Monday 23rd July

| BY 10Magazine

LEATHER: THE FABRIC

“For timeless design that’s sure to set you off on the right foot this season, our consummate straight skirt is simplistic in its shape, with a simple waist and dart. Falling to the knee, a vent in the back allows for easy movement while keeping the straight line of the shape all around. Darts at the back and a zipper make it effortless to slip in and out of. One of our classic pieces, this skirt will find a well-deserved place as a basic necessity in this season’s wardrobe.”

Yes, the above might have little to do with male fashions, unless you happen to be Marc Jacobs (though he’s more kilt than A-line) and, yes, we may have shamelessly pilfered the words from Danier (fine Canadian purveyors of leather, apparently) while searching for black leather boots on YouTube.com, mainly black leather boots fighting to get out of a box. But when they’re read in a low, masculine voice, very slowly, substituting the word skirt for, let’s say, trouser, or even top, they sell leather the way Delia sold eggs when she released How to Cook. This much is true: leather is a basic necessity in this season’s wardrobe. There was more leather to be found at the shows than in the finest dungeon outfitters. Naturally, this leads us to think, “Daddy Bear.” The reality, though, as is often the case, is different. Take Jil Sander. This is power leather. And a little sinister, too. While it might, for some, bring to mind a darker period of European history, to us it is David Bowie in The Hunger, preying on the young so that he can feast on their flesh. There’s a certain flasher quality to it. Acne’s take is more rebellious. In the words of The Shangri-Las, “he’s a rebel and he’ll never ever do what he should”, and to be honest, it is also reminiscent, what with that fur collar, of Top Gun in a way. And it’s pleather. Which would explain the plasticky appearance and the strange matt sheen. At Calvin Klein it was panelled on sweatshirts or fashioned into stiff-looking jogging bottoms, creating a bulky silhouette that hinted at muscles hidden beneath the layers. Yves Saint Laurent was the smartest interpretation, using it on the lapels of wool coats and jackets, cutting it into a slim suit trouser complete with crease. However, it would seem that the spiritual home of all things leather and studded would be Versace. Think of it as a 1980s tribute band crossed with a leather dungeon. To call it over the top would be an understatement, but it was kind of fabulous, too.

by Natalie Dembinska