. Lifelong skier Aerin Lauder has noticed a lot more fashion people getting into her longtime hobby over the past year and a half. “Since we weren’t getting dressed for the office or for large-scale events, people turned toward dressing for places or activities that they could go to,” she says. “At a point when we weren’t able to go anywhere else, being surrounded by nature took on a whole new meaning.” Lauder, who favors pieces from beloved standby Moncler and up-and-coming brands like Erin Snow and Perfect Moment, has been enjoying the way ski style has proliferated in her circle. “It was interesting,” she says, “to see how [people] expressed their style through a different outlet.”
While there’s no shortage of high-performance labels popping up, ski influences have also made firm inroads into ready-to-wear. Chanel’s fall collection, for example, featured old-school ski sweaters and puffer overalls that would feel equally at home on the streets or on black diamond trails. And as winter approaches, retailers are going full tilt toward the trend. (For example, Net-a-Porter’s dedicated ski shop carries sophisticated skiwear from Chloé and Fendi that works just as well après the main event.) Katherine Greenberg, the general merchandising manager and vice president of women’s apparel at Neiman Marcus, believes the look is equally appealing to those who aren’t chalet-bound. The store’s most successful ski brand is the high-performance-meets-high-fashion Moncler Grenoble collection, and it will carry the style-cred-heavy Moncler Genius line (which has included collaborations with Simone Rocha and Craig Green) in five of its stores as well as online. This coming winter, Neiman Marcus also plans to host experiential pop-ups inspired by skiwear and featuring up-and-coming brands like Postcard and Shoreditch Ski Club. It might be the closest you can get to high-altitude glamour without a lift ticket.
This article appears in the October 2021 issue of ELLE.
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