Fair “Leather” Friends

Alexander Wang Collection
Photo: firstView.com

One of the more interesting aspects of fashion week is seeing how show attendees are dressing. Even though the temperature has been in the 30’s and 40’s, I’ve seen bare legs, bare feet (sandals), sleeveless tops, mini skirts, wispy chiffons, and an absence of full blown furs or anything resembling Nanook of the North for that matter (though fur collars, fur scarves, fur vests or abbreviated fur jackets have been commonplace).

There seems to be an almost complete ignoring of the seasons and instead, women are layering as needed. Those who look the best in my opinion, are foregoing furs altogether and favoring beautifully crafted cloth coats or something in sculptural leather, FYI, it is not surprising that leather, especially black leather, seems to be THE fabric of the season. It showed up all over the pre fall 2012 collections, and is already reigning supreme on the runways here in New York, exemplified by Alexander Wang yesterday. Let’s face it, who amongst us does not want to look chic, strong, and confident? Forget the soft pastels and wispy chiffons from spring. This is definitely the year of the strong woman.

Lacoste Collection
Photo: firstView.com

In addition, leather is luxe and it is completely seasonless and you don’t need me to remind you that Global Warming is here to stay: we had the warmest January on record and no snow to speak of. In fact, we couldn’t even get a decent snowfall going yesterday (it lasted but a few hours and the sun came out by noon). Though interestingly, as in a case of life imitating art, it was perfectly timed with the first show of the morning, Lacoste, held at the Theatre at Lincoln Center. The stage was set up with 4 clear massive rectangular enclosures and, inside each one, there was a simulating snowfall complete with sounds made to evoke a feeling of being atop a snowy mountain at a ski resort. The run-of-show explained that Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s second collection for the legendary house, was inspired by ski wear worn by the 1966 French national men’s ski team. But wisely, instead of a literal translation, the designer used the rich archives as a jumping off point for a well edited, collection for men and women that oft times looked freshly androgynous. It was appealingly urbane and chic; filled with pieces that could work in a variety of settings and not just on the slopes.

The color palette focused on shades of blue (some so dark they resembled black), gray, and winter white; there were eye catching geometric color block merino wool sweaters, tunics, body conscious dresses, and second skin ski suits; egg shaped parkas; and sleek leather coats and jackets (which according to the program notes “promise a mild winter”). Sporty details like zippers, hoods, and hi sculptural collars added just the right touch without looking obvious or too predictable. A trompe l’eoil tweed print on silk or wool voile was well done, and a leather platform boot, based on traditional alpine ski boots, in addition to great looking sunglasses, were the perfect accessories.

The Daily Bet by Rhonda Erb

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Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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