Coats Fashion History 2006
The Return of
In fashion history terms, at the start of the noughties decade neither
the knee length winter coat, nor the full length winter coat was a force in
fashion. But slowly the woman's winter coat, like the dress, returned as a
stylish winter fashion option. By the mid noughties many attractive
coat styles emerged. Gold tones like these in the Miss Selfridge coat
right added a new sunny colour and complimented metallic and brocade fabrics
of the same period.
Dries Van Noten created fabulous print duster coats for 2006. Alberta Ferretti and Burberry
also opted to go with sumptuous silk
dusters too, bringing
Right - A golden coat fashion look from Burberry.
The duster coat was originally a plain Edwardian cover up coat to protect
finer clothing on dusty motoring car journey of the 1900s. Later the duster
coat became a 1950s and 1960s fashion mainstay. The duster coat always been a
faultless lightweight, easy wear cover-up useful on chilly spring days or
summer evenings. The 1950s duster coat helped create
a clean and groomed finish.
This fashion look of 2006 owed much to the houses of Burberry and Dior.
For 2006 the House of Dior created double breasted 60's coats with a wide set collar in pure Jackie Kennedy style. Many of the new style
2006 coats shaped with a 60s
cut, had the fashionable three quarter or seven eighths sleeves. Some styles
were a little more fitted.
The fabrics used are the trademark of a good duster coat. Simple in cut and
often edge to edge, with three quarter sleeves, these duster coats are mostly
worked in sumptuous fabrics. Materials such as rich gold brocade, duchess satin,
tapestry style brocade, ribbed ottoman silks, cloque, twilled silks, plisse
and textured cotton pique perform well. It was the rich materials the designers used that
created the royal princess real lady debutante effect. This was the real
start of more ladylike dressing for the noughties decade and sophisticated way beyond the womanly,
but careless look set by the
For Spring 2006
fashion designer Christopher Bailey, working for Burberry, captured the nostalgia of
Princess Margaret. In her heyday she looked youthful, worldly and
sophisticated. To cap this, she also owned a
couture wardrobe and
elements of this wardrobe influenced the Burberry Prorsum collection shown
Duster coats soon became a strong directional trend for 2006.
The looser easy duster styles sat easily over new volume and fuller skirts and fuller
dresses. The more voluminous lower silhouette began to need a fuller, easier
more elegantly cut coat.
Lacroix uncharacteristically used simplicity as the golden rule for his
textural silver-metallic trapeze coat and trimmed
it with a bold, shoulder-defining
fox fur collar and decorative metallic-beading accents. Taking
modernism to the extreme, designers mixed fur and fabric in sculptural
silhouettes with subtle details.
Naturally there were brocade jacket coats too. Gold, yellow and mustard
clothes were very much a seasonal must-have in Spring 2006.
Right - Dorothy Perkins - Gold brocade jacket.
The jacket had all the features - elbow sleeves, shaped waist, big saucer
buttons and soft volume to the jacket skirt.
Ironically it took several years for this look to become more mainstream
with matching/coordinating dresses and coats for occasion wear, ladies days
and very formal dress up events.
In 2006 this look was worn primarily as a buttoned up
coat kept firmly buttoned and worn like a coat dress, making it ideal for evening
functions, theatre and dinner events. But by 2010 this was a staple look
found in the collections of every high street fashion retailer who
specialised in occasion wear. Brands like Zara, Planet, Windsmoor and Hobbs
all lined up their version of a brocade coat on their racks.
In 2006 the metallics broke new ground and golden
looks in general gained momentum appearing across dresses, coats
and jackets adding elegant glamour. In addition to golden
brocades used for coats in 2006/7, there was a noticeable rise
in honey toned, blush and camel fabrics for outerwear. In
retrospect its easy to see that a main trend has been the
adoption of camel and blush champagne tones in the latter
Gold as a colour was featured in every autumn 2006/7 collection. Gold ranged from
expensive looking honeyed camel and caramel tones through sunshine yellow to true mustard gold to the
deepest amber tones. Large fur collars, oversized buttons, checks and three
quarter sleeves all gave coats a 50s fashion feel.
Mid decade the proper
grown up coat was back on the racks.
Hot on the heels of opulent looks was
fur. Luxurious fur, both faux and real continued to have a following. It
was used in
innovative ways to create whole garments from shrugs to capes to the skirts of coats.
