As the winter months have officially set in, daylight is limited to lunchtime, and I dust off my hot water bottle and thermal underwear, I begin to consider my limited winter wardrobe. Inspired by Nora Ephron, I wear classic pieces like a black roll-neck (I have a few) and black jeans and an oversized coat for most of the cool months. I rarely stray from this in favour of new trends, as I've never found anything tempting enough to change my mind. But this year, I've found a trend I'm ready to obsess over: quilting.
Quilting—aka the process of sewing two or more layers of fabric together to make a thicker padded material—can be dated back to ancient Egypt, but it's never really at the forefront of fashion trend reports. It's a sewing technique that has humbly spanned across various centuries and cultures. From early Amish settlers in America up to Elsa Schiaparelli's couch to the Chanel flap bag, quilting has added a bit of oomph to fashion everywhere. In more recent decades, quilting has come into the fashion light by way of "duvet dressing," most notably captured in Viktor & Rolf's A/W 06 collection (pictured below), which saw a model walk down the runway in a vertical bed–like coat.
But not all quilting creations are quite as madcap. Normally, when you think of quilting, you probably think of outerwear, like the country-style gilets often spotted on the queen of England or puffer coats. It's also commonly used on luxury leather bags by brands like Gucci, Chanel and Saint Laurent. But this year, quilting has developed even further.
It's also naturally a trend that has been loved by Scandi style stars, not just for the past few seasons, but for ages. Living in the colder climates of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, it's no surprise that this cosy trend has been worn in cool, fun ways for decades. Even the members of ABBA wore quilted pieces on stage.
This year, we've seen Scandi influencers trying quilting in new ways, such as in quilted two-pieces, and fun quilted accessories. Brands like Ganni and Baum und Pferdgarten have been weaving quilted pieces into their winter collections this season too, adding their cool spin to them through prints and colour combinations.
I've also seen a lot of spotted a lot of patchwork quilted pieces, on coats and blazers. Patchwork pieces are so nostalgic, but can also work in really interesting ways, like Emili Sindlev's coat which pieces together metallics and animal print.
This season, it's taking an entirely new form, largely because Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta brought quilted clothing pieces into a new light. In his debut collection as creative director for the brand, fashion's new favourite designer used the technique skirts and shoes, as well as coats and jackets. Bottega pieces have been among the most popular on street style stars at New York Fashion Week, quilted styles included.
Quilting has also been reinvented by smaller, emerging brands. A brand I recently came across on Instagram called Textile Haus has devoted an entire collection to quilting in vertical lines, with bags and coats that sell out on repeat. I also found Lady Lancaster, who converts old quilts into incredible coats. As a minimalist, I feel like this trend is something I can bring into my wardrobe seamlessly. But I also feel like it's a fun new way to try a trend and stay warm, no matter your style. I've spotted so many fabulous quilted pieces you can buy now, from the high street to indie brands to high-end designers. Keep scrolling for my quilted shopping edit.