Two walkers in the mountains
Fuorcla Surlej, with the lake and Bernina Massif in the background; St. Moritz Tourism

Style in the mountains

Lindsay Macpherson provides some designer inspiration on how to look stylish in the mountains this season

If you have a passion for the great outdoors, you’re not only perfectly placed at Badrutt’s Palace in St. Moritz – a mecca for mountain sports enthusiasts the world over – you are also, as it turns out, entirely of the moment. ‘Gorpcore’ has been a style bubbling under since 2017, when The Cut coined the name for a style of functional, outdoors-inspired clothing and equipment named after the colloquial term for trailmix. But it recently became a niche trend once again.

The first clue that something was afoot was when the hiking boot was appointed the successor to the pristine white Stan Smith. Then Gucci’s three-part collaboration with North Face yielded some of the hottest hybrid pieces: think down jackets with mountain scenes; jacquard gilets; and – most remarkably – a Gucci tent. And when the Spring Summer 2023 catwalk shows kicked off it was clear that outdoorsy fashion was here to stay. There was a sea of utility pockets, high-tech fabrics and a profusion of puffer jackets. And where better to wear them than in St. Moritz – a destination as synonymous with style as with outdoor activities.

Designer retro backpack
Armani’s backpack is made from recycled nylon with a retro airbrushed effect

The walking trails around Badrutt’s Palace, for example – which range from beginner-friendly strolls to full-day endeavours – would be the ideal stomping grounds for Louis Vuitton’s luxurious new spin on the humble hiking boot: one of the most-coveted new launches in the brand’s pre-fall menswear collection. For adventures further afield, put on a Giorgio Armani leather-trimmed technical backpack (above) and head out to explore the mountains and wilderness areas around the Swiss town. 

St. Moritz has an average of 322 sunshine-filled days a year with warm, sunny days, but if the weather changes then the humble cagoule, which has had a makeover this season, is the answer. At Miu Miu’s SS23 womenswear catwalk show there was a huge array of Nylon cagoules elevated by their minimal silhouettes and stylish utility pockets. Style them with yoga pants for a sleek look, or with khaki trousers and a pared down t-shirt. For evenings out, look to KhrisJoy, available at Trois Pommes, where you’ll find puffer jackets beloved by the style set. 

You can also take in St. Moritz’s spectacular mountainscapes via a cable car or funicular railway, and – for adrenaline junkies – or even arrange a paragliding session or a helicopter ride to fly over the area’s iconic snow-capped peaks. The perfect fashion-meets-function pieces come courtesy of Dior’s 2023 menswear collections (above), which includes textured fleeces, technical jackets and neon-trimmed hiking boots.  

If you would like to take the Engadin valley views in on two wheels, then you are in luck: St. Moritz has over 400 kilometres (250 miles) of single bike trails and almost 600 different cycling routes. Badrutt’s Palace can supply mountain, road or e-bikes for the occasion and for the rest head to Palace Galerie, where you’ll find stylish sneakers for all terrain from Golden Goose – their Superstars are cult favourite for a reason – as well as activewear from Gucci. This season their pieces have a retro, ‘70s feel: think hooded jersey jumpsuits, striped polo dresses and jacquard leggings. These pieces are transitional: sporty enough for a day’s activities, equally appropriate for St. Moritz’s buzzing après ski scene. French heritage brand Fusalp is synonymous with skiwear, being the outfitter of choice for a host of winter Olympians, but its fusion of functionality, savoir faire and style makes it ideal for summer sports. The company’s latest collection (above) is full of sporty yet sleek separates for both men and women: low profile quilted jackets and utilitarian outwear are standouts. 

Wild swimming is an increasingly popular activity, and St Moritz has some of Switzerland’s most stunning spots for an al fresco dip: from secluded forest to the dark peaty waters of nearby Lej Nair. Kiton make swimming trunks that combine Italian tailoring with eye-catching prints (above); while Christian Dior’s Dioriviera one-pieces are the stylish way to make a splash. 

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