Fashion anoraks and cool cagoules are the next instalment of the unstoppable normcore trend, which has seen square specs and mum jeans grace even the most stylish of wardrobes.
With high-fashion designers such as Balenciaga and Vetements unleashing their alluring takes on the humble waterproof, we’re now just as likely to see anoraks on the catwalk as ornately detailed court shoes or outlandish evening wear.
Spurred on by the temperamental British weather, the cagoule trend is going nowhere fast.
Part of the anorak’s appeal is its status as a predominantly gender-neutral piece. There is a certain androgyny to this style of coat, with designers favouring it in masculine colours and oversized dimensions that replace gendered silhouettes. In a world where gender barriers are increasingly blurred and individuals demand more functionality from their fashion, luxury anoraks exude just the right amount of blasé attitude.
Hand in hand with workout wear worn outside the gym, it seems the appetite for unapologetically practical fashion is only increasing. But forget relegating stylish anoraks to rainy days and windy walks; not only are these items taking over the catwalk, they are ubiquitous on the red carpet, too.
One brand embracing the waterproof is French favourite Vetements. The stand-out coat in its AW16 ready-to-wear show was an acid-orange jacket worn slouched over a model’s shoulders. Yet the collection also featured highly wearable ‘80s-inspired pullover anoraks with sporty geometric lines and simple block primaries, in keeping with the streetwear label’s trademark stripped-down style.
For a take on sports luxe that embraced electric colours and neon shades, K-Way’s SS16 collection included cagoules with a distinctly athletic look, complete with peaked hoods to keep makeup intact when the heavens open.
Contrarily, Hunter produced the ultimate luxury anorak with a collection of translucent and pastel-bright smock-style coats for SS16. These sweet, festival-worthy designs hark back to a childhood spent splashing in puddles. The items are also evocative of Lacoste’s SS13 collection, which championed a variety of oversized anoraks for men and women, including a transparent coat layered over a brightly patterned dress.
With shiny monochrome materials providing longline macs with a distinctly gothic feel, Fenty x Puma placed fashion anoraks and cool cagoules centre stage in its AW16 collection. It’s difficult not to see the influence of Creative Director Rihanna on the spin-off label, which marries Puma’s sportswear with her darkly urban style. “If the Addams Family went to the gym,” she said backstage after the NYFW show, “this is what they would wear.”
Rihanna’s been sporting anoraks on a regular basis since January 2015 when she wore an oversized Puma cagoule and purple shorts in the same material. This statement outfit was set off with a bold purple lip and strappy white Tom Ford sandals featuring a golden stiletto heel.
The singer and designer, who frequently pairs oversized cagoules with head-to-toe denim, also espoused Fenty x Puma at its most cutting edge more recently when she appeared in a knee-length cagoule from the line at a Lakers game in LA, March 2016. She accessorised her all-white ensemble with a red lip and oversized choker.
Cagoules as evening wear
When actress and model Karrueche Tran donned a boxy neon-orange cagoule by BDG for the premiere of Fresh Dressed in New York in June 2015, she signalled the start of the casual coat becoming an integral part of evening wear. A similar spin on the anorak trend was seen on the Off-White catwalk at Paris Fashion Week for AW16. The brand’s muted peach anorak will no doubt be juxtaposed with sharply cut suits for a fresh new take on smart menswear.
Meanwhile, at the opening of Tate Modern Switch House in June 2016, all eyes were drawn not to ostentatious gowns or smart suit jackets but to an apple-green Gucci anorak thrown over an evening outfit by one partygoer, according to Vogue.
Luxury brands such as Balenciaga are taking anoraks at night a step further. For the label’s Paris Fashion Week AW16 catwalk show, the first under Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia, models with icy blonde pixie cuts donned funnel-necked, colour-block anoraks in aqua and sea green tones. Diamond-encrusted shoes, tight-fit denim and dark-blue lips added a glacier-like effect that made frostbite seem fashionable.
While fashion anoraks and cool cagoules have practicality at their core, innovative updates on these items – which lend themselves to being layered over boyfriend jeans, basic T-shirts and floor-sweeping gowns – mean the trend is sure to endure for seasons to come.