Monday, August 16, 2010



words/images Judith Ecochard

West 30’s –aka ‘The Forbidden Zone” NYC

We had a good laugh when the invite from SIA offered car service for media--- to provide a smooth ride sans chairlift access--- over to where this Summer Snowdown event was being held.

Figuring the 5-inch Giuseppe Zanotti teetering heels (that we love btw)---were going to be largely absent from this crowd of attendees.

Having said that, a lot of the women’s apparel we previewed would look just fine with the sky-high footwear---

Case in point, the fashion forward,  “SnowSatin” jackets from the SPORT OBERMEYER Minx Collection (featuring the Leighton).

Sophisticated designs (Gossip Girl worthy, imho), perky, trendy prints (leopard, a textured black) and/or powerful colors---plus a fully lined faux fur hood that zips down the middle---(worn over the head, or unzipped as  shoulder draping)---

 And the exterior is made from performance fabric Hydroblock V (waterproof, breathable). NICE. ($295.50/$310.00)

We also loved this biker-style model Madison Jacket-(above)

---and a quilted lightweight compressible Kassidy ‘sweater’ (below) from the Alt3 4Me collection that can work as a mid-layer too.


A Serendipity line for girls, that’s 53% made from recycled PET (like plastic soda/water bottles).

And teen girls Jemma jacket ($149.50/$159.50)

Guys too get options from Obermeyer---as in high performance, four way stretch jacket –Quantum Collection jackets-also made from 53% PET, waterproof---and embedded with RECCO® (internationally supported rescue system/reflectors)---pictured Peregrine $375.

And the shredder’s Boundary Collection---pictured the Telluride ($199.50/$219.50).
 Kids' and accessories (Eden knit cap pictured) 

SPYDERThe Antidote” technical skiwear collection is starting to show up attiring the kids riding the subways…so it’s probably only a matter of time before this performance brand crosses over into the lifestyle mode, in a meaning fashion.

At this preview, we saw all the bells and whistles on the über high-end Legend Collection for M/W.

With three jacket styles with two matching suspender pants for guys, the garments are souped up with OSMO® “a super breathable proprietary laminate featuring 30,000mm breathable and 20,000mm waterproof rating.” That is major moisture wicking protection and the highest ratings of that ilk that we have seen.

(Men's Jackets $500-$900 for the top of the line Alpen Jacket with OSMO with X-Static® ---a silver fiber technology that include thermodynamic heat transfer, static electricity dissipation, long lasting odor protection).

Women get their due of the aforementioned Legend Collection in the Zermatt and Vail Jackets. ($500, $600).

Kids' too

What we think the hip Big Apple dwellers ridin’ the rails might be wearing are selections from the Active Collections, Venom (M), or Matrix & Vision (W).

From the headlines...

Less costly but not dumbed down in terms of functionality, the apparel boast abrasion resistant materials where we need it…especially cool for the rush hour subway cars bump ups, or sliding down an icy slope.

HELLY HANSEN has a mission “…to protect and enable professionals making their living in the harshest environments.”

We always knew them for their immensely waterproof, sung, keep us warm, temperature regulating base layers, made of polypropylene, and outdoor wear…

But the brand has morphed into a complete lifestyle company, head to toe attire. In fact the pr peep told us that half of the company’s offerings are now fashion oriented…but made of technical fabrics that perform.

We saw a bit of the Embla monikered Sportswear Collection, featuring a elegantly flared Wool Hybrid jacket (of breath-able, moisture wicking Merino Wool, and Primaloft insulation)…topped off with a cozy funnel neck,

And a stylish all season light weight down Parka with a removeable belt--- that’s completely waterproof and with a cozy lining,

SPECIAL: Helly Hansen EKOLAB Project to develop more environmentally friendly fabrics that are made form recycled or sustainable materials, shipping practices that lower the company’s carbon emissions, and smart engineering requiring less non recycled materials---like stitched eyelets instead of metal ones .

Top-Ask Winter $160 (Men's)

& Women's Eir 2 $140

Embla Hi $170

Skuld 2 $160

Snow Cutter $130

Kickers are street chic too…with lace-up winter boots that are warm, cushioning (via trademarked C-Zone ™ strategically placed shock absorption/energy return materials) protective grips ((via proprietary rubber compounds used in the soles for ultra stick)…  and look good. Really.

Hailing from Jackson Hole, Wyoming- POWDERHORN oozes ski heritage…

For the upcoming season, clean contemporary silhouettes rules with hard and soft shell jackets and matching pants…made from the latest tech fabrics and treatments that keep wearers dry, with breathable and stretch built in.

There is an emphasis on fashion friendly style too…in the sweet looking Powdersmoke Jacket ($395) a high tech down fill topper in an interesting chevron quilted pattern. The heat retention gets amped up via a unique ceramic powder treatment on the 750-fill for thermal retention…and we visually liked the details too:

Fixed down insulated hood good for sub zero temps, intergrated powderskirt, underarm pit vents, zippered handwarmer pockets, internal pockets tricked out for mp3’s, keys, goggle-with a chamois wipe,  and lycra elastic on the cuffs and hem that ensure a snuggly fit keeping the cold out for all day adventures.

Guys get a similar high end sample---the Powderride Jacket encased iin a 100% polyester ripstop fabric with 20,000mm waterproof and breathability. What’s we learned was the combo of down and ceramic fibers dispenses heat evenly, taking heat from the hotspots and dispensing to where you need it---a very char lift friendly touch…when a few minutes into the lift, teeth start to chatter. 

The vibrant graphics of the Lilly Jacket $295 (pictured up top, left with Calamity pants)makes this a slope to street chic option. With waterproof/breathable performance attributes (via proprietary PHTPro), critically seam sealed, sleeve pocket for ski pass, and plenty of other pockets for stash and hands, it’s an all weather option too…to be worn on its own or atop a mid layer.

Fleeces, so easy to toss on--- also get a luxe finish---

Like the Josie Zipneck (men get the Bronco Zipneck)---an easy care PHT Thermal made of a technical stretch fleece that’s warm and quick drying…and with 11% Spandex, it’ll move with you. In 8 colors too.

FUN: Some men’s jackets named for the wild, wild west---like the Doc Holiday, Jesse James, Ghostrider, etc.

SCOTT is famed for its ski equipment but we think thie new artist grapic designed googles and mittens/gloves are very cool.

PLUS: Googles with built in fans that switch on automatically, sensing what's needed---and that use AAA batteries, Scott makes this piece of eye protection a very good option for face sweaters and prescription glass wearers.