Self-Heating Coat is one Giant Step for Fashion-kind

Categories: Gadgets

A French fashion label is making fighting the bitter winter weather that much easier thanks to its chic new range of self-heating outerwear, which it debuted on the catwalk on Paris Fashion Week. 

Several models at the Courreges show strutted their stuff in the toasty coats, which look no different to normal woolen warmers on the outside, but which each have a slimline heater inside them that can be turned on with just the push of a button that is discreetly hidden inside the design. 

'Who has never dreamt of being warm in the winter?' Courreges designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant asked while speaking to AFP. 'This transition is possible if technology responds to our primary needs - wellbeing and comfort.'

On the day an astronaut returned to Earth after 340 days in space, Paris fashion took another small step for mankind.

Behold, the self-heating overcoat.

The French label Courreges announced the dawn of the "new era" Wednesday, "an era when the garment will come alive."

"Who has never dreamt of being warm in the winter?" its designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant declared. "This transition is possible if technology responds to our primary needs -- well being and comfort."

Three of its chic full length autumn-winter wool coats have been fitted with a slimline heating system, much like the ones which warm up cars seats on winter mornings.

"By simply applying pressure" on a button, "you give the coat life", they said.

The brand, one of the pioneers of futuristic 1960s style under its visionary founder Andre Courreges, vowed that this was only the beginning of its voyage into hi-tech clothing.

Co-president Frederic Torloting said as yet the move was "symbolic" but they had ambitions to go much further.

"Technology has been a very tricky subject for fashion. It is often seen as antithetical, that hi-tech and isn't glamorous," he said. "But that's wrong. It can be made glamorous!"

- On sale straight away -
The black, pink and black and white chequerboard coats are certainly a step up in style from the self-heating coats and gloves already on the market, which tend to be aimed at the outdoor and adventure market.

Haute couture has been slow to embrace such gadgetry, but with clothing connectivity a major focus of research for tech companies, Courreges is convinced it is the future.

"This is only our first step -- we are going to do lot of other thing in this area," Torloting said.

The label also broke new ground by announcing that it was breaking ranks with the Paris fashion establishment and offering a part of its autumn-winter collection straight for sale on its website.

Twenty pieces were to go online Wednesday evening with the label following US designer Rebecca Minkoff, who offered 70 percent of her collection for immediate sale after her show in New York last month.

Another Paris label, Paco Rabanne, is reportedly ready to follow suit.

The row over a move to "buy now, see now" has pitted New York which wants shows staged "in season" so the public can buy the clothes on the catwalk straight away, with Paris and Milan which prefers the present system of "delayed gratification".

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