the last years of the noughties decade there had been a major silhouette change
catwalk fashion and especially in coat fashions.
Pyramid A-line trapeze shaped coats, armorial futurist space age
jackets, and cocoon fashions were all ways to manipulate
volume looks. Softer versions hit the high
street, but the influence was visible in styles available at
In 2008 the new coat silhouettes developed a more architectural sculptured
contour. Designers played with fabric folds, the
fit, flare and shaping of garments in novel ways.
These new architectural silhouettes created striking new shapes
which often have the appearance of moulded forms.
2008 Looks - Centre - Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, moulded silhouette
look. Far Right - Louis Vuitton - Geometric tailoring and biker zipper
features on this winter white coat. Far Left - Fashionable dropped waist coat by Oscar de la Renta.
Of course there were many other coat styles that made their
mark. What each style illustrated was a leaning toward a more
sculptured coat structure with
folded fabric and geometric cutting, flared squared corner panels,
and high proud or wide
collars. The resulting look was an
exaggerated three dimensional style. Fabric wrapped about
the body creating a cocoon and this redefined the body contours
and created the 2008 fashion
silhouette. Observe this trend in the four coats below:
The above photo line-up shows coats from the British
company Aquascutum and their 2008 Collections. For autumn 2008,
Aquascutum created a silhouette that was balanced superbly with
innovative womanly shaping, but with control over loose volume.
This created a soft roundness. Sculptured collars and
hemlines, shapely sleeves were all the 2008 features for the
latest coat look.
had an unfamiliar structure, with theatrical elements
that added exaggerations more akin to historical costumes of
Collars stood large, proud and high; excess fabric was folded
into 3D configurations. Materials frequently looked as if
they have been deliberately sculptured to make the onlooker
focus on the more unusual display zones of the fashion
Sleeve shapes became intriguing with
overlong skinny sleeves, cropped bell sleeves, gigot sleeves and
Bishop sleeve blouson looks. The photos below show Autumn 2008 Catwalk
outerwear coat and jacket clothing from designers Jil Sander, Rick Owens
and Armani and highlight some of these fashion history changes
in outerwear apparel.
Jackets became playful and very quirky.
The garments themselves made a fashion statement. Little else
was required in the way of accessories to remain concentrated on
the original fashion message.
Trapeze Pyramid Coats
Coats with Undefined Waistlines
In autumn 2008 pyramid coats
exhibited a strong sixties/seventies swing feel. These swing coats flowed like
an A-line pyramid from the shoulders and they had matching A-line
flared sleeves. Many dresses followed similar silhouette lines.
This trend had been gaining momentum for some time and along
with cropped jackets left a notable fashion history
silhouette for the latter decade. This
was a statement-making shape,
in a bold
Looser coats frequently had an easy shoulder line and
capacious sleeves. This loose style was also perfect for fur
materials. Trends in collars gave us high funnel stands, shawl collars,
large flat collars, geometric cowls, or fur trims which gave
style its precision.
In this coat silhouette near right Aquascutum used
the pyramid trapeze to create a youthful looking coat but with a
hint of vintage.
Far left - Autumn 2008 Aquascutum Diplomatic coat in pink.
Near left - Fall 2008 Aquascutum coat in purple.
Above Left - Dior navy pyramid line coat.
Centre Right - Dior Purple coat and accessories.
Above Right - Episode at House of Fraser - Greyed taupe coat.
The looser coats above, were sometimes cinched in with a belt.
These fashion coats really were perfect for wearing with flared
dresses or prom style fuller skirts. Trapeze pyramid shapes morphed into more shapely cocoons than
those of 2007. These two styles stood side-by-side and
both could have had bulky sleeves. Near Left - Max MaraBlue grey swing flared
coat with fall shawl and turn back collar also had a cocoon wrap
yourself up quality. Far Right - Marni golden fur
The cocoon barrel-line coat edged itself into fashion by developing
a cut that introduced curvy balance with volume. The
application of fur or velvet banding at the hemline and sleeves
made the silhouette more interesting.
Left - Maurizio Pecoraro.
Centre - Narciso Rodriguez.
Right - Reem Acra.
Left - Winter white wool felt coat, dyed fox collar, with gigot
sleeves - Verrier.
Centre - Cocoon coat - With semi-fitted cape like shaping -
Viktor & Rolf.
Far Right - Mink trimmed jacket by Viktor and Rolf.
In 2008 when designers wanted to add a touch of luxury to coats, they
used genuine or fake fur collars to create an eye-catching
fashion. By using Mongolian fur and collars made from feathers,
designers added a contrasting looser Boho texture.
The first three coats below had an easy straight line.
Each was trimmed with a flat fur collar, and the coat on the
right had the extra trim of deep fur cuffs.
