During the twentieth century wearing black leather came to symbolize both youthful rebellion and overt sex appeal.
The cult of the black leather jacket
The black leather jacket shot to fame in 1953 when Marlon Brando wore one in the ‘The Wild One,’ a film about motorbike gangs. The same jacket re-emerged in the 1970s as a punk favorite.
The sex appeal of black leather
The Avengers’ was a British TV spy show that ran from 1961 to 1969. The leading man wore a pinstripe suit and a bowler hat, while his female partner, Cathy Gale (played by Honor Blackman) was clad in a black leather flight suit. An expert shot, with a PhD in anthropology, she personified the powerful woman of the times, physically strong, but also exuding sexuality. Later, she was replaced by Mrs Emma Peel, (Diana Rigg), an expert in martial arts, who also had a penchant for donning head-to-toe black leather. Since those post-war decades, the popularity of black leather in fashion has gone from strength to strength. Nowadays, designers use it to create tailored garments that would ordinarily be rendered in wool gabardine. This was prominent on the FW23 runways
Black leather on the FW23 runways
Along with blue denim, from the runways to the streets, black leather in many permutations has become a perennial favorite. The FW23 season was no exception: here are our top ten favorites.
Look 45: An oversized black sheepskin jacket; black leather pull-on pants with a thick elastic waistband and a semi sheer black sequined bra.
Alexander McQueen (designer: Sarah Burton)
Look 40: An hourglass shaped black leather bustier trimmed with a red edge and a belt detail, over skinny black leather pants. A handheld red bag and metal cuff completed the outfit.
Look 3: A black leather slim-fit tailored jacket over a black leather shirt with a hidden placket, and elastic waist shorts with extra wide cuffs.
Diesel (designer: Glenn Martens)
Look 55: A black leather sheepskin suit consisted of a cropped jacket with a wrap front and Diesel logo embellishment, plus a skirt also in a wrap style. Accessories included to-the-knee boots, black gloves and a multi-coin purse belt.
Ann Demeulemeester (designer: Ludovic de Saint Sernin)
Look 8: A single-button black leather slimline tailored knee-length coat over skinny black leather pants and knee-high boots.
Coach (designer: Stuart Vevers)
Look 3: A cropped black leather two-button jacket with a patch pocket embellished with a metal Coach logo and a black leather maxi skirt.
Bally (designer: Rhuigi Villaseñor)
Look 33: A military style black leather belted jacket with patch pockets and gold buttons plus thigh-high black leather boots. Accessories included gold chain bracelets and a black patent shoulder bag.
Andreadamo (designer: Andrea Adamo)
Look 14: A black lacquered shearling jacket over a sheer black turtleneck and halter neck bra; a slimline maxi skirt matched the jacket.
Look 7: A two-button black leather tailored blazer and thigh-high black leather boots over a grey fuzzy top and a mini skirt embellished with sequins and bugle beads.
Look 3: A fitted halter neck bustier with a peplum over a pencil skirt and black opera-length gloves, all in black leather. Accessories included black sunglasses, sheer hose and patent pumps.