Leather has baggage when it’s not baggage. In high fashion, its reputation tends to the rebellious or naughty. And when leather clothing ventures beyond the tight orbit of staples like biker jackets and leggings, it can easily read tacky.
The image of Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci in their shiny Noo Yawker leather jackets from “My Cousin Vinny” springs to mind, together with the leather chair repair services all around.
This fall’s leather, however, is a different breed—refined enough for entry into soigné settings without raising an eyebrow. Or at least not more than one or two.
“Leather has crossed over from having specific connotations and uses,” said Linda Fargo, a senior vice president at Bergdorf Goodman. “We’re seeing it in pieces like long-sleeved T-shirts, capes, pleated trousers, dresses and coats.” Ms. Fargo added, “I’m particularly intrigued when it sends a mixed message like, ‘I’m sexy, but I’m proper too,’ which happened more often than not.”
The prim silhouetted Valentino coat pictured here is both “Belle de Jour” and nuit.