Above Far Left - Michael Kors. Centre Left -
Kors. Centre Right - Wallis. Far Right Aquascutum
Here are more examples of the Autumn 2008 fur trimmed coats. Fashion designers used
fur along hemlines, and also as decorative trims to open-front
The tweed coat
right by Pollinini used leather cleverly to create a faced outer top cuff, matched
with a wide belt.
The leather trim on the coat belt and cuffs was very
decorative, as was the raised embellishment on the coats below.
Sleeves had been getting the designer
treatment in the late noughties and in 2008 huge deep fur cuffs
were used on these luxury coats below as well as on puffa style jacket
coats; note also the matching fur hood on the right. Posh
Parkas live to see another season.
Winter white was a favourite
base colour to show off textural embellishments of coats on the
2008/9 catwalk. White on white, cream on cream, taupe on
taupe, black on black created an expensive look that the high
street picked up quickly.
A high street
cream version of embroidered Shearling coats was made by chain
stores such as Marks and Spencer.
This beautiful coat right and the pearl bead appliqué detail of the embellishment
shows the gorgeousness of the garment the Blugirl design house created.
Far Right - Coat by Blugirl.
Near left - Detail of embellishment on Blugirl coat.
Right - Givenchy winter white coat.
white was perhaps less popular than this hot pink. It
would have been difficult to miss the many colourful and cheerful colours
that were in the
stores in Autumn 2008. Bold bright colour had really become
a notable fashion trend
Key colours for autumn 2008 and winter 2009 included many
berry tones, from pinks through to the purple orchids and inky
But there were also reds, crushed damson, dusty pink,
orchid pink, magenta, rose petal, claret, maroon, rich
aubergine, blackberry and puce.
Above Left - Coats of 2008 - Boden satinised coat which could
be worn unbelted or open. Centre left - Marks & Spencer Molly
Coat in Fuchsia. Right - Marks & Spencer Perfect
Collection Cocoon Coat.
Check designs were an ongoing strong trend, and each mass retailer
Dorothy Perkins pink check coat near right was unusual in that it was a
brushed fluffy yarn window check plaid. It was cute,
feminine and youthful. Big buttons, bows and cowl necks were a
common sight in 2008.
Centre Left - Dorothy Perkins pink check coat.
Centre Right - CC magenta coat modelled by Jane Seymour.
Opaque Tights in 2008
One seemingly subtle trend at the time was the teaming of
these coats with black/dark opaque tights. What had started
slowly a couple of years earlier as contrast dark leggings
became a huge fashion trend for the next few years. Fake
tans had lost their kudos and were by then frowned upon so main
retailers started to stock dark and coloured tights. Women used
them as an alternative leg enhancer with shorter clothes.
Dark shades of full contrast pantyhose hosiery in black, grey,
chocolate, aubergine, purple, mauve and bottle green were worn
with coats, skirts, tunics and dresses. After wearing trousers
for years it enabled women to wear
shorter dresses and coats with greater comfort whatever their
trench styles in satinised fabrics and eye popping colours were
among the statement making coats that dominated the catwalks
Luxury materials such as cashmere and satin helped
create opulent effects with plenty of pastel coat variety in
soft ice cream colours. The fashion trend for rich damask and glossy metallic finishes
continued as did fur trims on hems and cuffs.
Blues were a strong colour trend for Autumn
The Bottega Veneta coat far left with its origami like
folds of fabric made a very bold statement, as did the
Celine coat centre left.
Right - The high street Marks and Spencer
Autumn 2008 version of the Celine coat.
The more intricate the catwalk construction of a piece, the slower the
design is to reach the high street. Something has to give,
and its usually the quality of finish, yet this high
street coat really did bring this particular fashion look to the masses. It
shorter than the Celine version, and the skirt had less fullness,
but was hot on trend as teal blue was a strong fashion colour of Autumn 2008. 2008
variety of colourful coat styles not seen since
the late 1980s.
Focus on the waist also brought dropped waist lines.
Dropped-waist coats had skirts that fell from softly
controlled, gathered fullness as below.
Catwalk coats with dropped waists.
Left - Blue coat - Karen Walker.
Centre - Berry red coat Kati Stern for Venexia.
Right - A sumptuous golden embellished coat with dropped waist
and funnel neckline by Christian Lacroix.
short button feature coats were very influenced by late 60's above waist mini
coats and military pea coats. The navy blue coat, far
right was a fashion trendsetter from Burberry and was in tune with all the inky midnight
blue shades of autumn 2008. Far right - Burberry coat by
The military pea coat had made its mark the previous autumn
2007 and the exuberant fun coat lived on in 2008.
Designer Karen Walker showed these influential blue
single breasted and the scarlet red double breasted coats.
The mustard coat was the River Island high street version, but
with a military influenced majorette high collar. Far left - Blue coat - Karen Walker.
