On Sunday evening, the temperature in New York City was something like 3 degrees, not factoring wind chill. Factoring wind chill, the temperature was "Fuck You I'm Not Leaving My Apartment."
This is one of the coldest weeks in decades, much less the coldest Fashion Week in memory, where attendees insist on wearing no pants no matter the season. So it was vaguely heartening that some of our best designers are total psychics and have put forethought into the outerwear of the future (next winter), when "global warming" translates instead to extreme cold. For next season, the prescription is to fuck a coat, just wear an actual tent on your bod.
For super-cool NYC gods/winners Public School, the concept of coat-fuckery translated to this voluminous, quilted sheath (top left) that could also be used as a sleeping bag on those desperate, soused nights when you have to crash at someone else's crib. It is genius in that it doesn't seem to allow for arms to be exposed, which is one of winter's killers, and calls to mind the practical advice that if you are in danger of suffering hypothermia, the best thing to do is take off all your crappy clothes and roll around naked in a sleeping bag with someone else. In that sense, this tent-cape is deeply sensual, both in the way it swirls around the model's presumably warm body, and in the way that it most definitely could seat two.
There's also the option of just shedding your old persona as a human and assuming the stance of a "cozy ghost," as my friend Maud put it, which is what Andrea Jiapei Li did with her brilliant NYFW debut at the V-Files show last week. The cartoonishly elongated sweatshirt jam, top right, is actually my ideal of sportswear, in the old fashion definition of sportswear, before everyone got lazy as fuck and "sports" connoted "athleisure" as opposed to "the shit I'm wearing when I'm not at the office." (Shout to V-Files Sport, though.) This frockish coat is a sci-fi take on the utterly mundane and is both practical in its presumed warmth and elevated in that yes bish, if I could afford this, I would wear it to the Met Gala, if I were invited. (Rihanna will doubtless have this on in approximately three days.) Again, the arms and hands are not exposed, because gloves and mittens are bullshit. Gloves and mittens are totally last season. Why subject your delicate digits to the elements at all when you could submerge them in a cocoon of your own body warmth.
Hood by Air, on the other hand, went full hunter-gatherer with this concept, draping its model in a load a fur (get a load of fur!). And because things like zippers, buttons, and clasps are absolutely unsightly, designer Shayne Oliver solved the "coat blowing open in the wind" dilemma by just crafting what looks like a rubber band to keep it all tight and tidy. Again, no hands was the theme, but in case you are in need of a dangling accessory, this animal pelt has got two of them. I'm not sure if those are like, saddlebags in which you can tote your lipgloss and phone and raw bear meat, or if they're just oversized pompom embellishments, but either way at least your outer thighs will be warm as well. And that's what it's all about, right?
Of course, if a tent's not your steez, there are other options for housing and heating your nethers, like these legwarmers, by Telfar:
Or you could just go super futurist—as though the snow is an alien invader you must conquer—in Fall 2015's extreme conehead looks from Moncler Grenoble:
But whatever you choose, it's nice to know that at least some designers are thinking about the practicality of braving the frigid cold, especially when we are forced to leave our apartments to attend their fashion shows. Thank you, NYFW. Thank you, CO2. Shout out to god. Stay warm out there.
Hood by Air image via Splash News. Moncler image via Moncler Grenoble. All other images via Getty.