>> My blogging game has gone a bit haywire of late due to personal reasons (sadly no Style Bubble bot has emerged to spout off in my place) and will imminently resume normal service. One cheeky Bank Holiday weekend beforehand though is drawing this fallow period out. I’ll be venturing up to Lake District for the first time, which according to Weather.com might be experiencing a cold blast of snow blizzards. Spring is being set on pause and I’ll be digging out chunky jumpers and anything with a hood to roam through the fells and peaks.
One useful garment came duly to mind. The puffer (or “puffa” if you’re wearing it in London and intoning old Biggie lyrics in your head) jacket is the relatively light, waterproof outerwear option that gained significant stead for A/W 16-7 thanks to Demna Gvasalia’s debut collection for Balenciaga. Like Junya Watanabe and Martin Margiela before him, Gvasalia recognised the shape-shifting properties of a down-filled jacket and its ability to create extreme volumes under a utilitarian and recognisable guise. The off-the-shoulder versions of the puffer were of course sculpted to echo Cristobal Balenciaga’s own 360 degree vantage point of fitting couture garments on women.
They’re the cropped and oddly sensual counterpart puffer to Marques Almeida’s enlarged collar sleeping bag specimens, seen in their latest show as well as LCF MA menswear graduate Chen Peng’s collection. Peng’s bubble gum pink puffer was worn by Julia Sarr-Jamois during the March round of shows and the rest of his collection together with its Quaker-meets-deerstalker millinery has been looping around in my head (and of course the giant puffers would be ideal Lake District apparel). Peng’s collection entitled “Normal-in-Normal” was inspired by the idea of garments, where one size fits all. Ranging in lengths and deliciously deep tones and pastel shades, the jackets aren’t panelled in linear formation and instead are pieced together with geometric panels. The shorter ones are pleasingly bubble-like and the longer ones are basically portable duvets. Either way, they’re begging to be cosied up in. Peng’s similarly bulbous and volume-heavy hats will be featured in an AW16 project with Liberty in London. Let’s hope his weather-proof yet striking outerwear goes down a similar path.