LOS ANGELES (
) -- As ski resorts begin to open in Europe and North America, luxury retailers are unleashing a fashion avalanche of accessories and ski wear to outfit the 2010 skier.
Look for skiwear to follow the styles of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, with a few notable trends to emerge during the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony, which in previous years included the debut of the Roots beret. If you're the kind of person who wouldn't be caught dead in last season's eagle-and-flag emblazoned RLX by Ralph Lauren ski ensemble, here's some of the season's hottest ski trends to make sure you're the most stylish bunny on the slopes.
Ralph Lauren does U.S. Olympic team:
He's become the quintessential American designer, and nothing represents his pioneer status better than outfitting every U.S. athlete in the Parade of Nations. This year
pays tribute to skiing's past with a collection inspired from the Lake Placid Games of 1932.
While what the athletes wear is always a much-anticipated secret, a few looks have already emerged, with Ralph Lauren making a statement with his signature red, white and blue. Hot looks include tapered pants, slight silhouettes and shawl cardigans made from plush merino wool, all with official logos of the U.S. Olympic team and iconic polo embroidery. Top it off with a USA-emblazoned wool hat with retro Olympic logo, which is sure to be a staple around the Olympic Village during the Vancouver games.
In terms of less nationalistic apparel from Ralph Lauren, signature in-house brand RLX goes back to basics with its mostly solid black, red, white and yellow collection of performance skiwear, including its new flagship high-tech jackets offering avalanche rescue beacon and Bluetooth technology support in all-back microfiber shell with zip-in liner.
Canadian retailer pulls up Roots:
Hudson Bay Co.
is one of Canada's largest department stores and managed to acquire the licensing and rights to officially outfit Canada's Olympians for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was an honor bestowed in previous years on Roots Canada Ltd., known for its extensive branding emblazoned on those iconic sweatshirts and hats worn in previous Olympics
The U.S. equivalent of Macy's wrangling the Olympic sponsorship from Ralph Lauren, the Hudson Bay Co. debuted the signature designs that will define Team Canada including retro black, grey, red and white apparel that mixes classic parka, toques and quilted coats with more upscale Cowichan-style sweaters made from heavy knit with buffalo plaid and turned-down collar.
Available at Olympic pop-up shops in Hudson Bay department stores across Canada and the official Olympic Village and venues, shoppers should keep in mind that Visa is the official sponsor of the Winter Olympic games and the only accepted form of plastic.
The ultimate snowy catwalk:
If following Olympic fashion is too green-run proletariat, look no further than
, the Italian-owned French retailer 48% owned by Carlyle Group, for this season's ultimate ski fashion. It's what many consider the best high-end skiwear line ever created, Moncler debuts its high-end couture lines known as Moncler Gamme Rouge for her and Moncler Gamme Bleu for him.
Think Jackie O on the slopes, or that's at least what designer Giambattista Valli suggested of his sophomore outing at Moncler Gamme Rouge. An aristocratic fantasy of puffy, feather-filled down jackets allows fashionable skiers to go from the slopes to the chalet without a costume change. The differences in Valli's designs and those of Prada Sport or even Bogner are the sexy shapes, freeing woman from voluminous parkas and one-piece suits to egg-shaped coats and tight-waisted jackets in fabrics like silk gazar, jacquard and sequin embroidery that allow for a sexy silhouette even at 10,000 feet.
For men, arbiter of the short-panted suit Thom Browne debuts a collection for Moncler Gamme Bleu that tosses out the notion of never exposing flesh on an icy-cold ski run. Fashionable even on a whiteout slope of moguls, Browne's quilted metallic silver or all-white ski ensembles maintain a tailored, solid silhouette with occasional red and blue striping. Quilted parkas with exaggerated trains, knit white leggings and even a ski tuxedo with leather pants or striped shorts extend the fashion catwalk from lift to late-night soiree. Even more than Chanel or Prada Ski, Moncler Gamme Rouge and Gamme Bleu prove to be this year's must-wear ski ensemble for the most fashionable jet-setters.
-- Reported by Michael Martin of JetSetReport.com in Los Angeles.
Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.