Just when you thought leather couldn’t get any cooler, it got a serious New York Fashion Week-approved update. Turn your back on black and get ready to meet the colourful separates set to spark joy in your wardrobe.
As far as style stereotypes go, the image of the fashion editor dressed from top to toe in black (save for a slick of red lipstick) is one of the most iconic.But even the most enduring of fashion rules are made to broken. This New York Fashion Week, the industry’s best dressed have presented a masterclass in the art of wearing colour.
Does the mere thought of deviating from your carefully-curated closet of neutral tones fill you with dread? Don’t panic. Fashion’s finest have filled us in on the secret to wearing full colour while still looking impeccably chic. Shall we give you a clue? It all lies in your choice of fabric, and this season no one can resist the allure of leather.
Colour doesn’t need to be intimidating, and we have the evidence to prove that it’s never been cooler to ditch black and indulge in a little colour therapy.
Whether you prefer to wear vegan alternatives or always choose the real thing, leather is one of the most stylish fabrics around. Thanks to its rock ’n’ roll roots it never fails to bring more than just a dash of cool to any outfit, carrying an air of laidback nonchalance. The fact that it’s so effortlessly easy to wear makes leather the perfect base to experiment with colour, while still keeping things sleek and sophisticated.
For years we thought that black was the only way to wear leather, but now that we’ve fallen for these colourful statement pieces, we know that there’s no going back to black. From chic shackets to city-appropriate shorts, these are the key pieces that every fashion editor is (finally) breaking their pact with black for.
Sitting in the sweet spot between laidback and polished, the leather jacket is a failsafe option to upgrade any outfit. Whether worn to pull together denim and a black turtleneck or to toughen up a floral dress, this not-so-humble jacket is the wardrobe hero that no woman should be without. But forget any notions of black biker styles. This season, give your look a serious upgrade courtesy of a leather shacket in a rich burnt orange hue.
It’s no secret that we love leather, but we will confess that we approach leather with a little trepidation when wearing it on our top half. How do you keep leather looking chic without unwittingly straying into fetish territory? Yes, you guessed it, with colour – specifically, beige. Biscuit, taupe, sand – whatever you like to call it – this warm-toned shade really is the gift that keeps on giving. Case in point – this sleek, body-skimming funnel-neck top in a neutral-toned tan makes leather feel like a totally fresh proposition.
Once saved strictly for summer dressing, thanks to directional designers such as Miu Miu and Saint Laurent shorts have been re-imagined in luxe fabrics – velvet, jacquard and, of course, leather. A far cry from your denim cut-offs, a leather short feels incredibly sophisticated, especially when worn in a subdued shade of deep khaki. Consider styles with tailoring-inspired details such as a belted waist and turn-up hems for a look that makes a sartorial statement all year round.
Have we not convinced you to make the leap to colour? If you’re loyal to a monochrome palette then don’t panic, an all-black ensemble is just as effective. In fact, a block colour black base makes the perfect base to play with shape and proportions. Experiment with sculptural pieces like a cropped jacket with oversized sleeves or cropped, wide-legged trousers (or both). Don’t forget to pay attention to the silhouette, and balance out bold leather separates with a sleek black ankle boot and understated accessories.
Nanushka belted vegan leather shirt
Nanushka’s high-end vegan leather designs look (and feel) every bit as luxurious as the real thing. This caramel-toned shirt skims the body with a loose fit, tie the beaded belt to caper the shirt to your waist or wear it buttoned over a black turtleneck to channel understated chic.
Shop Nanushka belted vegan leather shirt at Net-A-Porter, £370
Ghospell faux leather mini dress
A military-inspired colour palette of olive and khaki hues is having a major moment fashion this spring. A great example is this Ghospell’s faux leather mini dress – which shows the freshest ways to do neutrals. This earthy tone is subtle enough to wear as one solid look, but still offers a seriously fun twist on classic black or white versions. Come summer, wear it with sandals and a statement bag for a laidback city look, or wear it now with flesh-toned tights and white trainers.
Shop Ghospell faux leather mini dress, £82
Miu Miu leather straight-leg pants
Are you a seasoned colour lover? Then dive into the deep end with this stunning pair of lilac leather trousers. This sugary shade is the perfect springtime colour – lean in to the feminine feel by pairing with a frill collared shirt, or balance it out with a classic white shirt for a stylish but office-appropriate look.
Shop Miu Miu leather straight-leg pants, £1,400
Ganni wraparound buttoned leather mini skirt
When it comes to fashion-forward designs that are no less easy to wear, few do it quite like Ganni. Striking the perfect balance between chic and grunge, this khaki-coloured mini skirt is the perfect piece to integrate a subtle pop of colour into an otherwise colour-shy wardrobe. This ultra-versatile piece will take you from day to night (with the addition of a square-toed sandal after dark).
Shop Ganni wraparound buttoned leather mini skirt, £270
Jonathan Simkhai high-rise faux-leather pants
Like your leather served with a side of California cool? Then look no further than these vegan leather trousers by LA-based designer Jonathan Simkhai. The warm shade of tan and asymmetrical tie waist gives these trousers enough edge to make a style statement on their own, so avoid cluttering the look by pairing them with minimal accessories and a simple t-shirt.
Shop Jonathan Simkhai high-rise faux-leather pants, £425
Zara leather trousers
Still feeling colour shy? If you’re sworn to a palette of all-black then this pair of classic leather trousers is the perfect way to make the trend work for you. Wear with black ankle boots and a sleek black jacket for a look that makes a statement, without breaking your colour code.
Shop Zara leather trousers, £149
Images courtesy of Noor & Zee & brands
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