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Brave New World of Leather

01 September, 2013

Written by Andree Latibeaudiere in Trends

Giles Deacon

As the best summer we’ve had in many years draws to a close, our minds reluctantly turn to the great conundrum that is: what the heck do I wear next season? What can I resurrect from last year and what are the key pieces this year? Leather is the stand-out fabric this autumn, but not in the way you’d expect. Of course, leather jackets will always be a huge staple as the days become shorter, but this season, leather is showing up on t shirts, skirts, dresses and coats as accents, as well as the main attraction.

Jonathan Saunder's uses patent leather as a jewel like detail

The versatility of leather was beautifully demonstrated on the catwalks; leather jogging trousers (no need for talcum powder!) at Proenza Schouler and Chloe saw a chic summer favourite get an AW makeover. Textured t-shirts at 3.1 Philip Lim begged to be paired with skinny trousers or layered over tailored shorts. The award for the most astonishing use of leather goes to Giles Deacon, for his laser-cut curling feathers and latticed bodice, which reportedly took two months to construct.

Giles Deacon wowed London with his opulent detailed gold leather

The big trend already on the high street, in all its snarling glory, is Punk. It’s no surprise since Punk has had a great year, starting with the Met Gala NYC (the theme this year was Punk) and an accompanying exhibition of ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The influences were seen all over the AW 2013 runways particularly at Versace and Fendi, with models stomping in clumpy boots, leather leggings, tartan prints and faux-hawks to embody the anarchist feel of the Punk era.

Givenchy teams leather with tartan and chiffon for "punk" effect

For a more wearable alternative (after all, faux-hawks and bad attitudes may not cut it in the workplace), the ever-present Biker Jacket showed up in almost every collection, like an old friend at a Christmas party. This year, the look is classic and stays true to the original multi-zippered designs, fit and colours. Dust off your old favourite, go vintage or treat yourself to the soft buttery leather of a Balmain or Daniele Bardis creation..

If your style is more Princess Di than Dame Viv, don’t rule leather out just yet. Ultra lady-like collections such as Prada and Jonathan Saunders served as master classes on how to wear classic shapes and lengths of leather in a flattering, conservative silhouette. Knee-length skirts in bright pops of colour punctuated grown up looks and sculpted bustiers and appliqués provided interesting texture to garments, without being overly sexy or fetish-y.

Catherine Malandro's laser cut coats left & Philip Lim's use of multi-texture and layering proving leather doesn't have to be just for outer wear.

If you’re feeling more daring, knee-length pencil skirts in black, patent and blood red leather moulded the body at Givenchy and Burberry Prorsum, but any dominatrix comparisons swiftly went out the window when these pieces were paired with soft cashmere or woolly knits.

Outerwear didn’t escape leather’s touch; panels showed up on fur coats, replaced traditional lapels and pockets or took over completely. Thankfully, the tones were kept soft to avoid any Matrix-like comparisons, as was seen at Calvin Klein with trench coats in olive green and Catherine Malandrino’s textured burgundy collarless jacket. All in all, embrace leather’s versatility and don’t be afraid to experiment in the cold months ahead.

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Brave New World of Leather

this is a blog post about aw13 trends and fashion innovations in leather, including leather skirts, leather detailing and classic leather jackets by guest fashion blogger Andree Latibeaudiere

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