I don't remember ever owning a padded coat. And why should I? Until this very winter season, they have been the equivalent of fashion crime. It took two things to convince me otherwise.

First: a mighty monster, cold weather is. Suddenly I found that none of my smart, quirky or stylish winter coats were up to the job. Second: padded down coats were suddenly, impossibly, stylish - just think Maison Martin Margiela for H&M and the duvet coat, or the cool pieces by Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London and Belstaff. And the result? I spent half of the winter on a personal quest for the best coats with my name on them.

Below is the full inspiration file, and far below, the shortlist and the shopping bag. I'm proud to say, the cold doesn't bother me anymore.

One last thing: if you are wondering how to top that (you know I am!), well, here's how. I think we are getting there, anyway - if you look around, there is padding, quilting, the hairdo, an ocean of white, and even jumpsuits. I might make putting this together, and actually pulling it off, next winter's mission.

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