Leather is working wonders for this autumn/winter. Stephanie Smith celebrates the luxury and glamour of hide.
It’s leather, but not as we know it.
Tanned to perfection, leather steps out of the grunge to emerge for autumn as the new sleek and wearable cloth of choice, spanning the season’s themes and working with luxe looks from early morning to the wee small hours, from down-time chilling to up-town dressing.
There’s leather for office and daywear – witness Gucci, which brings to the boardroom table pale olive green and pale blue frill front blouses to team with neat A-line fine leather skirts in tan and duck-egg blue.
There’s leather for the outdoors with coats by the score, although they are as far from The Matrix as it’s possible to be, not scarily sweeping and Gothic, but neatly tailored and elegant, from Vuitton’s sleek three-quarter length black single-breasted coat with russet collar, through to Lanvin’s soft bottle-green leather trench coat.
These are leathers that ripple and shine like silk – the cliched description of “butter-soft” is no match for their fine grain and lustrous beauty.
There’s plenty of black leather, although here too it’s all about the quality and the shine, so look for fine and supple leather leggings, jeans and jeggings that don’t crinkle as you walk, but feel instead like a second skin. Black leather (or leather-look) leggings teamed with floating long-sleeve blouse and black ankle boots make for an easy key casual look of the season.
There are biker jackets galore, streamlined and fitted, in black, white, green, teal, pink … and check out the beautiful biker coat from leather specialists Desa. There are also lots of brown and tan leather and shearling coats and jackets, with furry collars and trims, and the car coat finds a refined revival.
Meanwhile, there’s a new luxurious eveningwear take on leather in the form of fine quilted bodices and panels, often teamed with silky or embellished fabrics. This keys in well with the autumn/winter theme of fairytale and folklore, bringing a heroic touch to night-time dressing.
Leather skirts come in midi and mini styles, and in full, A-line and fitted shapes. Choose the style that suits you best in a colour you adore, and you won’t go wrong.
Look for quality, because leather is not to be messed with. A key piece (or two) will be a sound investment.