Spring-Summer 23 Style Focus: Full-look leather

Nature in all its splendour lies at the heart of Spring-Summer 2023. A desire to vaunt natural fibres is central this season – along with an emphasis on leather, for a new take on rusticity. Here, a full-look leather silhouette accentuates the skins’ natural quality, mixing a raw look with a fine sensory appeal. The SS 23 leather season also displays a taste for decoration, and ambitiously aims to throw up new bridges with fabrics, to better revel in their inspiration.


This season, exhibitors’ latest concoctions demonstrate leather’s ability to display a broad array of aspects, surface effects and handles.

Inspired by even the most technical textiles, skins bank on their own versatility, their easy adaptability to all kinds of garments and uses, for a wardrobe that persuasively fuses a raw aesthetic with heightened sensory appeal.


Tops are once again ready for evening and party wear, and bare selected parts of the body. Cropped to the max, they play with precise shoulder and décolleté cut-outs, with a nod to sport bras. To retain the comfort level of homewear acquired over recent months, the latest tops are made of stretch leathers, allowing a host of more or less fine straps to be wrapped around the body.

These leathers cover a mix of uses, on the border of sports and couture. They readily and playfully imitate fabric, with spongy textures, and feature embossed and foamy decorative effects. Occasionally they evoke technical knits – jacquards, piqués and honeycombs – initially designed for sport. Perforated designs grow more complex, with cut-outs projected in 3D and references to openwork, recalling the delicacy of mesh and pointelle-lingerie tops.

Boxy slim-cut jackets worked in leathers with a gel or varnished surface such as Naplak dial right into a ’60s pop vibe, in optical white and bright shades.


For an updated take on tailored items, and give them a luxurious, sporty feel, little jackets can also be paired with sky-high skirts livened up with patch pockets. Or they can be given a new spin via lacquered leathers evoking exotic reptiles, in the vein of retro imitation-leathers.

Slightly longer and slit up the side, asymmetrical skirts designed in springy lambskins with a draping fall feature shot and subtly iridescent surfaces. Worked in tone-on-tone, they plunge us into the nocturnal galaxy of a parallel universe.

These leathers can also be used for form-fitting, strapless dresses, which can also be imagined in crispy stretch leathers for a rougher look while keeping their elegance. Leathers also lend themselves to evenly spaced pleats and 3D embossings. The season’s pants likewise reveal a desire to forge bridges between sectors, by proposing a range of versatile products. Here, leathers convey a powerful feeling of substance, directly inspired by fabrics traditionally intended for trousers. Stretch velvet leathers and motif-printed leathers recall denim-like serge twills, for pants with workwear details.

Fuzzy nubucks have a dried-out look. Their coarseness and sanded aspects are surprisingly reminiscent of rustic denims crafted from cotton, hemp and linen blends. These also adopt nuanced, almost chiné effects, thanks to random hand-pass techniques. Extra-long bell-bottoms cover pumps and feature bolder surfaces, with crinkled, cracked, even fringed effects.


Accessories opt for decorative designs resulting from embossings, or the crackling of grain leathers, digital printing, as well as embroideries and bondings. This season, these are proving to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration for leather and its variations and are embracing a new world of imagination in a strongly naturalistic vein.


Bags are positively spare-looking, with ultra-simple geometric shapes – such as imposing triangles or rectangles made from skins that combine their innate suppleness with dry and crepe-y textures. Here we can envision textures with delicate crackled effects worked in two-tones, or washed, softened, drummed leathers with natural shrunken grains. For a more urban take, surfaces have a caressing, bleached velvety finish that sweetly softens the surface of bright colours.

Backpacks flip their sporty codes onto gummy and matt technical leathers. These are combined with materials influenced by the fine, transparent fabrics of Couture – net, organza, tulle – that imitate graphic lace designs, positioned randomly on enlarged pockets to update traditional floral and plant motifs.


In footwear, sharply pointy-toed pumps come in lacquered leathers, printed with strange fish scales mimicking futuristic mermaid tails. Vertiginously high-heeled square-toe sandals are worked in multi-coloured metallic leathers. Multiple straps wrap around the ankle and climb high up the calf. Sneakers combine paper-like leathers and wet aspects, rendered in strong, translucent colours, that bring irregularities and grains to life.

Be sure to check out our other style focuses for Spring-Summer 2023, and more leather decodings from Première Vision’s fashion experts.

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