Shearling’s growth in popularity over the past few years has been well documented. You need only review the women’s – or men’s – collections from runways around the globe in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to witness for yourself the creative explosion of this luxurious, yet practical material. Fashion bloggers and magazines have declared it a key trend for the past few seasons as designers adapted shearling to looks that ranged from sporty and casual to hippy chic to modern elegance.
For Fall 2015 designers have embraced shearling as never before to deliver a broader-than-ever array of styles for both men and women that cross generational differences and appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and socio-economic divides.
FOR THE LADIES
This season shearling has gotten the glam reboot as designers play with both the fur side and the leather/sueded side of the skins to great effect. Leather is lacquered or reworked with numerous color finishes, even including metallic accents. It is shaved into a textile-fine finish for gentle draping in softer silhouettes. Texture is the focus as designers move beyond traditional sheepskin, using Tibetan or Mongolian lamb or goat to create bold and exciting new looks. Multiple fur types may be used in a garment combining mink and sheepskin, for example.
The results are pure excitement – classy and casual; sweet and soft yet very functional; edgy and modern with a bit of a boho feel; sophisticated and elegant. Designers have reworked shearling into ladylike coats, fresh moto jackets and vests and easy-chic blousons and cardigans. The new shearlings are perfect from the office to dinner with friends and weekend soccer games to SoHo nights. There are even a few options that work perfectly with eveningwear.
FOR THE MEN
Let’s face it. Men have their sartorial limits. When it comes to outerwear, for many men most fur types are just too precious, too over-the-top (although there are some extraordinarily fine-looking men’s furs this season!) Their answer to luxurious, handsome, functional outerwear? Shearling.
Shearling has a certain brawn factor, perhaps redolent of the old iconic Western cowboy looks, that lends itself to the more rugged stylings men prefer to project. But innovative treatments and design adaptations have enabled designers to embrace the softness and luxury of shearling to create outerwear looks that are masculine and strong with a more polished edge.
Today’s shearlings integrate easily into most men’s preexisting wardrobes and are adaptable enough to work with everything from jeans to business attire. Whether man or woman, Fall 2015 is, indeed, a great season for shearling. Is there a shearling on your Christmas wish list?