This season, however, designers - from the fiercely commercial Donna Karan in New York to the avant-garde Hussein Chalayan in London - have thrown caution to the wind and are offering us leather in any colour as long as it is not black. For those whose souls crave a bit of danger and excitement, forget James Dean, Marlon Brando and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. What you need is a subtle blush to your cowhide jacket, a dress the colour of sunset, a pair of jeans in tomato red.
Because the raw material is so expensive, leather has always been reserved for classic items that don't date. But it's saved from the fate of being forever boring with clean, fresh shapes such as the shift dress (be sure the leather is soft and supple, or you will look as if you're wearing a cardboard cut-out) and the sleeveless, button-back shell top, a reincarnation of a Sixties favourite that is perfectly suited to leather. Women who would never even have sniffed at a Perfecto biker jacket will see leather in a whole new light this spring - one that is elegantly simple and brilliantly bright