Cape: A Fall Revelation

During the Fall/Winter season, one cannot avoid speaking about coats, yet this year offers a pleasant alternative to the usual outerwear: a cape, seen both in the casual poncho, as well as a more elegant version. Long before it debuted on catwalks and shop windows, the cape was used on the streets of medieval Europe. At that time, a cape would have a good, often decorated with beans and crochet-like detailing. In collective memory, the cape is also remembered as the typical vêtement of Roman Catholic clergy as well as one of the recognizable dresses of bourgeois or noble women.

The inspiration for this contemporary Fall version of a traditional cape comes from different spheres; Valentino followed two paths, one focused on leather and optical prints, and the other on embroidery and tighter silhouettes. Barbara Bui, on the other hand, oriented herself towards huge shapes and monocolour – almost exclusively ivory and black – while the knit-work gives the outfits a warm and comfortable feel. Yet, the real fashion surprise of the year could be seen on Burberry Prorsum’s runways, with capes of an entirely new form becoming the show-stoppers. The brand’s blanket-like capes were rendered in interesting patterns and combined contrasted colours for a casual yet unbearably cool appeal.

Francesca Crippa