Leather Up: Fall 2012 Men’s Fashion

Simon Spurr leather jeans

Gentle reader,

Killough and I hiked our usual Hollywood Hills route the other day and, unlike on another recent hike, our lives weren’t threatened even once unless you count that bitchy queen in the Prius making crazy hand gestures because I accidentally stepped in front of his tiny, silent car to avoid the sparks coming from some redneck welding his primer gray Mustang on the side of the road.  Ah, the Hills are so glamorous.

In celebration of the Hills and my safe return home, I flipped on HGTV’s Selling L.A., the spin-off of the highly successful Selling New York.  The New York show discarded its original hardworking yet nebbishy estate agents after the first season in favor of sleeker, gayer ones with fashion addictions and six-packs, but the L.A. version features my wise and wonderful friend, top real estate agent Victor Kaminoff.  I thought I’d tune in to see what he was up to but, instead, I got an eyeful of some shiny guy with a tragic facelift trying to find a rental for a nice lady whose lease was going to be up in two weeks.  I was hoping she wouldn’t end up out on the street as I watched their frantic search for something suitable.  It was really hard to find the entertaining space as well as the beautiful kitchen needed to support it because her budget was only $15,000 to $20,000 a month!  What’s a girl to do with pennies like that?

Cast of Selling L.A.

By the time I was pulling on my new yellow jeans for the first time to meet friends for happy hour, she was considering paying a little more because she really, really needed that extra space.  Well, I’m sure they figured that shit out but the important thing is that my jeans looked awesome and that was important because Labor Day has come and gone, signaling the customary end of summer.  It’s going to be warm and sunny here in L.A. for a couple of months longer but we have to at least pretend it’s fall, otherwise there’s no point of having a fall wardrobe, right?  The ladies got some reminders over the last couple of weeks about the dark and mysterious and military trends and I think it’s time the guys brushed up a bit, too.

One of the biggest trends we saw, especially in the Paris collections, was an almost disturbing amount of black leather on everything from jackets and shirts to pants and outerwear.  Now before you run out and get all dressed up like Al Pacino in Cruising, it’s important to note that we’re branching out from the usual “biker” interpretation and, in many cases, there were just small leather details on garments.  In either case, there was black leather wherever you fucking looked.

Bottega Veneta and Hermès seemed to have the sexiest use of leather, but that might have been their excellent taste in the models they put it on.  Both collections were quite wearable even if Hermès did go a little overboard on a couple of complete leather looks.  I forgive them that in exchange for those amazing black croc print trousers.

Hermès Men's Fall 2012On the opposite end of the practicality spectrum was PFC favorite Rick Owens who turned out some signature looks that uncharacteristically incorporated one of the season’s biggest trends in the leather blocking details toward the end of the show.

There was lots of beautiful leather mixed in with the amazing, strong tailored suiting of Raf Simon’s last Jil Sander men’s show, but I’d advise against the complete leather suit with a leather overcoat.  If you do go with an ensemble like this, wear lots of antiperspirant and please send me a photo because there’s nothing like a good laugh to brighten one’s day.

Finally, Stefano Pilati’s last men’s collection for Yves Saint Laurent was the best illustration of leather put to maximum effect as vests, jacket lapels and shoulder inserts and perfectly edited trousers.  If you want to know how to wear leather this fall, this is where to look.  Except, that is, for my slideshow below:

Much love,


[heading]Leather Up! Slideshow[/heading]

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Comment: 1

  • JimShippee September 5, 201211:55 pm

    hmmm… for me, bottega and st. laurent rocked it. some of the others looked like (and might have looked better if) they had been latex.  always enjoy your articles, james. gotta see you in those yellow pants!  xo jim

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