It’s no secret that leather is fashion’s fabric du jour. Sadly, for all you PETA supporters out there, no longer is it relegated to the respectable but extremely limited corners of fashion, the accessories market. For the past few seasons, leather was seen in everything from vests to baseball caps, pleated skirts to track pants, even T-shirts made from pristine, laser-cut leather showed up on the runways (and in your local Zara).
What makes leather such a desirable material, aside from its luxe factor, is its versatility. A firm piece of leather can give structure to a motorcycle jacket or a boxy top. A pliable, buttery soft piece of leather makes for an excellent pair of skinny pants. And ingenious fashion designers from all over are taking advantage of leather’s moment in the sun and producing unexpected pieces, like camisoles and circle skirts, from a fabric that’s traditionally been associated with tougher subcultures such as punk & bondage.
Tania Martins and Mona Koochek, the talents behind Toronto’s Markoo Studio, are two such designers. The pair are fairly new to the design game—they’ve only been collaborating as Markoo since the Martins-owned Carte Blanche on Queen West closed its doors in March 2012—and are already making big waves here in Canada. After seeing their leather elastic sweatshirt in black, Markoo’s successes made total sense to me. Made from my favourite kind of leather, the buttery kind, this slouchy-in-all-the-right-