And now for the leather fore­cast

The Jewish Chronicle - - Life/fashion - BY JAN SHURE

DE­SIGN­ERS HAVE a love-hate re­la­tion­ship with leather. Ex­cept for la­bels like Loewe and Ce­line, whose roots are in leather, de­sign­ers go for en­tire decades treat­ing skin as vul­gar. But then, along comes a new mood, and leather is the fab­ric du jour. Cur­rently, as part of the re­vival of all things 80s, they are loving it. Alexan­der McQueen, Bot­tega Veneta, Philip Lim, Miu Miu, Cavalli and a clutch of other starry names used it in their au­tumn-win­ter col­lec­tions, so the high street fol­lowed: places such as Top­shop, Ware­house, River Is­land, French Con­nec­tion and New Look are full of key pieces in leather.

The trick with leather cloth­ing —es­pe­cially a dress — is keep­ing the look on-trend rather than King’s Cross work­ing girl. The per­fect ex­am­ple of how not to do it was An­gelina Jolie at the pre­miere of hus­band Brad Pitt’s movie In­glou­ri­ous Bas­terds in Septem­ber. On the cat­walk, the model wore the dress — an art­fully cut, skinny, strap­less num­ber by Michael Kors — with fierce shoes and hair slicked back into a neat chignon. Jolie would have done well to do the same; in­stead she wore her hair loose and fall­ing se­duc­tively around her shoul­ders, thus go­ing straight to “slap­per” ter­ri­tory, an ef­fect ex­ac­er­bated by the sky-high bondage shoes.

Keep a leather dress “fash­ion” by off­set­ting its ag­gres­sive sex­u­al­ity with neat hair, bold, plain jew­ellery and (when not in Hol­ly­wood) opaques. And if you like the look but not the price tag, Wal­lis’s PVC dress at £55 is on-trend and cheap enough to chuck when leather re­turns to de­signer pur­dah.

If you are plan­ning to pur­chase leather trousers, keep them lean (the looser cut ones, worn with pale cash­mere, are not on-trend). And if you need cam­ou­flage for the hips, team them with a long sweater, long boyfriend cardi or jacket, or long fur gilet.

WHERE TO FIND LEATHER

JACK­ETS: Clas­sic biker jacket, £489, dou­ble-breasted mil­i­tary jacket, £389, both by San­dro, Fen­wick, W1; chocolate leather crop tuxedo jacket, Max & Co, £369, Fen­wick, W1 ; long leather jacket, £350, French Con­nec­tion; biker jacket, £130, River Is­land; ex­tended shoul­der col­lar­less jacket, £140, Ware­house; skinny, V-neck jacket, £129, Wal­lis; vi­o­let leather jacket, Mon­soon, £110; vi­o­let biker jacket, £120, Marks & Spencer; V-neck, slouchy jacket, £195, Reiss.

TROUSERS: Biker jeans with quilted knees, £329, leather jeans, £329, both by San­dro, Fen­wick, W1; skinny leather trousers, £220, French Con­nec­tion; skinny leatherette trousers, £45, Wal­lis; skinny fit trousers, £99, Marks & Spencer; ta­pered trousers, £110, Top­shop.

SKIRTS : Fringed leather mini, £ 85, River Is­land; gen­tly gath­ered skirt, £100, Ware­house; vi­o­let leather tulip skirt, £85, Marks & Spencer.

DRESSES: Pale leather punch-hole, £295, French Con­nec­tion; black leather and lace body­con, £100 Top­shop; cap-sleeve PVC, £55, Wal­lis.

1. Leather se­quin top, £75, Top­shop 2. Vi­o­let biker jacket, £120, Marks & Spencer 3. PVC dress, £55, Wal­lis 4. Gath­ered skirt, £100, Ware­house 5. Skinny jacket, £129, Wal­lis 6. Punch­hole dress, £295, French Con­nec­tion 7. Skinny trousers, £220, fur gilet, £110, French Con­nec­tion

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