As Burberry reworks its iconic ‘made in Castleford’ trench coats, Fashion Editor Stephanie Smith celebrates the winter-into-spring must-have and has advice on picking new season trench styles.
Trench coats are big fashion news, no doubt about it.
I know what you’re thinking… since when has this not been the case? Aren’t trench coats always on-trend, especially now, in January, just as we have spring in our sights and want to invest in outerwear that will serve us well into the warmer months? And, yes, all this is true, but spring/summer 2018 is seeing a very particular revival of the classic trench coat – and the not-so-classic trench coat, come to that.
Because, while the familiar camel-coloured, gabardine fabric, double-breasted, wide-lapel, storm-flap style is still going strong (arguably, stronger than ever), this year sees a huge variety of coats that fall within the trench category. Colour, texture, fabric and quirky, deconstructed and hybrid design detailing all come into play, offering an interesting array of trench styles to choose from.
Burberry founded its entire global business on trench coats, which it continues to manufacture at its Castleford factory. The British brand is at the vanguard of keeping the trench coat current and relevant, constantly reinventing it, not least in a variety of materials. Right now, it has trench coats in laminated cotton, featuring checks and lace patterning, in shearling and in patent lambskin and laminated wool versions in bright tartan (which will set you back £1,895).
This month, Burberry has launched a capsule collection in collaboration with Russian fashion designer, photographer and filmmaker Gosha Rubchinski.
The Gosha x Burberry range includes iconic trench styles reinterpreted through what Burberry describes as “a streetwear lens”. Outerwear pieces are reimagined in oversized shapes, from the Castleford-made Burberry trench now in two-tone honey and navy cotton gabardine, embroidered with Gosha’s initials, to car coats with check bib fronts. There are also hats designed in partnership with British milliner Stephen Jones.
Meanwhile, for spring/summer 2018, Alexander McQueen showed classic camel trenches completely deconstructed to front-belted panels and pull-open side panels, allowing daywear to show through. A highlight of the collection was a luxurious pale leather trench with quilted floral panelling.
Of course, all this reimagining and deconstructing is making its way through to the High Street. Head for John Lewis and its Kin and Modern Rarity collections if you want to get ahead of the game, as there are some great directional pieces there, including a hybrid parka trench by Kin and a pared-back duster style in a caramel weave by Modern Rarity.
Actually, the High Street loves the deconstructed and reimagined trench trend. Expect slashes and funnel necks, quirky sleeves and frills, as well as versions of trench styles in leathers and tweeds.
A proper trench coat has to be reasonably lightweight, however. They were, after all, created for movement as well as protection. Layering is a major part of the appeal of a trench coat, especially in the colder winter months. Most styles are capacious enough to allow knits under, and yet the very cut of a trench coat, with its clean, gently flared lines, means that it never looks bulky. Belted versions are especially flattering to all shapes and sizes. Come the spring, you can simply pop it, unbelted, over your wispy floral-print dress, and if you find yourself over-heating, just fold it up and keep it in your tote bag.
Colour is also playing a role in the overhaul of the trench coat. Violet and lavender are the “it” hues of 2018, so expect to see these shades featuring on sweet pastel options for spring. Also pale blue and green. As for classic camel, there are plenty about. Check out New Look for highly affordable prices.