The Enduring Influence of Aprés Ski Style

A great trip involves mastering a sharp look both on and off the slopes.

Chanel Fall Winter 2019/2020 Show / Image Credit: Victor Boyko/Getty Image

Aprés Ski, the French phrase that speaks to social activities enjoyed after a day in the snow, evokes imagery of luxurious winter resorts but also chalet chic outfits. Modern recreational skiing, as we know it, has always had strong ties to fashion, stemming from the early 20th century. Industry luminaries like Coco Chanel and Schiaparelli drew inspiration from the sport. And as commercial aviation grew, the desire to travel to picturesque destinations like St. Mortiz, Switzerland, and Courchevel, France increased thanks to the glamorous stars that frequented wintry locales for film and leisure. Think members of the royal families, Brigitte Bardot, Jackie Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn in 1963’s Charade, who were all photographed enjoying the slopes. Women were inspired to take style cues from these fashion icons, and mod ski-suits, elaborate knitwear, plus fur-trim accents dominated the winter pages of Vogue throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Image Credit: Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images

Ski attire has evolved since those times with the invention of many water-proof and performance-driven materials, especially in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Today, however, the line between skiwear and streetwear is often blurred thanks to innovators in the space like Moncler. With the launch of the Italian brand’s trend-forward Moncler Grenoble line and Genius collaborations, the brand creates designs that merge high-fashion experimentation with cold-weather functionality. Also, in recent seasons were Raf Simon's use of ski-mask inspired balaclavas on the runways of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, and who could forget the influence of aprés ski style on the late Karl Lagerfeld? For his final Chanel RTW collection last March, the team transformed the Grand Palais into a peaceful, alpine scene.

There are only a few months left in the ski season, and when it comes to packing for an upcoming trip, aim to bring pieces that marry warmth with a strong fashion aesthetic. Plus, look for high-quality equipment like handcrafted skis from Swiss-based Zai, which are engineered to help boost control and performance on the trails. On the outfit front, we love sporty gear that can easily be stripped down, Fair Isle sweaters that do double-duty, and lug sole boots that’ll take you from the mountain to a nearby village hangout (Mr & Mrs Italy makes our favorites). Then considering the sun’s bright reflection off the snow, you’ll want to bring trusty eyewear as well. Westward Leaning makes luxurious ski goggles that have interchangeable lens, and post-run, swap them for sleek sunglasses. Whether you are a seasoned skier or prefer to stay cozy fireside, a great look is one that checks the boxes on both practicality and style.

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