The Best Trench Coats to Shop on Bond Street

AW22 Bond's Best Trench Coat

From Jackie Onassis to Alexa Chung, the trench coat continues to be a hit with the cool girls. To designers, it is a constant source of style inspiration while on social media, images of fashion editors and influencers dashing from taxi to show, trench coat tightly cinched at the waist and swinging the latest must-have bag, never fail to make a splash. Indeed, very few pieces can transition through the seasons, from spring to summer, autumn to winter, with as much aplomb as the trench. And while luxury brands including Alexander McQueen, Chanel, and of course Burberry, continually re-interpret this chic wardrobe essential in a myriad of ways, it's easy to forget that its sartorial origins can be traced back to well over a century ago.

The utilitarian style first came to light during World War I, when Aquascutum followed by Thomas Burberry, began producing what we now know as the trench coat. The all-weather piece was worn by high-ranking officers on the battlefields. Made from water resistant fabric, the trench was cut to a double-breasted silhouette, with a convertible collar, large lapels and epaulettes. Other signature details included slotted pockets and a vent at the back, together with a small cape that crossed the shoulders, many of which remain in place today.

Fast-forward to the 1940s when the trench was first romanticised on the big screen in films such as 'Casablanca'. But it wasn't long before women were claiming the menswear garment as their own, thanks in part to the It Girls of the day. Who can forget a rain-drenched Audrey Hepburn wearing a tightly belted trench coat, searching for a soggy moggy on the streets of New York, in the 1960s classic 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'? And when a sultry Catherine Deneuve appeared wearing an Yves Saint Laurent black vinyl mac in 'Belle de Jour', the trench took on new status as a subversive piece to covet.

The appeal of the trench has endured over time. As the A/W 2022 ready-to-wear collections currently stocked in Bond Street's prestigious stores go to show, this season is all about innovative new fabrics - from hot shades of leather to recycled nylon; ruffles, new lengths and asymmetrical hemlines. With so many different styles to choose from, how will you wear yours this season?

Forever Chic...

For traditionalists, a trench coat cut from weatherproof cotton-gabardine and offered in shades of honey, black or navy is about as chic as it gets. So why change things? The quintessentially British trench always gets a seasonal fabric update at Burberry. Here, the Chelsea heritage trench coat is crafted in bespoke gabardine and comes in a choice of three different lengths. At Saint Laurent, a black cotton-twill trench with classic detailing will never go out of style. Elsewhere, Dior tops its beige trench with a tiny embroidered bee and CD monogram on the front. Max Mara's waterproof coat is made from a wool blend gabardine fabric and has a detachable yoke on the back. As for clever design touches, look no further than Ralph Lauren. Its reversible Balmacaan trench coat features a solid-hued khaki surface that reverses to a multi-coloured plaid side meaning you get two looks for the price of one!

Hell for Leather...

There's something about a leather trench that never fails to get the pulse racing. And when it comes in hot pink courtesy of Prada, you're bound to cause a stir wherever you go. For more double-breasted styles rendered in colourful leather look to Bottega Veneta. The soft lilac hue of its shorter-length Wisteria trench coat, will brighten up any dreary autumn day. Meanwhile, Chanel's longline style in light brown is cut from butter soft lambskin and features wide lapels. Saint Laurent's belted shearling-trimmed leather trench coat is short and sassy. Then there's Balmain. It fuses biker jacket elements in its latest trench coat, while gold-tone buttons add more of a military edge. And finally, Burberry's leather Waterloo trench coat is best paired with a pair of dark sunnies and plenty of Matrix attitude.

A Cut Above...

Talk about flipping the classic trench silhouette on its head. This season sees more than one luxury house present radical cuts and the latest in sustainable fabric innovation. Mulberry is back with its new Softie capsule collection, its first apparel collection since 2020. Each of the eight pieces, including the new double-breasted trench coat in shades of Mulberry Green or Tobacco Brown, is cut from a padded material made with recycled nylon. Elsewhere, Balenciaga opts for plush cotton towelling as the basis for its new season trench. At McQueen, Sarah Burton's deconstructed trench is made from 100 percent recycled polyester yarn and features wide notched lapels and an asymmetrically cut hem. Finally, Chloé's new ruffled trench, made from double-faced soft wool twill, gently flounces at the shoulders - perfect for bounding into the new season in style.

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