Patent Leather: It's Not Just For Shoes!

Once mostly relegated to footwear departments and S&M dungeons, patent leather scored a serious fashion upgrade this season courtesy of labels like Versace, Altuzarra, and Salvatore Ferragamo. And with style-setters like Rihanna and Miroslava Duma also taking a shine to the trend, we think this is one look worth trying this fall.  

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    Check out how the pros are working patent into their wardrobes and shop key pieces of your own.

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    PHOTO: Pete Goddard / Splash News

    Rihanna

    Nothing says style chutzpah like a fire engine red patent leather pencil skirt. For dinner at exclusive London eatery, San Carlo, Rihanna wore this Mui Miu version with a full-length denim coat (also by Miu Miu), a gray tee, and black suede Christian Louboutin pumps. The mix of materials at play here is genius while the pop star’s matching crimson lip helps the look come off as cohesive.

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    PHOTO: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

    Frida Gustavsson

    Not ready to dive head first into this slick-thinking trend? Test the waters with black patent loafers (i.e. the shoe equivalent of the classic LBD.) We like the pair that model Frida Gustavsson, wore to the Rodebjer S/S 14 presentation last month, which added pizzazz to her otherwise subdued ensemble of dark denim and a Rodebjer Volans Silver Rain blazer ($510).

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    PHOTO: Leigh Lezark

    Leigh Lezark

    At the Versace S/S 14 show in Milan last month, the Misshapes DJ proved tight black patent leather and Catwoman comparisons needn’t be mutually exclusive. The key to her chic yet curve-hugging look is simplicity. The dress has plenty to say so she wisely kept the accessories (also by Versace) low-key. Also, a modest hemline is must with this sort of outfit lest you want to look like a naughty cop on Halloween.

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    PHOTO: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

    Tavi Gevinson

    Take a page from Gevinson’s style playbook and spike a monochrome ensemble with the high gloss sheen of a patent leather piece.  At the Guess Portrait Studio during the Toronto Film Festival last month, the Rookie Editor-in-Chief and budding starlet shone in a flouncy skirt by Stolen Girlfriends Club and Alpha 60 Austine Cropped Shirt ($103) which she paired with a Mandy Coon Pontus Bunny Bag ($1794) and Slow and Steady Wins the Race shoes.
     

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    PHOTO: Peter West/INFphoto.com

    Miley Cyrus

    We strongly prescribe tempering this trend with more understated pieces, but those who want to go all out in the drama department should take note of Miley Cyrus’s  ensemble at the Myspace launch event at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. What would usually be the statement element (a patent KTZ bomber) is in danger of being upstaged by Cyrus’s equally attention-grabbing T by Alexander Wang bralette, Ashish trousers, and punk-y coif. Note: This look is not for the faint of fashion sense. 

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    PHOTO: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for Salvatore Ferragamo

    Miroslava Duma

    Last but certainly not least, we come to outwear. You can’t really go wrong with a patent black trench like the Salvatore Ferragamo version that street style darling Miroslava Duma wore to the Italian design house’s S/S 14 show in Milan. The coat gets bonus points in our book for doubling as a rain jacket.

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of Topshop Unique

    Topshop Unique

    For F/W 13, the fast fashion giant riffed on the trend with charcoal overcoats embellished with patent patches.

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    PHOTO: Imax Tree

    Salvatore Ferragamo

    Color us excited for a patent leather bag that isn’t black. This cutie from the Italian label’s F/W 13 line had us at ciao.

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of Versace

    Versace

    Given its sleek sex appeal, we can’t say we’re surprised Donatella Versace jumped on the patent craze. We’re especially loving these F/W 13 skinny trousers paired up with fall’s other big trend: plaid.

     

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    PHOTO: Imax Tree

    Altuzarra

    Joseph Altuzarra dipped a toe in the trend with mod white ankle booties that bear a whiff of Carnaby Street, circa 1966.

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    PHOTO: Catwalking/Getty Images

    Richard Nicoll

    The London-based designer unpacked patent’s more seedy associations with this prim and proper F/W 13 look that feels light years away from the bondage shop.

