Fashion: The look of leather

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Leather is going through a bit of a renaissance. Soft supple hides have found themselves featuring heavily on catwalks and high streets for several seasons, but the way we wear it is set for a make-over.

This style evolution is taking the trend from outerwear and accessories only to being a must-have statement piece worn every day through leather panelling.

Black and white leather paneled jacket Episode at House of Fraser, �140.00. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Black and white leather paneled jacket Episode at House of Fraser, �140.00. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Panelling is pretty self-explanatory. It is when materials are patched together, creating a hard and soft aesthetic. Now, this look is not to be confused with a Hell’s Angels vision of top-to-toe leather, neither is it gothic in nature. It is about contrasting textures to create a tactile look. This is all about being soft and sensual, with a hint of luxury.


Think crisp and sharp. Suits with subtle piping in leather have been a hit from Jaeger to Debenhams. Blazer jackets have flashes of texture at the lapel and down the trouser seam. You could keep it simple by breaking up the suit with a soft white shirt, preferably silk. Or 
embrace the trend by adding a leather top underneath to add a tougher look.

The Coat

Leather jackets are not exactly a fashion revelation however they are seeing a revival. Flier jackets featured very heavily on autumn winter catwalks and we are seeing that filter down on to the high street now. Acne have brought out a coat to covet but at an eye-watering £1500 it is much more of an investment pieces than trend purchase. Ted Baker has a much softer version available.


Pleather, or plastic leather, is an easy way to buy into the trend without bursting the bank. You can have as much fun as you like here. This is where you can introduce colour. Scottish design talent Rebecca Torres, who is famed for her panel- based designs, has just released her latest collection marrying leather-esqe materials with fabric panels.

The Sleeve

Everything from winter coats to woolly jumpers are being given leather sleeves. Leave the sleeve as your statement in the outfit by keeping everything else muted. Trousers or skirts should be figure-hugging in dark colour. For an extra slick look add a collar underneath.

1: Black leather flier jacket by Ted Baker, £399; White shirt BY FE at Frontiers, £69; Trousers Second Female from Frontiers, £69; Jewellery from Georgia Wiseman

2: Hot pink jumper from Ted Baker; Silk blouse by Whistles, £110; leather and digital print skirt Rebecca Toress

3: Black and white leather panelled jacket Episode at House of Fraser £140; Black suit with leather piping Red Herring at Debenhams jacket, £40, trousers, £40; Black pleather top House of Fraser, £25.60; Jewellery from Georgia Wiseman.

4: Green cashmere jumper from Jaeger at House of Fraser, £160; White shirt BY FE at Frontiers, £69; Black leather skirt from Whistles, £95; Jewellery from 
Georgia Wiseman.

5: Leather-panelled jacket by Jaeger, £399; Black leather-panelled trousers by Whistles, £110; Silk blouse by Whistles, £110; Black shoes by Faith £60; Necklace by Georgia Wiseman.

6: Rebecca Torres dress silk blouse by Whistles, £110.

Style assisted by Emma Thorpe

Model: Shana at Colours

Thanks to Quartermile 2 for location