31 May 2011
An exotic array of reptilian and avarian hides are tanned and moulded to form the most decadent designer leather pieces of the seasons. The unique and finally detailed grain of exotic leathers entice the wealthiest fashion consumers to party with vast somes for a taste of Renaissance luxury. The luxury goods industry synonymous with scarcity, has enlisted contemporary designers to utilise the material's indulgent appeal to craft the highest level of quality products.
Defined by Mr Porter as a sartorial classic, Lanvin’s lizard skin wallet - priced at £360 – will prove to be a wise investment to the contemporary Dandy who would appreciate the vintage look the piece acquires as it ages. A complimenting brown hue crocodile leather belt is available from Bottega Veneta, it is elegantly subtle while providing a welcome break from banal belt offerings. Paul Smith noted for his more outlandish and youthful styles offers a vibrant turquoise dyed Ostrich leather credit card case - £139 – it yearns for attention at any given opportunity, contrasting to the sombre image of the Bottega belt.
The ultimate in travelling elegance is the Ralph Lauren Purple Label alligator weekend bag at a steely £17,145 and crafted in Italy can only adorn the shoulder of a worthy gentlemen, emblematic of their success. I would argue that these goods are not arrogant proclamations of wealth and excess but key investment pieces that are part of a broader trend towards timeless classics and considered purchases. While this does not mark the end of fast throw-away fashion, exotic leathers do mark a high fashion re-engagement with the product and a more careful selection process.
The pieces discussed are presented below, each image linking to where they are available for purchase;