All Weather Leather
Formerly relegated to bomber jackets and winter wear, leather is breaking out from its cold-minded mold and becoming a fabric for all seasons. This role reversal has been on our radar for months now, ever since we spotted all-weather leather on numerous, notable S/S 10 runways, including Celine, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Karl Lagerfeld. This season, designers manipulated this buttery fabric in new and beautiful ways, working it into a myriad of pieces including button-down tops, pencil skirts, shorts and even rompers. The result is surprisingly seasonal looks that are totally worth investing in.
However, before we present you with today's luxurious leather picks, let's take a closer look at a few ways to wear this new warm-weather interpretation. Taking notes from the aforementioned runway shows, we recommend sticking to a monochromatic palette and mostly muted tones. Additionally, it is important to note that unlike the roughed up, studded styles that have been popular in seasons past, these leather pieces are striking in their subtle simplicity and marked absence of hardware embellishments. If you need a perfect example of this nouveau interpretation, simply look to Leigh Lezark, who looked exceptionally chic when she opted for Akris' Trapezoid Laser Cut Leather Applique Dress ($4990, 877.551.7257) for a Bergdorf Goodman event in March. The architectural simplicity of the brick-red buttery frock allowed it to command attention on its own, while Lezark's obvious lack of accessories spoke to the sophisticated restraint involved in styling this new all-weather look.
And now, we bring you some lust-worthy pieces that can be worn rain (well, if protected!) or shine. Just remember to keep it simple, let the purity of this sophisticated material speak for itself, and, most importantly, that these pretty pieces are items you must Go Buy Now!
1. 3.1 Phillip Lim Leather Shift Dress ($968)
Phillip Lim's S/S 10 runway showcased a variety of lust-worthy leather pieces, including this butter-soft dress. We love how Lim upgraded a spring staple¬--the shift dress¬--by using this unexpected material in a caramel hue. Additionally, the detailing of the back ties and pocket square contrasts nicely with the earthy material and makes it feel like a very well constructed and special piece. Try pairing it with a cropped trench, red ankle booties and slicked back hair √† la Lim's models for a polished daytime look that every city girl should call her own.
2. Dallin Chase Paisano Leather Tank ($390)
At first glance, a leather top can seem like a difficult piece to pull off, but this racerback tank is surprisingly versatile. Sleek and sporty and sexy (oh my!), we appreciate how the pebbled leather iteration offers an intriguing change of pace from a cotton or silk blouse, making it a fashion-forward choice to pair with knee-length skirt. Additionally, we could easily see a trendsetter like Erin Wasson styling it with flared silk pants and an oversized hat for a directional, bohemian look.
3. Raquel Allegra Leather Triangle Bra ($184, 212.966.3626)
Raquel Allegra tore onto the fashion scene a few years ago, making a huge splash with her one-of-a-kind shredded tees made from vintage Los Angeles County Prison t-shirts. The resourceful designer has since added just as thoughtfully crafted leather and knit pieces, including this elephant gray triangle bra. Not only does it seamlessly mix today's topic with spring's lingerie trend, but it also serves as a great luxe layering piece. Start with a floral bra underneath for a pop of pattern, then throw on a tissue thin cashmere cardigan in a pastel color, leaving the top few buttons open for a coy, sexy look.
4. Juicy Couture Moto Leather Shorts ($348)
From looser high-waist shapes to tougher motorcycle styles, leather shorts are one runway-to-reality trend we're completely obsessed with. Specifically, we're smitten with this Juicy Couture iteration because the soft lambskin tones down the sweetness of the ruffle hem, rendering them the perfect mix of sugar and spice.
5. Acne Pose 2 Wedge ($529)
Open-toe booties are a stellar option for a transitional shoe and Acne¬'s lace-up wedges have the perfect amount of verve to make any outfit stand out. Not only is the off-white hue on-trend for spring, but the contrasting patent leather trim also adds an extra finish that makes these shoes super special. Try pairing them with a floral print dress for day or your LBD for a dressier occasion.
6. Alexander Wang Asymmetric Leather and Cotton Skirt ($595)
Influenced perhaps by the all-American sport of football, Alexander Wang's S/S 10 show was filled with high-concept sporty items like this tan leather skirt. We love how he reinterpreted a classic khaki bottom by adding leather paneling, and even imbued it with a dose of Wangian sex appeal in the form of a frontal closure. Take a page from Wang's runway and pair this must-have investment piece with a short sleeve white button-down and a side braid for a modern twist on some timeless American sportswear items.
7. Linda Farrow Luxe Sunglasses ($640, 44.207.713.1105) in Black
Linda Farrow is a go-to designer for directional eyewear, often joining forces with other cutting-edge artists to launch co-branded lines, or to exclusively provide frames for a runway show. Thus, it was no surprise when we came across her nouveau leather cat-eye frames, which offer a subtle and exciting way to interpret this emerging trend. The marriage of textured frames and the season's must-have shape is seriously posh, and we can't wait to snatch them up!
8. Veda Electric Leather Dress ($385)
This year¬'s selection of edgy, modern leather sheaths proves this material has life beyond biker jackets. We like how this Veda dress mixes its buttery paneling with sheer mesh insets, echoing the architectural pieces seen on Balenciaga's S/S 10 runway and encapsulating a sporty, sexy vibe that is perfect for spring!
9. Zara Leather Miniskirt ($89.90)
This one hundred percent sheepskin Zara miniskirt is the ideal piece to look to when subtly incorporating this trend into your existing wardrobe. The deep brown hue is rich and chic, without being flashy, while the A-line silhouette is a timeless shape. Pair it with a diaphanous nude blouse or button-down for a stylish all-weather look that won't break the bank!¬--Liza Kaplan