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Good Reads | Moncler

WSJ Magazine: Aprés Ski

OB-VI732_mag121_G_20121113212436TO A GENERATION OF EUROPEANS, Moncler was known as the premier maker of winter-weather performance jackets. Whether summiting a Himalayan peak or whooshing down the slopes at Verbier, its signature quilted garments were instantly recognizable, reliable against the cold—and had a cumbersome bulk that seemed best suited to life in the mountains. But this October in Paris, on a gray day during fashion week, a newly reimagined Moncler sent white-mesh hot pants and chiffon cocktail dresses down the runway as buff male models in tiny briefs clustered around a fake pool, performing calisthenics. The effect was a psychedelic homage to the beach culture of southern Italy—and a far cry from the old-guard alpine world Moncler once represented. Such departures from precedent aren't always greeted kindly, particularly when the fashion line in question is breaking from its own tradition. But for Moncler, the gamble is clearly paying off. On the eve of its 60th anniversary, the brand has never been more sharply noticed—or more admired—than it is today.