Timeless, luxurious and a statement-making element — Leather coats have managed to persevere, resurfacing season after season, in a multitude of innovative interpretations that transform it into an incredibly versatile style.
Coats never go out of style and are a wardrobe staple. As soon as the temperature drops a few notches, out come the traditional autumnal trenches and warm dusters. A coat is to everyday outerwear what an LBD is to evening-wear; add leather to that and you have the most reliable, versatile and elegantly chic style, perfect for casual outerwear or sophisticated evening-wear with a touch of class.
When it comes to coats, black is an eternal and universal colour to place your bets on; and when it comes to black — well, what can do more justice to the sophisticated colour, than leather?
No longer limited to the idiosyncratic black, the latest developments and upgrades in the world of fashion, technology and textiles have opened up new doors for colour manipulation, allowing colour families like pastels, nudes and the like to address the need for greater versatility in the world of leather.
This season has seen a dramatic shift to maxi-length coats and jackets, with details like waist-cinching taking the centrestage. Roll over styles, borrowed from the bikers, and the glam rock fraternity, (faux) leather is displacing the norms and experimenting like never before this season!
Apart from appearing in the staple bags and shoes and last season’s leggings and cropped trousers, they also made their presence felt in a dramatic way, especially among all-over outfit styles, slip dresses, trenches, maxi coats and shoes.
Vinyl leather trenches and patent styles cropped up in almost every collection on the Fall-Winter 2016 runways this year. Lending a nostalgic whiff of classic Parisan-chic and a touch of exaggerated sex-appeal, the leather trench made quite a few heads turn and take note of this undulating trend taking the fashion world by storm.
A new essential it seems.
The staple (faux) leather material has upped its game in recent times, and it now comes in streamlined and elongated silhouettes that flatter all body forms, shapes and sizes and cover imperfections magically!
The maxi or long coat (popularly known as the duster coat) offers cleaner lines and longer lengths that have taken centrestage and have majorly dictated the collections at Fall-Winter 2016 runways.
The leather dress has been spotted in almost all of the biggest designers’ collections this season, and is set to cast a huge impact as Fall-Winter approaches.
Shouting glam, rock-chick vibes, it made its debut in the season’s most popular styles — slip dresses (Alexander Wang), thigh-high slit dresses, sailor dresses (Tommy Hilfiger) and off-shoulder dresses (Mark Jacobs), among others.
(Faux) Leather Shoes
Leather, as a material, has mostly been associated with footwear, and talking of leather and missing out on a special mention of shoes is unthinkable.
Leather boots and sandals in patent, vinyl and matte variations are the top trends for Fall-Winter 2016.
Pointy and slightly squared pumps, over-the-knee boots, ruffle-detailed boots, lace-up version (Valentino) and over-sized, sculptured heels (likes of Maison Margiela and Marc Jacobs) made the shoe story stand out at the recent runways showcases.
A resurgence of new leather treatments have seen more changes in the use of this conventional skin. Designers turn to futuristic lacquered effects for dramatic wet-look coatings or soft lustre foiling for directional silhouettes in an array of unconventional colours.
This gives other leather manufacturers a lucrative opportunity to explore new product areas in terms of the domestic faux leather segment.
This new wave of interest with vinyl and matte leather in particular can easily find its way into leather applique motifs, cut-and-sew techniques and even detailed elements like fringes, tassels and ruffles, which were also spotted on the runways of the recent AIFW16 held in New Delhi; expected to resonate well with the Indian clientele.
Vinyl leather boots could be a top hit among the masses, owing to their trending, smooth and shiny surface, as well as feasibility in terms of both comfort (warmth) and style.
These skins are so supple that they are already being used for chic separates, like crop tops, mini skirts and dresses as well as for seasonless outerwear pieces.
Owing to its temperate and unpredictable weather, where days of well-defined winters are slowly getting numbered, faux leather is just as popular among the trend-setters of the country, but generally limits itself to jackets, jeggings besides the staple bags and shoes.
Agreed that leather is more functional mostly in Northern India, as these states bear the brunt of an extreme winter season. However, products like latex jeggings, owing to their light-weight nature, also attract youngsters living in some southern states like Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai, which experience pleasant weather all year round.