Leather clothes and modest dressing appear to be mutually exclusive concepts. Think of leather apparel and you’ll unconsciously generate images of bondage-style shiny pieces that cling to the frame and are only appropriate for the night, but there is a major trend on the Fall/Winter 2018 runways that guns to break that stereotype.
The new wave of leather pieces have applied the sultry material to silhouettes that lean towards modest fashion. Instead of thigh-high hems and low cut necklines, the runways were stormed by models clad in pieces where leather was crafted into looser forms, far more angular cuts, and on occasion, pleated for fluidity.
Though leather may not be the most forgiving of materials for our tropical weather, take style cues from these outfits on the runway to work it into your travel winter wardrobe.
Jonathan Anderson’s collection for Loewe was utilitarian simplicity at its finest. Flaunting the house’s leatherwork skills, he created this button-down shirt dress with exaggerated lapels and cuffs to add drama to the elegant form. The slight nip at the waist and cut-outs on the hemline retain the femininity of the shirtdress, ensuring its wearer is not swamped by the hulking fabric.
Hermès takes studded black leather to more refined dimensions with its take on the jumpsuit. The silhouette may be conservative, but the small silver and copper studs in a variety of shapes bring a subtle touch of edge to the ankle-length piece.
Huishan Zhang makes reworks leather in the way you would with other softer fabrics by pleating the skin to make long, dramatic pants and feathery waistlines. In this jumpsuit, a netted bodice gets a cover-up with a belted leather jacket, drawing eyes down to the roomy pants that play with different dimensions of pleats to make the look theatrical. Swap out an evening gown for this at your next black-tie dinner, and watch those heads turn.
Alexander McQueen has created a Frankensteinian leather day dress by juxtaposing emerald and black leather. The tank dress is a familiar form, but the contrasting leather pieces, belt and zip details help hug the figure and break the monotony of the straight cut.
Givenchy’s deep green leather dress is eye-catching, to say the least. With the panels of leather stitched together to draw eyes to the body, to the wide lapels and tomesode (a type of Japanese kimono) sleeves, this angular dress is elegant enough to be worn on its own, or doubled as a coat.