Two Of A Kind: Long and Puffed

Cold Wear vs Moncler

For many fashion folks, it isn’t unclear which came first. Moncler announced their Genius collaboration in February this year. One of the contributors is Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli. His capsule collection for the Italian brand known for their down jackets is thought to be aesthetically the strongest among the eight designers invited to take part in the interpretation of the Moncler classic.

Mr Piccioli’s stunning versions, available at Club 21 last month, took Moncler’s familiar shape and quilting and gave them a simple but exaggerated silhouette. The most talked about and shared are the floor length, hooded coats (right, the Agnese) that has a familiarity that can be linked to Mr Piccioli’s rather renaissance silhouette he conceived for Valentino intermittently. Moncler’s puffer coats, for the first time, has a couture sensibility about them.

The long duvet coats, in the house nylon Laqué and with their horizontal quilting, recently had the spotlight shone on one of them when Erza Miller of the Fantastic Beasts series wore a black version to the franchise’s—The Crimes of Grindelwald—Paris opening early this month. Fashion tongues were wagging, and the most striking of the Moncler collaborations took centrestage.

Not long after Mr Miller’s red-carpet strut, this version (left) was spotted at the entrance of the Coldwear store in Tampines One. The version, as we learned, is not for sale. But, as the saleswoman told us, it can be made-to-order. And how much would that set us back? “Eight hundred to a thousand,” she said hesitatingly in Mandarin (the Agnese is on the other end at USD4,135). Why was it on display if it wasn’t for sale? “I don’t know,” she continued unhelpfully, “the boss wants it here.”

Cold Wear is a Singapore-based subsidiary of one of Indonesia’s largest manufacturers of winter wear. Their in-house label Coldwear’s coat in question comes in a white that has a hint of blue or grey, depending on the ambient light, sort of the colour of snow after a day or two. The nylon used isn’t as fine as Moncler’s—to be expected—and the down filling is rather thin and limp.

As we allowed the coat to feed our fascination, one of two women walking past the Coldwear store who caught sight of the mannequin’s outfit at the entrance, said to her friend, “Wah, can wear for a wedding!”

Photos: Zhao Xiangji

(2016) Winter Style 2: The Hound’s-Tooth Jacket


How do you fashion a down jacket without making it look like something that walked out of Shanghi’s Qipu Lu wholesale malls, where Michelle Chong’s alter ego Lulu found immense pleasure? You create three-dimensional hound’s-tooth jackets, just like they have at Moncler.

The hound’s tooth by itself is, of course, not new. This woven or printed pattern of jagged checks can be traced to wool cloths used in the Scottish Lowlands in the 1800s. They’re primarily in two tones—traditionalists would stick to black and white. This is why Moncler’s version is especially interesting: it’s all-black, and relies on texture—smooth and grained—to show the contrast of the hound’s-tooth pattern.

This fabric (100% polyamide to better serve as a lightweight shell for a down garment) is found in the Moncler Grenoble line’s ‘Orelle’ waistcoat (with detachable hoodie). The oversized lacquered hound’s tooth, in a six-point quilted shape that resembles an arrow, is an immediate draw. It’s a check that asks to be touched as it does not appear to be a fully-quilted garment.

The puffer jacket, however on trend, isn’t a winter option women embrace with the same fervour as picking a cashmere sweater. Concerns of looking too, well, puffed up, often influence the decision to buy. If there’s the fear of looking like a potential Michelin Man’s just-as-puffy cousin, the ‘Orelle’ sans sleeve in a silhouette that hints at ’60s après-ski chic may just vastly distant that relation!

Moncler Grenoble ‘Orelle’ quilted waistcoat, SGD3760, is available at Moncler, Ion Orchard. Product photo: Moncler. Collage: Just So

Winter Style 3: The Down Standard

Moncler Amiez jacket AW 2015

By Raiment Young

Two years ago in Paris, around this time, I was walking on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré when I spotted, across the street, a queue outside a shop with its entrance blocked by so many shoppers that it was not possible for me to know what it sold, or under what brand it was selling that it could draw forth such incredible pull. On my way back, still on the same rue, I came behind the last man of the same line that had not shortened since I past it. For a lack of something better to do, I decided to join the queue.

Most of the people waiting were Asians, and from the audible Mandarin of not a few, I realised that whatever was at the end of this orderly queue, it would have to be something utterly irresistible to the Chinese. My curiosity only made the wait unbearable, and I turned my attention to the Christmas decorations that prettified the facade of the Hermes building opposite. Ten minutes into the wait, a group of seven guys ladden with paperbags emerged from the store. I saw with no uncertainty what the people in front of me were queueing for: Moncler.

The go-to label for stylish and functional winter wear is finally here in Singapore. Moncler, a long-time favourite among the snow-loving and apres-ski set, debuted at Ion Orchard last month, much to the delight of those who frequent powder-perfect slopes of winter escapes such as Hokkaido at this time of the year. A label synonymous with down jackets, Moncler became a favourite among celebrities when it took a more fashionable route in its design and styling. It, too, became a collaborator of choice among those who value the tradition and authenticity that easily synthesise with innovation—designers such as Junya Watanabe and Thom Browne (who is, in fact, behind the sub-line Moncler Gamme Bleu) are still in on-going partnerships.

Does sun-soaked Singapore need a Moncler store? My curiosity was, again, aroused. How does it feel, coming in from the equatorial heat, to buy a down jacket even when you require it?


No sooner had I stepped into the gleaming store than a jacket found my gaze. The hood-less nylon top spoke to me like none of the others did. As I picked it up, the salesman in attendance was eager to tell me that the one in navy that I was holding (in size S, which is a letter never found stitched solo to my clothes) was the last one. I asked him why that was so, and he said, “Our price is the most competitive in the Asia-Pacific region. People have been buying by bulk!” To be sure, I was not looking for bulk, but “buying by bulk” completely boggled my mind.

Still, I chose to try on the jacket. The fit was too snug, but I could feel that, in the right size, this was what I would want in a winter jacket: warm, light, not too long, easy to layer underneath, and not at all bulky. The set-in sleeves, unusual for active wear, enhanced the slimming silhouette. But it was the design details that seduced: Under the Mandarin-style collar that yielded a funnel neck, there’s a secondary ribbed, knit collar that seems to serve as a facing. A tri-coloured trim borders the jacket on the collar (both sides), zip, fly, cuff, and hem. While this seems to bear more than a passing nod to Thom Browne’s way with stripy details (or, er, K-Way’s), it is also in keeping with Moncler’s modern sportif sensibility.

I had to slip the jacket off. After about three minutes in it, I began to feel like I was coddled in a sleeping bag. Not far-fetched if you consider the history of Moncler (an abbreviation of the French mountain village of Monestier-de-Clermont). Founder René Ramillon started the company to produce quilted sleeping bags, which, due to its warmth, eventually lent itself to the design of the brand’s in-demand down-padded nylon jackets. Necessity, as it turned out, birthed invention.

Moncler Amiez Down Jacket, SGD1,509, is available at Moncler, Ion Orchard. Product photo: Moncler. Collage: Just So