Centre - Red coat - Karen Walker.
Right - Gold coat - River Island.
grey striped mass produced coat right was from Freemans
Catalogue and like the River
Island mustard coat clearly had been influenced by catwalk
trends of funnel stand necklines and regimented button
arrangements. Right - Freemans 2008 - Striped grey coat.
Despite all the variety of other fashion coat styles in 2008,
the military coat still held our attention. A military shaped
and contoured coat like the version left instantly knocked some
shape into the wearer, made the wearer stand up straight, and
gave an individual a better bearing to face the world.
Right - Coat by Wallis Autumn/Winter 2008.
In the recessionary era of 2008 women were beginning to shop
a little differently and had begun to buy into the idea of
investment dressing. The coat was a great investment piece that
could cover up a less than new outfit beneath it.
The coat was also a practical cover up for the dress which
had increased in popularity with women everywhere.
A more innovative coat look was of this coat with cropped cape sleeves by Principles
Autumn 2008. The cape look was a trend set to bloom more fully
in 2010. 2007 and 2008 both saw many short cropped jackets and every trend
especially the military look
got a cropped jacket version. Right - Designer Vanessa Bruno cropped military jacket.
colour was important so were fur effects.
Bolder, fashion forward, women opted for a full length leopard
or fur effect coat. The still popular short cropped coat looked
worked in fur as it was not so overwhelming as a complete full
length fur coat.
A key fashion in winter 2008/9 was the leopard or ocelot print
short or long coat,
either faux or real fur. Leopard print fur was a great alternative to
the biker look. The shorter jacket shown here was from River Island
Clothing Co. Ltd, Autumn 2008/9 and could be worn as a
short snappy everyday winter jacket with jeans.
The majority of main high street shops were stocking leopard
print or cheetah in faux fur, so
finding a coat to suit was very easy especially as many chain
prices were well under £100. The faux fur coats were all simple in line, but could be
worn loose or belted for that autumn 2008 styling.
print clothing of every type including accessories, bags
and shoes even bangles, was a fashion trend that grew throughout the
noughties decade. It continued to be prominent through the
autumn and winter of 2008/9 and remerged in autumn 2010.
One way that the animal print trend
developed was that it began to include other animal skins. Zebra,
cheetah, ocelot, jaguar, cow, giraffe and tiger all got the
fashion fabric treatment.
Another way that this trend
grew was to use more and more accessories with animal print
textures. By 2010 this trend was full on in every colour mix
imaginable and featured in every garment especially beach and
Right - Faux Fur Coat - BHS 2008 Womenswear.
Left - Catwalk Fashion IFTF.
print was the phrase rather than the named animal skin. The Blumarine coat and boots by Anna Molinari
shown above left were made from stencilled goat and then trimmed with
a silver fox fur trim.
The black and white long hair Shearling chubby coat left was
from Jaeger catwalk show.
If not an expert or wearer of real fur, it is hard to tell if
the regular pattern of the animal print is leopard, ocelot,
jaguar or cheetah. Unless you have skin references from
real animal images then animal prints can be confusing. In the
animal world there are different breeds and the skin markings
jacket was one a strong short coat trend throughout the
noughties decade and had
a must-have moment in
Autumn 2008/Winter 2009.
One of the most inspired biker jackets was from the House of Balenciaga
where zips were not just functional, but used for eye catching
Right - Balenciaga biker jacket.
Left - ASOS biker jacket 2008.
all the main brands and high street shops had their version of a
cropped leather biker bomber jacket. The collar on biker jackets was
often of fur or faux fur.
Folksy Jackets in 2008
There were alternatives to a short biker jacket in the form of
skin fur faced jackets in Shearling, Mongolian fur, velvet or
leather. The styles fitted seamlessly
into Russian Doll/Boho/Folkloric fads. The examples shown were
also real winter warmers.
Far Right - Oscar de la Renta coat.
Near Right - Hermes coat and bag.
Not quite a coat, but the importance of the gilet as outerwear
in the noughties cannot be underestimated. The fur/Shearling
based gilet vest was a fast way of adopting a
plainer Folk Boho look.
This butter colour fur gilet was very typical of gilets on the high
street in 2008. This was from Oasis Autumn
2008/9 range. This particular garment was made from Mongolian
fur including the curly trim. The gilet was great for a layer of warmth outdoors
and recurring outerwear fashion each winter.
Left - New Look A/W 2008 Gilet.
Copyright of fur images courtesy of IFTF.
Special thanks to prshots
with images courtesy of Country Casuals, Boden, Aquascutum, Marks
& Spencer, Dior, Wallis, Swarovski, Debenhams, Dorohy Perkins, and New Look.
Header image courtesy of Swarovski and featuring Louis Vuitton
Fashion History Coats Page 2008 - Date Added July 2010.
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