Hiking Couture

High fashion meets backcountry grunge in designer's "outdoor" clothing line

Today, dozens of beautiful women zipped into khaki, slipped on thigh-high waiters, and strapped on brightly colored backpacks for some good ol' backcountry fun. Don't tie on your trail shoes and start flexing just yet, boys—rather than hitting the dusty trail, these girls were strutting down Australia's runway.

New Zealand designer Kate Sylvester took outdoor apparel to a new level in her clothing line "Take a Hike" debuting today at Australian Fashion Week. It featured sprayed-red Doc Martens, parka dresses, and floppy fisherman hats.

Practical? Yeah right. Having a backpack made out of bubblegum pink silk and a hiking shirt of sheer chiffon won't really help you trek through the backcountry—not to mention what it'll do for your outdoor cred. Plus, who straps on Doc Martens, even for an easy dayhike?

Here at BACKPACKER, we're all for hitting the trail in style—check out some of our editors rocking the new trail dress—but think it's best to leave this collection out of your pack. We can't help feeling a little smug, however, that highbrow, urban fashionistas are stealing our trail style. What can we say, we look good.

—Morgan Keys

Kate Sylvester explores the great outdoors at fashion week (The Australian)