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August 28 2014

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Maximum Utility: Workwear-Inspired Gear on the Fall Runways

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Tommy HilfigerThe long and bitter winter we’ve endured has brought out the inner survivalist in we editors at Style.com. And based on the influx of updated utilitarian gear we noticed on the Fall ’14 runways, the extreme conditions got designers thinking more practically, too. Alexander Wang made references to hunting, mountain climbing, and other outdoor sports with his new collection, which featured functional pockets of all sorts. His Brooklyn Navy Yard show was a parade of cargo pants, suede workwear jackets, canteen bags, and efficient shifts featuring individual compartments for Moleskine notebooks, smartphones, lipsticks, and lighters—everything his downtown customer needs to pound the pavement in style. Olivier Rousteing, meanwhile, transported us to a different kind of jungle (one stalked by Amazonian supermodels, no less) with his glam safari-inspired wares at Balmain. Surplus details also turned up at Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant, Acne Studios, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Elsewhere, Tommy Hilfiger put his own all-American spin on the industrial trend by whipping up a series of raw denim pieces and “Marlboro Man” coats that suggested, as he told Style.com, the “real heartland America.”

These fashion-forward riffs on blue-collar uniforms will appeal to girls who’ve been rocking Carhartt jackets lately. At the very least, the spacious pockets will give us reason to forgo a purse. We’ll be ready to drop everything and run when the zombie apocalypse (or the next Polar Vortex) strikes.

Here, a slideshow of Fall’s utilitarian highlights.

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