While on a recent trip to Lake Tahoe, I got to thinking about ski style: how it has evolved and how it has remained a constant source of inspiration. Recreational skiing dates back to the early 1800s. Since then, the sport has only gained in popularity. The idea is a little crazy when you think about it. First, you bundle yourself up in layers, add accessories (not the good kind), cram your feet into a pair of clunky, uncomfortable boots without any hope of looking stylish, lock them into two long planks, point downhill, and go. The thing is, for those of us who love it, skiing is one of the most thrilling experiences life has to offer. Skiers create their own rituals: what they have for breakfast, what time they like to be on the mountain, where they choose to lunch, and the best part of all, how they après ski! From my childhood ski trips, I have vivid memories of gazing at the fashions worn on the slopes, and those that were strictly chosen for their lodge appeal, furry boots anyone? Skiing and the alpine experience have long influenced fashion. Designers have had a lasting love affair with these classic, sporty looks, which periodically pop up on runways, additionally due to their tried and true commercial appeal.
The French company Moncler was founded in 1952. Originally they produced sleeping bags and tents. Their first quilted outerwear pieces were created for workers to wear over their uniforms to keep warm in the cold. In 2003, the company was bought by an Italian entrepreneur. Today they produce several high-end lines overseen by designers like Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli. Take a peek at the Emilio Pucci pre-fall 2014 collection. Designer Peter Dundas payed homage to the house’s namesake, who actually began his career by designing ski wear, adding several winter resort looks intended to be as comfortable worn on the mountain or to dinner in town.
Famed society photographer Slim Aarons, regularly photographed his fabulous globe trotting subjects on holiday in glamorous, alpine resorts like Gstaad, St Moritz, and Aspen. He was known to photograph “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” He created iconic images, which take you back to a golden era when people dressed up to get on airplanes and manners mattered. Skiing may not be for everyone, but ski style is clearly here to stay.
- Andrew Fox