Patent leather has been around for almost two centuries. The method to attain its glossy finish comes from processing the leather on the grain side, which creates a stiff surface that’s then coated with linseed oil and paint, placed in the sun to bake, and rubbed with a pumice stone. It’s not a quick practice, to say the least.
In a cultural context, this ultra-glossy texture has made its way through significant decades and onto iconic figures such as David Bowie and, of course, Britney Spears (yes, we’re referring to that red bodysuit). Lately we’ve noticed a resurgence of patent leather in the form of playful miniskirts, beginning with runways like Isabel Marant, who showed the party piece in its F/W 16 catwalk collection. And, as it usually goes, when the designers are onboard, so are the street style stars.
See below for how some of our bookmarked fashion influencers are wearing patent-leather miniskirts, and if you’re into the look, shop our picks (faux options included!).