Dan Ahwa is fashion editor for Viva and Canvas magazines.

Fashion: Park it

A utilitarian staple gets a makeover. No scooter required.

Huffer parka, $259. Georgia Alice vest, $569. Kate Sylvester skivvy, $195. Topshop handbag, $110, from The Department Store. Photo / Greg Bowker
Huffer parka, $259. Georgia Alice vest, $569. Kate Sylvester skivvy, $195. Topshop handbag, $110, from The Department Store. Photo / Greg Bowker

Despite the many outerwear choices this season from trench coats to sporty anoraks, the utilitarian roots of the parka continue to inspire, with several updated versions offered in a range of unexpected colours and fabrics.

The classic snorkel parka was used primarily in the United States in the 1950s by flight crews stationed in cold areas. They were made with a sage green dupont flight silk nylon outer and padded with wool (later in polyester) around the hood and neck area to keep the face warm.

The parka's entry into fashion goes back to the sub-culture of the 1960s, where youths would often be seen wearing parkas over their clothes on scooters to keep their outfits pristine. Its British connection also runs through to its resurgence during the 90s, when indie musicians and It girls, from Oasis to Kate Moss, wouldn't be seen without one at music festivals. Originally lined with faux fur, today's parka options are a mix of traditional details and the new.

In her recent autumn 2014 collection for Miu Miu, Miuccia Prada's typically idiosyncratic approach to design culminated in a collection made primarily of quilted outerwear, from primary-coloured windbreakers to metallic parkas. Max Mara's take on something so desultory as a practical parka was again given an updated makeover, with quilted check versions sent down the runway.

Quilting details can be found within local collections such as Sylvester's quilted hooded parka (#2) that comes fully lined with side pocket details. For something fresh, the transeasonal pale blue cropped option from Huffer (#1) works back well with equally cool tones of grey and blue denim, giving a new spin on a classic.

1. Huffer parka, $259. Georgia Alice vest, $569. Kate Sylvester skivvy, $195. Topshop jeans, $89 and handbag, $110, from The Department Store.

2. Sylvester parka, $395. Georgia Alice skirt, $349. Oakley sunglasses, $300. Clarice heels, $80, from Number One Shoes.

3. Vanishing Elephant parka, $490. Ruby scarf, $39. Sylvester skirt, $195. Overland boots, $239.90.

4. Carlson parka, $699. Sylvester jumper, $285. Vanishing Elephant skirt, $160. Lola flats, $70, from Number One Shoes. Miu Miu sunglasses, $665, from Sunglass Hut. Mi Piaci handbag, $189.90

5. Isabel Marant parka with fur trim hood, $1120, from Adorno. Isabel Marant pants, $449, from Workshop. Clarice heels, $80, from Number One Shoes.

• Adorno (09) 378 4333
• Carlson (09) 361 2137
Georgia Alice
Kate Sylvester
Mi Piaci
Number One Shoes
• Sylvester (09) 307 3282
Sunglass Hut
• The Department Store (09) 489 4202
• Vanishing Elephant (09) 378 0072

Photographer: Greg Bowker
Stylist: Dan Ahwa
Hair and makeup: Katie Melody Rogers using M.A.C Cosmetics
Model: Danika Rooney from 62 Models
Stylist's assistant: Kama Scretching

- NZ Herald

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