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    American Apparel

    High Heel Bobby Patent Lace Up Shoe ($95) in Rey

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    Asos

    Full Midi Skirt in Patent ($76) in Black

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    James Long

    Abstract Applique Fleece Cotton Sweatshirt ($625) in Black

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    Coach

    Landrie Heel ($225) in Black

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    H&M

    Leather Bag ($99) in Black

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    Courreges

    Vinyl Mini Skirt ($713) in Red

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    Gucci

    Patent Leather Gloves ($595) in Black

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    Versace

    Shiny Vinyl Trouser ($877)

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    IRO

    Patent Leather Trim Jacket ($950) in Black

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    J.Crew

    Slim Patent Belt ($40) in Saltwater Grey

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    Saint Laurent

    Patent Leather Pumps ($685) in Black

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    Jonathan Saunders

    Agua Vinyl Straight Elina Skirt ($400) in Black

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    Marni

    Fringed Patent Leather Brogues ($680) in Black

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    Nasty Gal

    Liquid Color Satchel ($125) in Violet

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    Richard Nicoll

    Patent Leather and Jersey Skirt ($1200) in Grey

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    Topshop

    Palma Patent Dress ($166) in Black

Shop this Story
Zara Synthetic Patent Leather Studio Jacket

Zara Synthetic Patent Leather Studio Jacket

Zara, $119
SHOP
Topshop Palma Patent Dress

Topshop Palma Patent Dress

Topshop, $166
SHOP
Asos Full Midi Skirt in Patent

Asos Full Midi Skirt in Patent

Asos, $76
SHOP
Iro Patent Leather Trim Jacket

Iro Patent Leather Trim Jacket

Iro Patent Leather Trim Jacket, $950
SHOP
H&M Leather Bag

H&M Leather Bag

H&M, $99
SHOP
Coach Landrie Heel

Coach Landrie Heel

Coach, $225
SHOP
Marni Fringed Patent Leather Brogues

Marni Fringed Patent Leather Brogues

Marni, $680
SHOP
J.Crew Slim Patent Belt

J.Crew Slim Patent Belt

J.Crew Slim Patent Belt, $40
SHOP
Jonathan Saunders Agua Vinyl Straight Elina Skirt

Jonathan Saunders Agua Vinyl Straight Elina Skirt

Jonathan Saunders, $400
SHOP
Gucci Patent Leather Gloves

Gucci Patent Leather Gloves

Gucci, $595
SHOP
Forever 21 Bow Barettes

Forever 21 Bow Barettes

Forever 21, $30
SHOP
James Long Abstract Applique Fleece Cotton Sweatshirt

James Long Abstract Applique Fleece Cotton Sweatshirt

James Long, $625
SHOP
Richard Nicoll Patent-Leather and Jersey Skirt

Richard Nicoll Patent-Leather and Jersey Skirt

Richard Nicoll, $1200
SHOP
Versace Shiny Vinyl Trouser

Versace Shiny Vinyl Trouser

Versace, $877
SHOP
Courreges Vinyl Mini Skirt

Courreges Vinyl Mini Skirt

Courreges, $713
SHOP
Nasty Gal Liquid Color Satchel

Nasty Gal Liquid Color Satchel

Nasty Gal, $125.com
SHOP
American Apparel High Heel Bobby Patent Lace Up Shoe

American Apparel High Heel Bobby Patent Lace Up Shoe

American Apparel, $95
SHOP
Saint Laurent Patent Leather Pumps

Saint Laurent Patent Leather Pumps

Saint Laurent, $685
SHOP
EXPLORE: Trends, Shopping, Saint Laurent, American Apparel, Nasty Gal, Courreges, Versace, Richard Nicoll, James Long, Forever21, Gucci, Jonathan Saunders, J.Crew, Marni, Coach, H&M, IRO, ASOS, Topshop, Zara, Altzurra, Salvatore Ferragamo, Frida Gustavsson, Iro Patent Leather Trim Jacket, J.Crew Slim Patent Belt, Forever 21, Altuzarra, trend report, Trend Report, Shopping, Patent Leather, Trend Alert, Rihanna, Tavi Gevinson, Leigh Lezark, Miroslava Duma, Miley Cyrus, Frida Gustavsson, Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images
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