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Pyrenex, the French company with a long history of producing quality sports and active wear, have teamed up with hot Parisian design talent Alexis Mabille to produce a funky premium range.

It’s a timely move. The puffer jacket seems to have made a big comeback this winter. Needless to say that’s not always a good thing. So, Pyrenex have been extremely savvy in inviting Alexis to design their Premium Collection for both men and women. In his capable hands the practical – but aesthetically tricky- signature multi-layer fabrics that provide their warmth and weatherproofing on that old folkloric basis of building up layers of clothing in a single garment have been transformed into something entirely new and exciting.

Whilst a lot of the collection sees Alexis taking fairly traditional male and female silhouettes from Pyrenex’s archive and reshaping or altering detail to fit a contemporary style, all produced in sleek dark colours, there are also some wonderfully idiosyncratic and dramatic pieces on offer. Top tip for standing out in the crowd are the bright Estampe jackets for both men and women. Here, the traditional quilting becomes the mode by which Alexis realizes a bright and cheerful mountainscape design reminiscent of Art Deco stained glass, complete with iconic sunburst. Not only is it a garment helpful in chasing away the winter blues, but it’s probably pretty practical too: one is not that easily lost in a blizzard wearing this particular design.

Other directions that Alexis has explored are more structural, creating ponchos and a bib-like vest garment that keep the wearer’s body core warm whilst striking a bold pose in the cold. Clever little games are played with the front pockets of traditional tracksuits to here, incorporate them into the Pyrenex Premium Collection as on-board hand-warming muffs. There are even stunning silver numbers that turn traditional winter sports and mountain garments into shimmering evening wear; disco on ice.

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Alexis Mabille for Pyrenex Premium Collection

The collection has been the centerpiece at Pyrenex’s most recent pop-up store on the rue Vieille du Temple in Paris. But, if you want to make a bold New Year’s Eve statement at some outdoor celebration, you’d better get your skates on since it’s only open until 31 December 2010.

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