BY: VANESSA ROBERTS
It was such an honour to sit front row at the Jennifer Kate show at MBFWA earlier this year. Being able to witness all of the gorgeous (summery!) leather designs first-hand made me realise there is a lot more scope for wearing leather through the seasons than I had previously given credit to!
As we’re now easing into the warmer months, I thought it was a great opportunity to tap Jennifer Kate’s founder, Jennifer McCloy to get her take on how to wear leather in summer.
I also took the opportunity to get Jennifer’s tips on caring for leather and suede which can often seem difficult and off-putting to the uninitiated!
BWA: Your recent collections are centered around leather, suede and the occasional fur – what drew you to the use of these materials?
We have chosen to work with natural fabrics such as leather and fur as they are truly timeless. I believe it is much better to spend a little extra and invest in pieces that you love, that can be matched with lots of things in your wardrobe, and most importantly that you can see yourself wearing in 10 years time.
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BWA: Typically, people start to run from leather and suede the moment the weather starts to heat up a little! How do we wear leather in summer?
Statement pieces such as a leather mini skirt or suede shorts can work perfectly in Summer, paired with a floaty top and great sandals – and a beautiful suede mini dress is perfect for chilly Summer nights.
BWA: How do you like to style leather in cooler months?
Leather and suede provide beautiful texture to any outfit. A strong, well-tailored leather jacket can be the most useful addition to your wardrobe – pair it with a plain white tee and your favourite pair of jeans to achieve that off-duty model look we all love (and obviously look like Gisele).
BWA: Are there any tips or tricks we should know about when it comes to caring for suede?
Suede brushing works miracles! However you have to ensure you invest in a high quality brush – there are some really bad ones out there! Any little imperfections in your suede will be gone in an instant. Also it is important to hang your suede away from other clothes in your wardrobe (or in a garment bag) to avoid any colour rubbing off.
BWA: A popular complaint people have about leather garments is it is impossible to wash them! Can you set the record straight on this?
There are some great professional leather cleaners out there – and although it can be expensive it is worth investing in a good one otherwise you may find your leather discoloured or misshapen. Spot cleaning can also work, but it is important to use a clean white cloth and tepid water. Typically, good quality leather softens with wear, so the more you wear your pieces the more supple they will become.
BWA: What are the three most versatile leather garments anyone could own?
The leather mini skirt is a favourite – there are so many ways to mix it into your wardrobe – a great pair of suede shorts and of course the staple leather jacket.
BWA: Which pieces from your latest collection best typify the Jennifer Kate vision/aesthetic?
A favourite of mine at the moment is the Suede Overall Dress. It is comfortable and easy to throw on – yet so unique. I would have to say though, the Suede Capelet Blazer from the MBFWA Collection typifies the Jennifer Kate aesthetic perfectly – luxurious fabric, timeless cut, with a strong focus on tailoring to make a statement. Every time I wear it I find myself giving out the website details!
So, what do you think about wearing leather in summer? Would you? Do you? If you have any other questions about how to wear leather in Summer let us know in the comments below!
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