Fur trim details
were very important. Smartly tailored
and volume coats were all highlighted with fur collars and cuffs.
Fur shawl collars were also larger than ever in their width.
The shapely collars were often teamed with roomy coats of cocoon
volume as this photo right shows. Big collars made the biggest
statement, but neat 60s influenced contrast white or cream Peter
Pan collars were another way to update.
Abundant fur trim was used on jackets and styles like Burberry trench coats had fur trims
including collars, cuffs or hems. Sometimes part of a whole
skirt of the trench coat was made in fur as shown near left. Images courtesy of IFTF.
From June 2006 designer brand Polo Ralph Lauren stopped using fur right across its product range.
They do however still use Shearling leather deer and goat skins.
Further below can see the Sixties influence in these stylish women's winter coats. These mini-coat styles
here all cropped up again and again and were
across all the high street shops in the winter of 2006. Being mini and basically thigh
length, this style was also perfect for car use, making it a fashion
dollybird fashion style displayed between four and eight large buttons
on the chest line of these coat. The buttons
were arranged with military precision in a double breasted alignment.
hemline swept into a typical sixties A-line swing. These 2006 mini winter
coats were by Matalan, French Connection and Debenhams. Red and yellow
emerged as a new bolder bright hues and the silhouette was modified only
slightly to create yoked and waist versions in 2007.
In 2006/7 necklines had an air of volume about them. They
were larger, wider or
higher. De la Renta showed snug cropped Shearling jackets
with huge bertha collars. The high street followed with large wide set bertha or face framing picture collars
and super high funnel neck collars.
These big wide set collars gave non fattening volume and drew
attention to the face without over bulking the body. The big collar
made a strong fashion statement.
One very attractive red jacket on the high street was this one right from Wallis.
It had an especially wide collar and shaped cinched in waist. It captured the mood of
the shorter fitted jacket of 2006/7 as opposed to the swing
jacket style below.
A few designers began using much, much wider lapels 70s style.
Matthew Williamson used oversized 1970s collars and lapels in his shows and Valentino created
a layered coat over a double coat effect, so there appeared to be two collars of contrast coordinating fabrics.
Plenty of jackets were short and skimming with modern clean boxy, sixties lines.
They were ideal to team with wide cut leg trousers creating
an overall effect of snappy elegance. The look was of fuller sleeves
and swing back little jackets intended to be paired with narrower jeans or
trousers. Yellow jacket Image courtesy of
Volume in short jackets soon led to more volume in coats and
cocoon volume coats gained followers. The new volume look became more
accepted as women began to understand how to wear just one volume piece and
balance the rest of the silhouette with a slimmer contrast line.
In autumn 2006 the most important new sleeve shape was a revived style from the house of Balenciaga. Balenciaga first showed a collection in Paris in 1937. For 30 years Balenciaga dominated
fashion as the most influential couturier. The Balenciaga style cutting on coats and jackets reintroduced us to a fulsome easy sleeve design Balenciaga used 50 years ago.
Zara was good at catching the fashion moment. Volume was big news
and two of
the easiest ways to add volume was with a fuller sleeve and the picture collar
or interest collar.
This cocoon coat was
displayed in my local Zara store in 2006 was their terrific take on the latest look in
coats. The fashionable shorter coat played heavily on black and white dogtooth
or hounds tooth checks or other plaids.
Sleeves became one of the most forward looking areas of fashion
interest. The sleeve style for 2006 defined often the most minute small changes, but
which instantly updated a garment. A garment with a just below elbow
balloon sleeve or a bell sleeve looked correct for autumn 2006.
The fuller balloon sleeve and the shorter fuller bell sleeve in
all its forms was new to a generation. This was a refreshing new
fashion look when the jacket or top was teamed with a fitted hip
and waist defining garment.
This black and creamy white, large check, short jacket above left at Zara 2006 was
hot on trend with its large collar, belt for a cinched in waist and three
quarter cropped bell sleeves with deep cuffs.
All the elements were there to
add long gloves, or visible contrast knits beneath the cropped bell sleeves.
Dorothy Perkins (right)
sold this cropped, hound's-tooth check, swing jacket.
It had similar basics to the Zara coat above left and both jacket would have
been easy to
team with slouchy trousers.
Plaid fabrics were bold and although many were black and white or
charcoal/cream/grey mixes, every size of check variation was available and
many colour combinations.
