Puffa jackets aren't anything new but when Christopher Bailey showed them over traditional suits at Burberry's A/S13 menswear show, it quickly became apparent that they would make a comeback and they definitely have. Peter Pilotto showed them last too season and now, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Uniqlo have embraced it.
The pair have teamed up to create, Mademoiselle Plume, an ultra lightweight version of the more traditional puffa that we all know, which is said to combine the French brand's aesthetic with the Japanese retailer's technology. The unique feature is the lightness. The combination of light nylon and feathers makes it warm but without the bulk.
According to Comptoir des Cotonniers style director Delphine Ninous, the aim of the partnership was 'to offer a fashionable, feminine and lightweight down jacket in line with the lives of today's women.' And it makes sense. You want something that keeps you warm and dry but still makes you feel confident. The fact that you cold fold it away in your bag without it getting creased isn't a bad thing eiter. Am I queuing up to buy one right now? Well no, but with the weather getting worse, ask me in a few weeks and my answer might be different.
The jackets are limited edition and are available to buy in Comptoir des Cotonniers and UNIQLO stores now priced at £85.
While the economy in Europe might look better today than it did six months ago, there's no denying that we're not quite out of the storm just yet. On the contrary, things aren't all doom and gloom for it is this storm that is serving contemporary brands really well. Today accessible brands like Zadig & Volatire, Sandro, Maje and Comptoir des Cotonniers that are gaining serious traction. Sandro, for example, is expected to take in €200million this year compared to €15 million back in 2007. Not bad for a brand that has been criticised for not breaking new ground, eh? Along with Mother of Pearl, Gallery 4 is helping to fly the flag for the contemporary accessible brand on this side of the pond.
Recently I caught up with Louise Rhodes, the brand's head designer, to find out more about the line and see the full collection and was instantly I was sold. 'When I was given this opportunity I really wanted to create a high-end product with accessible prices,' she said - and she is definitely onto something. As the wealthy pull back on their spending and the former high street purchaser looks for quality and a return on their investment, it is brands like this that are really helping bridge the gap. 'All of my friends want something like this because we don't necessarily have the money to get the pieces we want.' And it's true. As a fan of all things Scandinavian I was instantly drawn to the boy-meets-girl minimalist aesthetic of Rhodes' clothes. Unlike other brands like this who are riding the minimalist wave at the moment, Gallery 4 is available at a fraction of the price without compromising on quality.
At a recent talk in Browns L'Wren Scott said that for her, it's all about helping her customers build their wardrobes rather than indoctrinating them with trends and that's a sentiment that Rhodes clearly proscribes to. With Louise it's not all about tapping into trends. Instead she plans to rework their prints whilst building on their signatures. With that said, expect wardrobe staples like simple blouses, blazers and shirt dresses to come reworked with a modern twist that will hold you in good stead season after season.
Known for its simple, yet stylish womenswear in understated colours, French boutique brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers, is searching for beautiful mother and daughter pairs of all ages. The winners will front its 2010 ad campaigns and fashion shows.
Don't know what to get your mum for Mother's Day? Appearing in the latest ad campaign for French brand Comptoir des Cotonniers isn't a bad place to start. The classic brand shies away from celebrities or well known models, opting for mother-daughter duos.