Self-Heating Coats Grace Paris Runway

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On the day an astronaut returned to Earth after 340 days in space, Paris fashion took another small step for mankind.

Behold, the self-heating overcoat.

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The French label Courreges announced the dawn of the "new era, an era when the garment will come alive."

"Who has never dreamt of being warm in the winter?" its designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant declared. "This transition is possible if technology responds to our primary needs -- well being and comfort."

Three of its chic full length autumn-winter wool coats have been fitted with a slimline heating system, much like the ones which warm up cars seats on winter mornings.

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"By simply applying pressure" on a button, "you give the coat life," they said.

The brand, one of the pioneers of futuristic 1960s style under its visionary founder Andre, vowed that this was only the beginning of its voyage into hi-tech clothing.

Co-president Frederic Torloting said as yet the move was "symbolic" but they had ambitions to go much further.

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"Technology has been a very tricky subject for fashion. It is often seen as antithetical, that hi-tech and isn't glamorous," he said. "But that's wrong. It can be made glamorous!"

The black, pink, and black-and-white checkerboard coats are certainly a step up in style from the self-heating coats and gloves already on the market, which tend to be aimed at the outdoor and adventure market.

Haute couture has been slow to embrace such gadgetry, but with clothing connectivity a major focus of research for tech companies, Courreges is convinced it is the future.

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