The pink windowpane check coat was from New
Look. It captured the 2006 young spirited sixties mod look and was
especially youthful and cute style wise. The long buttoned cuff of the skinny knit sleeves beneath it created an
interesting meet between the two sleeve styles.
The belted tablecloth check plaid coat right in dusty greens was
from Debenhams. The sleeve volume was reined in with a cuff band.
The wide lapels gave it a retro seventies styling, but the belt and 70s
flare effect was the
point of the coat.
Easy lines and simply shaped plain coats that fitted in with everyday wear lined the
A fashion staple of 2006, the belted trench coat was made in several lengths and
acted as a versatile easy throw on coat or Mac suitable for all situations.
The trench coat was a practical cover up fashion garment
throughout 2006. Newer style trenches had more voluminous lower flared skirts.
There were also short belted trench coats and wrap style jacket coats with
turn back lower lapels, but no back collar stand.
Grey coats were an easy urban foil to brighter reds and purple coats.
This grey coat mixed several trends of trench style, big volume
sleeves and bold big buttons.
This red coat
near right by Wallis, was trimmed with a black grosgrain ribbon at the raised waistline band. The kimono bell sleeves
were a fairly new style and because they accommodated sleeve layers well,
were easy to wear. The new fuller skirts meant women were looking for
coats to wear over the greater bulkiness of fuller skirts.
The mini red coat far right was from Dorothy Perkins and it captured all the youthful easy wear facets of the sixties modern look. It
looked good teamed with laced up or bow trimmed ankle bootie shoes, leggings
or snazzy tights like the tartan tights the model wears in the photograph. This red coat
near left with sable fur cuffs and hemline trim, was by
fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. I believe this coat was the
source of inspiration for several high street versions.
In Autumn 2006 women were spoilt for choice between short mini-coats,
cape like jackets, Balenciaga style volume coats or full length maxi coats.
Right - Grey Military Line Catwalk Maxi Coat.
Left - Coats in 2006 from Oasis.
The trends for coats in winter 2006/7 were towards sixties A-line, empire line, or a combination of these elements. They
swung with volume, or were wrapped and belted.
Whatever a woman's shape there was a coat to suit her figure.
Coats Fashion History 2006 - Sleeve Lengths
One important recurring feature to note were the three quarter and elbow generous wide bell sleeves.
Both these coats from Oasis
shown above right were just the coats to pair with short and fingerless gloves and
especially long leather gloves.
Long leather gloves began a revival as an essential fall 2006 fashion
accessory. Coats and jackets were teamed with
baker boy hats, making for a practical easy to
wear look for colder days.
Right - Wallis 2006 camel coat with three quarter
Short jackets with metal buttons and military embroideries, à la Imperial
Army, complemented perfectly designed coats and fitted jackets. These were
all in new
proportions and intended to be worn over high-collared shirts.
One of the most most important styling looks of the noughties was the
military look. In
autumn winter 2005/2006 there had been a strong trend of a Russian Look which used military
elements to create a Russian style double
breasted and military Cossack coat of Doctor Zhivago leanings - see
Left - Photo courtesy of IFTF of Dolce & Gabbana, Black
The styling was from military severe
long and straight revolutionary to softer and more feminine waist nipping
Cossack inspired versions. Of course nothing could be further from the
practical requirements of a military coat than this catwalk cream military maxi coat.
White coat photos courtesy of IFTF.
The military look took inspiration from military coats and officer's
dress uniform. Jackets
cropped or lightly tailed from the waist were all richly balanced with
body braiding, cuff and epaulette trims.
Retail shops Wallis of UK drew inspiration from the
distinctive military trend for Autumn/Winter 2005, fusing old-world Russian style
with their take on grown-up Edwardian elegance. The military line coat far right is not
just a black coat, but is made in luxurious
velvet the fabric of autumn
Wallis image courtesy of Arcadia.
Rich metallic or self coloured matching braids, tonal frogging, soutache
braid decoration or contrast colourful piping all added a military air
to winter apparel and outerwear.
This maxi coat left and from Long Tall Sally was every bit as fashion
forward as the designer coats shown above.
The high street brought a catwalk fashion coat to every woman who sought
one in the autumn of 2006. I suspect there was hardly a woman who did not
buy some form of military influenced garment in that decade. Military
became one of the true fashion trends of the noughties
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