The Caped Crusader: Winter Outwear Trend

Carine Roitfeld in a cape photographed by Tommy Ton

Want a fail safe look to escape the windy winter weather? Try a super hero inspired cape! Popping up on the backs of the world’s super stylish, this dramatic look covers a manner of sins in a matter of minutes. Throw it on over skinny cropped pants and heels or play with proportions by pairing it with a long skirt. Don’t shy away from excess volume, the cape is all about a statement.

Common in Medieval Europe, it’s a style steeped in tradition. Open at the front and fastened at the neck, the cape has re emerged many times throughout history. Whether in the military, on the back of superman, or roaming the halls of Hogwarts, the cape is a garment of instant recognition. Popular in the Northern Hemisphere where the bitter winter calls for the ultimate cover up, until now cape’s in Australia were barely seen either side of Halloween. But the cool change over the past few months has seen it creep into the collective consciousness, with many designer’s offering their take on this stylish winter solution.

Friend of Mine cape available at mycatwalk.com

So where does one find said cape and who’s got the best option? Our top pick is the military inspired Friend of Mine ‘Washington’ Cape. The heavy duty fabric and khaki colouring echos the ever present military trend, yet the asymmetrical layering keeps things edgy. If cost is not issue, check out Net-A-Porter for a huge selection of knitted, belted, fringed and draped capes in all colours. For evening, we’d choose the Anna Sui cream beaded tulle cape or the Alberta Ferretti white feathered cape.

UTS Fashion Design Graduate Karima Hazim’s range of statement capes

One Sydney-sider well acquainted with the cape is emerging fashion designer and recent UTS graduate Karima Hazim. Currently on display at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum Student Design exhibition, Karima’s graduate collection features a variety of capes that have been printed, dyed and embroidered to perfection. Titled ‘Atelier de 1939’, the collection takes inspiration from World War II Paris and the NAZI’s decision to allow the French couture houses to remain in production. Hazim explores the dichotomy between rich and poor as despite the widespread poverty and destruction, wealthy clients continued to live in lavish excess.

UTS Fashion Design Graduate Karima Hazim’s military style cape

Her cape’s made from dyed army blankets are embroidered with delicate gold thread, highlighting the co existence of rich and poor during this time in history. Her deep checked navy cape with embroidered shoulder epaulets evokes a sense of drama, while at the same time highlighting her technical finesse. The cape gathers and drapes from the back shoulder, creating movement and a swinging silhouette.

Whether worn as daytime outerwear or as a dramatic finish to a glamourous evening wear ensemble, the versatility of capes should no longer be ignored. So join the caped crusade and try out a sartorial winner. Besides, if it’s good enough for Superman, then it’s good enough for us!

  
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