10 December 2009

(New?) Leather

My sincerest apologies for the notable absence from blogging. I am afraid that I have no better excuse than the perennial blogger's answer of everyday life. I was not entirely at ease with sharing half-baked posts and falling behind on commenting merely to keep updates on time. Thankfully however I am now hopefully back to blogging and commenting as usual.

It is perhaps the harshness of the concept of Winter (what with the particularly mild December we have been having in London), that has had my thoughts turning towards leather these past few days. I have always viewed leather as one of the most primal of materials, joining the ranks of fur and wool, as having a rich and detailed historical and cultural history. The usage of leather for shoes, belts, wallets and bags, to name a few examples, has always left me marveling the deft handiwork and intimate skill of those who choose to work with such a versatile and excellent material.

And yet my thoughts of leather when considering clothing, have more often than not conjured up images of men wearing ill fitting leather blazers with sloping shoulders and cuffs barely leaving traces of the hands cloaked underneath. For all of the skill and beauty of small leather goods and footwear, the idea of men wearing leather for primary garments has never quite sat at ease with me.

However to think in such narrow terms is always dangerous, and indeed there are and have been a number of fashion designers who work with leather, not only to create avant-garde pieces, but truly understand the material. They are thus able to craft visions of everyday beauty. As with most fashion, it is the complex matter of cut and finish. I have never really been a fan of using leather in such a way that there is attempt to disguise the material. And it for that reason that I suppose I always find leather garments which really play with cut fascinating.

In terms of finish, I suppose I am intrigued by designers who are able to use leather in such a way that one would not assume leather would be able to be used. By this I mean designers who are able to work with leather as one would ordinary cloth - draping, twisting, pleating and so on. This is not in an attempt to hide what the material is, but rather to celebrate its diversity and show innovation.

I chose to share this editorial from Dazed & Confused Japan, purely out of amazement for the looks of leather. Certainly shedding any notions of ill-fitting and misplaced applications, these contemporary takes using leather are both beautiful and interesting. Focusing a shoot on materials rather than a certain theme, or indeed garment type, is always an unexpected direction. I was fascinated by the potential within the shoot to truly go into a multitude of directions. Whilst one may not necessarily consider a re-imagining of the iconic bikers jacket and a pair of geometric Gareth Pugh trousers as part of a singular coherent theme, they are here united by virtue of material. Indeed united by something more primal that speaks both with and beyond the fashion contained therein.

I have never really been one to wear any great amount of leather, however this editorial really does compound how leather was and is still relevant to menswear. Discussions about fashion are, and arguably rightly so, focused on design more than material. Yet this shoot really does raise questions as to how one goes about considering clothing, with an angle which is both broad in what it encompasses and yet highly focused in its approach. This is to give no mention of the beauty of the black and white photography itself. I was particularly taken by the simplicity of the backdrop, with the draped sheet giving a subtle texture and depth which complimented the visual tactility of the leather. This editorial really did make me rethink how I approach leather as a material and its place in menswear.

Currently playing: Solar Midnite - Lupe Fiasco



  1. Well, I feel related to you about blogging.

    Leather (faux if possible) is such a gorgeous way to make some statments.

    Nice editorial, some beautiful pictures.


  2. I was wondering where you went? Love all the leather, although for me it tends to look better then it feels on. The biker jacket is fantastic!

    Also, thought you may like this, it seemed right up your alley....

  3. Beautifully written post, well worth the wait =.}

  4. Hey there. It's great to see you back. I had missed you. I always enjoy your blog posts. Great photos in this one. Take care. I hope you are having a nice week. Cheers!

  5. Oh I think that guy is definitely on Santa's naughty list! ^. ^ hehe

    I'm not a big fan of leather..can never find a good jacket...and there is no way you could get me into a pair of leather pants.. hahaha bend over and *rip*!

  6. i like this editorial a lot, hopefully santa will hear your plead for fashion, i know i've got a few requests myself! :)

  7. I was wondering what you had been up too, glad you are back. :)

  8. Happy you back..was missing your posts....


  9. Welcome back DK!
    These photos are gorgeous. I love how leather looks, but I've never been entirely comfortable with wearing it. I always stick with fake or vintage I'm afraid. Otherwise I would definitely be after one of those jackets!

  10. Cool that you mention..leather..my grandfather use to make boots and saddles to get through college in Texas. Now he just makes and sales whips. He made the hat bands for a Tommy Lee Jones movie.

    Its good to hear from you. When I think of leather pants..I think of a Friends episode where Ross had quite a time in his leather pants in the bathroom. But they are so cool.

  11. Thank you for always stopping by my blog and commenting friend. You are dearly missed when you are not around!

    I'm not much of a leather person but this season I've seen a lot of gorgeous leather sweaters and dresses very lovely things!

    Hope you have a beautiful Thursday!

  12. It's good to have a break from time to time if you're a little lost for inspiration! Nice to see you back however!! Love these sexy boy shots!! Lots of 'tude!!

  13. Sometimes I feel the same way about blogging... so I take a few days, realise that i really enjoy it & then hop back on the bandwagon!

    ..nothing better than a man with a well worn buttery leather satchel.

  14. Fabulous post, darling. It is so great that you are back. :) Life happens to us all so no worries. :)

    The leather topic is fab I absolutely adore leather jackets. They are perfect in this time of year.

  15. In any case, it's nice to have you back blogging with your insightful posts.

  16. I own one leather jacket, it is vintage cut fairly slim with a beautiful patina that comes from years of being worn in just the right places. Leather is tough to wear but it adds an interesting texture and can work wonderfully contrasting or complimenting against certain fabrics and patterns.

  17. Soooo glad you're back now! Yeahhhh

    I love all these photos,and leather shouldered blazer equals HUGE lust! heeee

  18. Well, as you noticed---I can't seem to get back on track with blogging---a bit burned out, I am.

    Adore the leather---I used to have a leather skirt that I got while modeling---and it was so expensive and so soft---I couldn't keep my hands off of my self when I wore it, because of the soft texture...love it!

  19. Salve, dapper kid. I found your blog a while ago, commented, forgot, re-discovered. I love it that you aren't afraid to admit your passion for fashion (rhyme time, how sublime). You never seem sept for creative energy, which makes one of the people on my list to admire, outspoken and enterprising. Enterprising in a good way.

  20. I've come to realize that leather can be a very useless fabric. Cold in the winter, hot in the summer... I wish I lived in a more temperate climate. See you on Twitter! (I'm an avid user.)

  21. thaank you ^^ and yay finally a post
    have a great weekend dear !

  22. I enjoyed reading this contemplation on leather and material vs. design. I particularly like the image 3rd from last. What is that chest piece? Amazing.

    (I saw a leather blazer in a vintage store the other day and had visions of 'Knight Rider'!)

  23. I'm such a horrible vegan. I still wear leather and love the smell and look of it.

    Don't apologize for your lack of posting. We are all one big community and you are always a part of it, even if we are busy, become ill, or just take a break for awhile. good to see you back!!

  24. I can definitely understand about the blogging situation. I am slower these days because of crazy revision!

    I had no idea there was a Dazed Japan! I don't wear much leather either (only one or two pairs of leather shoes/boots in my possession) but have always wanted a nice leather jacket...one day!

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas!