Leather coats stride into style

Tailored leather coats are ratcheting up the style and swagger, says Tom Stubbs

Berluti lambskin coat, £8,000
Berluti lambskin coat, £8,000

Haider Ackermann’s tenure at Berluti may have been short, but it was certainly memorable. For his final collection this season, star pieces include beautiful tailored leather coats – one (£8,000), deceptively simple and killer-cool, in caramel lambskin with a tie belt; another (£8,000), super-sophisticated, in deep brown lambskin that’s longer and beltless; and yet another (£8,000) that’s black, oversized and belted, with hidden buffalo-horn buttons. All have hand-stitched, concealed seams, either raw or prick-stitched hems, and panel-painted finishes that show off Berluti’s heritage of creating unique patinas. 

From left: Salvatore Ferragamo chamois leather coat, £3,930. Paul Smith calfskin coat, £3,095
From left: Salvatore Ferragamo chamois leather coat, £3,930. Paul Smith calfskin coat, £3,095

Berluti’s show signalled a shift away from shearling (which has been the dominant leather outerwear in men’s collections for the past half decade) towards streamlined, tailoredleather coats – with many brands offering significant takes this season. A leather coat may not be for everyone, but for those worried about channelling Morpheus from The Matrix, rest reassured – there’s a rich variety of stylishly cut styles to choose from. 

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For a sporty feel, Brioni has a car coat (£6,500) in exceptionally lightweight deep mahogany nappa leather bonded onto flannel wool that drapes beautifully – as does Ferragamo’s car coat (£3,660) that bonds black calfskin with cashmere.

Missoni nappa leather car coat, £4,990
Missoni nappa leather car coat, £4,990

Connolly’s Marc Audibet excels not only in drape and cut, but also fabric treatment, and his reversible nappa lambskin and woven-cashmere trench (£6,800) is stunning, with navy-painted leather panels with flashes of royal blue, raglan sleeves, leather pockets with Melton flaps, and hand-carved horn buttons. 

From left: Prada calfskin coat, £5,100. Connolly nappa lambskin and cashmere trench, £6,800. Roberto Cavalli nappa leather trench, £3,175. Fendi lambskin coat with ponyhair collar, £7,600
From left: Prada calfskin coat, £5,100. Connolly nappa lambskin and cashmere trench, £6,800. Roberto Cavalli nappa leather trench, £3,175. Fendi lambskin coat with ponyhair collar, £7,600

Missoni’s grey nappa-leather car coat (£4,990) is also reversible, with exposed seams that reveal a contrasting micro-check, multi-yarn, loom-knitted house weave. Leather is steadily becoming more important at this knitwear house, and marrying hide with a Missoni pattern ties it to the house codes. Meanwhile, Fendi has printed the ponyhair collar of its black lambskin coat (£7,600) with the FF logo. 

Brioni nappa leather and wool car coat, £6,500
Brioni nappa leather and wool car coat, £6,500

A leather coat (£5,100) from Prada is in keeping with the utilitarian theme of its autumn collection – roomily cut to the knee, with popper fastenings. The vintage-looking calfskin is light with a double-dyed finish – first black and then either umber brown or slate grey, which is partially rubbed away to allow the black dye to emerge. 

Hermès calfskin coat, £11,110. No 21 leather coat, £2,400
Hermès calfskin coat, £11,110. No 21 leather coat, £2,400

A shorter, sportier take on the leather trench (£2,400) comes from Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s No 21; in black or oxblood, it has punched seams in place of belt, storm flaps and elbow patches, and looks great on men of smaller stature.

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Some designers have focused on matte leather and Hermès’ handsome bottle-green coat (£11,110) with a removable lining silkscreen-printed with horses, and patinated chestnut calfskin parka (£10,500) are prime examples. (Hermès’ chestnut crocodile parka – price on request – is also a sight to behold.) Matte finishes are also found at Salvatore Ferragamo, with coats in “featherweight” seaweed-green nubuck (£4,195) and hessian-coloured chamois leather (£3,930). 

Paul Smith ratchets up the swagger with a maroon coat (£3,095) with a muted lustre inspired by an old Chesterfield sofa, while there’s full-on swashbuckle at Roberto Cavalli with a burgundy leather trench (£3,175) featuring a dramatically cut collar and lapels; a crocodile-embossed, straight-cut leather coat (£4,080); and a caramel double-breasted style (£4,000) with a fringed yoke and studded patterns that cry out for a Matrix Western prequel. 

If these coats seem a trifle conspicuous, remember that so once was shearling – now a familiar feature on winter streets. The same is about to happen with leather tailored coats, trust me.

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