Fashion

Runway vs. Reality: What Is a Teddy Bear Coat, and Will You Wear One Next Year?

In Paris, this mysterious item is appearing on runways. Expect to see it in a city near you next winter

Two examples of the teddy bear coat from Carven.

Source: Carven via Bloomberg

Paris Fashion Week is in full gear. 

Today on the schedule we have Junya Watanabe, Givenchy, and an intimate presentation from Sandro (you know, one of the four Parisian designers you should know), their first time to show during Paris Fashion Week. 

And, it’s time to play Runway Vs. Reality, Parisian style. (Previous editions: Fur, oversized scarves and baggy pants.)

We’ve seen some bold outwear pieces strut along the catwalk the past couple of days in Paris, including outstanding topcoats, risky sleeveless items such as trench coats and vests, and the teddy bear coat. 

What is the teddy bear coat, you ask? What, you mean you don’t know?

Kidding.

It’s a plush, fuzzy-looking, and super cozy jacket that is usually made out of faux fur. (Sometimes the fur is real, too, but mostly it's synthetics that resemble a teddy bear’s fluff.) The coat looks … kind of silly now. You’d probably roll your eyes if you saw it on someone today on the street. But I bet you—come this time next year—you’ll be used to it. It won’t be as common as those Canada Goose puffy jackets that everyone seems to have in New York at the moment, but you’ll see it around. You might even wear one yourself. (Just remember where you heard about it first. I’m not offended by your skepticism.) 

Teddy Bear Coats at Paris Fashion Week F/W 2015: a double breasted teddy bear peacoat from Louis Vuitton, and a robe-like teddy bear coat from Ann Demeulemeester.
Teddy Bear Coats at Paris Fashion Week F/W 2015: a double breasted teddy bear peacoat from Louis Vuitton, and a robe-like teddy bear coat from Ann Demeulemeester.
Photographer: (from left) Victor Boyko/Getty Images; Catwalking/Getty Images

Such brands as Louis Vuitton and Ann Demeulemeester launched their versions of the teddy bear coat this week in Paris. Both were high fashion, but they looked very different—and only one of them is really wearable. If you end up looking to join the herd next year, I would strongly advocate a chestnut brownish teddy bear coat, which will be a (relatively) neutral addition to your wardrobe that you can pair with a variety of things you already own. Louis Vuitton menswear designer Kim Jones did a good job of making this edgy trend wearable. 

Ann Demeulemeester’s version is simple in color, but is anything but basic. The long teddy bear coat has a strong rock 'n' roll element, and was probably designed with Steven Tyler in mind. It’s fun to look at, but when it comes to shopping next fall, leave the long flowy options to Aerosmith, and stick with something more buttoned-up. 

(Moti Ankari is the associate market editor for Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter@motiankari and Instagram @themetroman or contact him at mankari@bloomberg.net.)

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