11/22/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Leather Up

Lest we not forget the rapid pace of fashion and the challenge that is presented to churn out an innovative collection with a clear statement and step forward, I will remind you that in one year designers produce Spring, Summer, Pre-Fall, Fall, Holiday, and Resort. That's enough pressure to propel one into a downward spiral, yet miraculously they pull it off and more often than not come out on top.

In light of this recent tailspin economy I marvel at the thought of designers having tapped into a dark foreboding when they sourced fabrications for their Fall 08 collections months ago. The Daily Beast has already noted breadline chic surfacing on the streets, and with the looming threat of the next Great Depression splashed across The Times homepage daily it is clear that people are currently panicked into survival mode. Everyone is holding their breath and on to their pennies until the elections are over and hopefully our country is rejuvenated with hope and marching onward to change. It is precisely this survival mode that I am reminded of while shopping around the city and noting the prominence of leather on the racks and in the collective conscience right now.

The leather industry being one of the oldest known to mankind, is the natural, primal resource our ancestors used for warmth and protection. With a high resistance to flexibility and alternately tearing, it takes 25-40 years to decompose. Essentially it's genius mother nature providing for us when we cannot provide for ourselves. Of course the leather I'm speaking of is off Helmut Lang's runway rather than the rugged chaps worn by cowboys of the lonesome west, but nonetheless the reference is all the same, and ours is rich and smooth and feels like butter. From Rag and Bone's riding pants to Phillip Lim's blazer, Marc by Marc Jacobs mini dress to Staerk"s entire collection, the leather in the market right now is incredible. It's time to leather up.

Rag and Bone's leather riding pant.
3.1 Phillip Lim cropped leather jacket.

Marc by Marc Jacobs leather mini dress.

Staerk leather skirt.