If your wardrobe is engaged to marry florals and pastels for fall 2012, then we’d like to alert you of the side-affair its having with leather for this season, as well. This sometimes elegant, other times edgy fabric is known to awaken the wild side in an ensemble, and trust us, it’s doing the job really well.

To counteract blinding brights and a party of prints, leather skirts are paving the way to find a warm and goth-inspired corner in the closet.

But when you pair this intense fabric with a feminine silhouette, you’re asking for a killer androgynous mash-up to be part of your wardrobe. This season, leather and skirts are teaming up in an array of cuts, styles and colours to banish the habitual image of a skirt with one that’s made for a contemporary and modern woman.

Fashionising.com has dished out all the new styles we’re expecting to see in the coming season, only to make your fall 2012 wardrobe planning a whole lot easier. Find out more after the break.

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Leather skirts: types of leather

You can’t argue with the fact that leather looks sexy, bold and authoritative on a woman.

The fall / winter 2012 collections were inundated with leather, giving a variety of options and choices to all leather-lovers. And this season we’re seeing the rise of unconventional leather with patent, woven, smooth-finish and laser-cut, all gracing the runways around the world.

Leather skirt cuts

Traditional cuts

We’re risking generality with this definition, but when you speak of traditional leather skirts, a pencil, straight-cut design is what comes to mind. This, of course, has got a makeover and a sneaky promotion over the years, with the kind of leather being used and the colours being incorporated into the design.

There is no strict length for this one, and Yves Saint Laurent and Versace demonstrated the diversity in the fall / winter 2012 shows. Costume Nationale’s biker chic look was brought to you by a bucket-load of leather, with the liquid leather skirt performing the main role on stage. Lanvin took the seam modestly higher than the knee and teamed it with aplenty of fur.

leather pencil skirts
Leather pencil skirts at Versace and Lanvin, F/W ’12

If you want to give your vintage leather pencil skirt a modern twist, then concentrate on its styling. A peplum top, a wrapped cable-knit or a belted jacket would hike the style radar for this one. You can also take cues from Versace and Givenchy and give it a darkly Gothic twist.

A-line flounces and pleats

No matter what fabric you pair it with, A-line cut skirts have an incredibly youthful and flirtatious appeal to them; whether they’re mini or midi length.

We have already reported on how the deceptively innocent schoolgirl style influenced fall 2012 runway collections. But what you might not notice is the backbench appearance of cheeky flouncy leather skirts amongst the many black-rimmed glasses and plaid skirts in the classroom. Both DKNY and Milly by Michelle Smith teamed their short A-line skirts with waist-cinching pieces.

A-Line leather skirts
A-line leather skirts at Milly and DKNY, F/W ’12

DKNY’s styling of a wind-protecting biker jacket tucked in with a wide belt almost gave a peplum effect to the leather skirt. However, Milly took the ultra-feminine approach with a tucked-in collared chiffon blouse and a French beret.

Part of the schoolgirl, A-line family are the pleated skirts, that have the chief ’60s element of pleats but with much higher hemlines and a huge dose of mischief. Givenchy used the laser-cut technology on leather and gave their pleated skirts a very witty look.

pleated leather skirts
Pleated leather skirts Givenchy and Francesco Scognamiglio, F/W ’12

To style this, the challenge lies in what you wear the pleated leather skirt with. You can lower its intensity by wearing the skirt with a feminine-cut blouse or keep it androgynous and cool with an oversized jumper or blazer, like the one seen at Edun’s fall 2012 show.

Deep slits

What’s leather without a huge injection of seduction and sexiness?

Let’s say, if Catwoman were to trade her latex jumpsuit for a skirt, this deep-slit leather skirt would be her trademarked look. It’s sexy, sensuous and would perhaps make you want to flash your toned limbs (Angelina Jolie’s leg, anyone?) to the world. Nothing wrong with that, we say.

Francesco Scognamiglio’s fall 2012 collection epitomised this cut, as it presented about five different deep-slit leather skirts for the entire duration of the show. Both Diesel Black & Gold and Acquascutum took a daring plunge into leather with a front-on slit, but Diesel backed up its sexual appeal with chiffon fabric underneath. This variety of deep-slit skirts unbuttons at the front, making the look a little bit naughty and a whole lot oomph-licious.

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Deep slit leather skirts at Francesco Scognamiglio and Alexander Wang, F/W ’12

Wrap-around

Think a wrap skirt but with leather instead, this crisp combination was represented by the likes of Rag & Bone, Proenza Schouler and McQ at the fall shows. You could also mistake Rick Owens’ floor-grazing leather skirt for a kilt, but in reality it’s just overlapping layers of fabric. The skirt has the potential to create layers for itself around the lower torso of the body.

Wear this style with opaque black tights underneath and a heavy woolen overcoat or jacket for an ultimate fall look.

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Leather wrap skirts at Diesel Black Gold and Proenza Schouler, F/W ’12

Leather peplum accessories

While this waist detailing is taking the fashion world and street style by storm, we love Etro’s unique take on leather and peplums. For their fall / winter 2012 collection, the fashion house chose to add hints of leather to their equestrian collection with leather peplums cinching the waist. This is a clever alternative to adapting the trend for the season, especially if you’re unsure of going all out with a leather skirt.

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Leather peplum accessory at Etro, F/W ’12

Leather skirts: colours

Despite black leather being the popular and most obvious choice, this fall, we’ll see an injection of metallic and dark shades into the leather fabric sheet. Leading the way for coloured leather is oxblood and watermelon red by Givenchy, Alexander Wang and DKNY. Midnight blue or taupe also make the grade as seen at DKNY and Rag & Bone. If you want to make a statement louder than what leather’s texture is capable of, then DKNY’s animal-skin leather is the way to go.

Another eye-awakening colour on leather is silver; Paco Rabanne’s shiny metallic leather contrasts with the muted silver tones in Costume Nationale colour palette.

These shades can be paired with black leather or worn against other warm hues for fall 2012.

leather skirt colours
Leather skirt colours for fall: Paco Rabanne, Alexander Wang, DKNY, Rag & Bone

Picture inspiration

For more inspiration on how to style the leather skirt fashion trend, from the fall / winter 2012 runways, click on the thumbnails and peruse the gallery.

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