December 28, 2012 5:59 pm

Follicly fabulous

Designers have come up with some snuggly alternatives to hibernation for humans
Models wear designs by Meadham Kirchhoff, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh and Fendi©Catwalking

All wrapped up (from left): Meadham Kirchhoff, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh and Fendi

What? Who knew the abominable snowman was a trendsetter? Yet out of the mountainous wilds of Nepalese legend has come winter’s hottest (we mean this literally) look. ’Tis the season of yeti-wear, from head-to-toe textured furs to fuzzy shagpiles, closely clipped “teddy-bear” shearlings and random wefts of goat hair. Real or faux, anything goes as long as it’s follicly fabulous.

Why? Mother nature knows what she’s doing. When temperatures drop and days shorten, the instinct of animals is to hibernate. Denied the opportunity to sleep the season away (fashion never rests, after all), designers have come up with the next best thing: the portable comforter. Think of it as a cave for the body and cuddle up inside.

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Where? For Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton went large with the trend, using puffballs of foot-deep Mongolian lamb and hairy goat fur-belted coats as well as a flurry of ostrich feather strapless dresses. Emma Hill at Mulberry took inspiration from Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are (1963), with shaggy head-to-toe goat fur – gilets and A-line skirts – as well as touchy-feely layers of sheepskin zipped over knits.

“The idea of furry, warm and snuggly texture was central to the collection,” says Mulberry’s creative director Emma Hill. “You need to stay warm – and a furry-textured jacket or gilet adds a new dimension to classic winter silhouettes.”

Boots and mittens

Boots, £350, Acne mittens, £225, Hockley

At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld took animal pelts and made them look out of this world, with multicoloured shaggy fur “sweaters” that could have been culled straight from the back of some psychedelic extraterrestrial beast – a style also in evidence in the painstakingly pieced-together fake “monster chubbies” on the runway at Meadham Kirchhoff in London. There was also Wunderkind’s dip-dyed multiple-fur, Acne’s fur front ankle boots, extra-long rabbit fur “mittens” at Hockley and shearling and suede earmuffs from Karl Donohue (£110, www.net-a-porter.com).

Should you invest? What gets you through this cold spell will work again and again – just ask the bear next door. If the idea of amortising costs over time doesn’t work for you, however, a more affordable way into the trend can be found via Zara’s shaggy black sheepskin with Mongolian lamb-style cuffs and collar, Topshop’s faux fur knitted sleeve coat, or one of Karen Millen’s café-au-lait sheepskin gilets.

And it’s not just for winter. Laura Larbalestier, buying director at London fashion boutique Browns, says: “The trend may have started this season, with furry coats and details on hats and collars, but what looks really fresh for spring are Céline’s fur shoes and cuffs. We already have a waiting list for them.”

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www.alexandermcqueen.com

www.mulberry.com

www.fendi.com

www.selfridges.com (Gareth Pugh)

www.net-a-porter.com (Meadham Kirchhoff)

www.avenue32.com (Wunderkind)

www.matchesfashion.com (Acne)

www.hockleylondon.com

www.zara.com

www.topshop.com

www.karenmillen.com

www.brownsfashion.com (Celine)

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