Tim Coppens is steady as a rock. Since his debut six seasons ago, the Belgian designer has turned out consistent, impeccably tailored clothes with a sporty slant, and he continued in that direction for Fall '14. But just because Coppens is staying the course doesn't mean he's not forging ahead. For starters, Fall—with its soft and, surprisingly enough, water-repellent Austrian Loden wools, sleek tech fabrics, and chunky cashmere knits—was easily his most luxurious outing to date. The world of mountaineering served as Coppens' primary muse, thus it was only appropriate that he introduce a cozy bronze shearling into the mix. For her (following his Spring capsule, Coppens continued to experiment with womenswear this season), it was used on an olive cocoon-back nylon parka, while for him it was found in the hood of a speckled gray duffel coat. Also pretty spiffy? The fact that the pockets of his wool trousers were lined with butter-soft leather.
It's little intricacies like these that make Coppens' collections so strong. "For me, construction isn't just about putting fabrics together and making them look good in a picture," the designer said during a preshow studio visit. "It's all about the details that you can only see and feel up close." One such detail is the way Coppens pieces his contrasting materials together like jigsaw puzzles, as he did with a full-length men's parka, which fused three different technical fabrics and smooth leather patches, as well as a nylon and wool women's bomber whose geometric front panels elegantly concealed two deep pockets.
Fall's base camp theme continued with slick jogging pants, lots of quilted nylon, and futuristic goggle glasses—a collaboration with Linda Farrow. There were also Japanese influences here, seen in samurai knit hats, kimono collars, and a playful black-and-white print that fused abstracted mountains, polka dots, and tiny hikers.
Coppens' latest lineup offers his signature, forward-thinking approach to comfortable urban clothing. And it's one that retailers are appreciating. During men's market week in Paris, he added five new stockists to his already impressive list, which includes Barneys, Matches, Louis Boston, and Mr. Porter. "There are more orders coming in, too," said Coppens with a smile. If he keeps producing clothes like these, he'd better get used to that.