On The Runway

How To Wear It: Leather

Leather, how to wear it, trends, autumn/winter 2012, style, fashion, Celine, Haider Ackermann, Valentino, McQ

Lustworthy leather on the runways of (from left to right): Celine, Haider Ackermann, Valentino and McQ

With the weather finally cooling down I thought it was time to talk about one of autumn’s biggest trends – leather. Goths need not apply this season as the look is polished yet sexy. And while we all love our Rick Owens jackets, here are some new ways to experiment with this winter favourite.

Try to experiment with…

Skirts: This season is all about the sexy pencil skirt which should be worn tight for a naughty secretary vibe. For something edgier, try flared pleated styles that hit just above the knee.

Funnel neck tops: Phoebe Philo swapped her buttery tees for funnel neck tops with asymmetrical zips for autumn. We are hooked.

Trims, sleeves or lapels: If you don’t want to go whole hog, opt for a tailored jacket with leather sleeves or a shirt with leather trims, lapels or even cuffs. It’s a fun, unexpected detail.

Inserts: Designers added leather panels or inserts onto dresses and tops made from contrasting fabrics such as wool and lace.

Couture details: Leather gets the couture touch as designers tried everything from weaving techniques (see Proenza Schouler)  to intricate laser cut outs for a more feminine interpretation.

Colour: Black may be sexy but go for unexpected colours like navy or oxblood red.

Suits: At McQ, Sarah Burton sent out a sexy leather skirt suit belted at the waist signalling a new trend. She also experimented with…

Textures: Embossing and embroideries transform ordinary leather into something more covetable. Then you have the finishes – patent is more S&M while crocodile stamping is super luxe.

Capes: Swap your favourite biker jacket for a tailored cape as proposed by Stefano Pilato at Yves Saint Laurent. It’s sexy and adds an air of mystery.

Jewellery: Belgian designer Natalia Brilli makes incredible necklaces made from leather covered pearls. Otherwise stack leather cuffs on your wrists (we love Hermes’ Collier de Chien or Valentino’s studded styles).

Statement belts: Forget classic – we are lusting after Haider Ackermann’s sculptural  corsets (or head to Alaia and buy one of his signature laser cut pieces).

Try and avoid…

Leather pants – they don’t work unless you are super thin so fake it with a pair of leggings instead. Jumpsuits are also tricky to pull off. Embellished leather looks wrong (I hate studded leather, it reminds me of try hard biker chicks). Also please don’t go head-to-toe in leather or wear a trenchcoat– you’re not auditioning for The Matrix.

Leather, how to wear it, trends, autumn/winter 2012, style, fashion, Celine, Haider Ackermann, Valentino, McQ

Our top picks:  Yigal Azrouel patchwork leather dress, Alice & Olivia pleated leather miniskirt and Proenza Schouler asymmetric woven jacket

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