It's no secret that Blake Lively is Christian Louboutin's No.1 fan (and vice versa). The actress claims to own hundreds of pairs of his heels (once buying 40 pairs in a single spree) and is regularly seen partying and shopping with the designer himself (below), after first meeting him on a fashion shoot for American Vogue, while filming Gossip Girl in Paris. Louboutin even named a pair of multi-strapped stilettoes "The Blake" after his most loyal customer. And let's face it, with those coltish legs (and that fondness for miniskirts), Ms Lively's a pretty great advert for his designs....
Blake and Christian go shopping in Paris, March 2011
But when we saw the Gossip Girl star at the shoe designer's 20th anniversary party in New York last night, dressed in a red leather coat and looking for all the world like one of Louboutin's own signature shoe soles, we almost began to wonder: had the style icon's Louby-love finally gone too far?
Mais, non. Blake is picking up on a red-hot trend for Autumn Winter 2011 - scarlet leather. Yep, while classic black leather may be ultra-glossy/uber-sexy (as seen on the catwalk at Louis Vuitton this season); all Parisian chic and sophisticatedly kinky, red leather is its younger, funner, sister - think Michael Jackson in his red-leather-jacket-wearing Thriller heyday.
But right now, red leather is undergoing a reinvention. As you can see from Blake's oh-so-chic Valentino red leather coat (above) - actually a sneaky preview piece from Spring Summer 2012.
There were red leather pieces in deeper cherry red shades on the catwalks for Autumn Winter 2011 - like Gucci's strapless deep red leather dress, and Marios Schwab's bodycon look (above), while Acne's sleeveless Memory biker jacket £1390 (below), in a rich ruby shade looks more minimalist-edgy than Eighties.
But the ultimate (and most accessible) red leather look has to be jeans. We first began pining for some red leather legs when Isabel Marant debuted her Soan cropped leather biker jeans for Autumn/Winter 2010 (below, left), as seen on Elle Macpherson, while Balmain's deluxe tomato-bright zipped motorcross jeans (below right) were favoured by A-listers. They're now all sold out in red, although other colours are still available.
Meanwhile, just this week, the first deliveries of J Brand's new red lambskin low-rise jeans, from £875, have dropped at all our favourite online designer boutiques from Matches to My Wardrobe and Net A Porter (below).
And, as Christian Louboutin demonstrated last night as he scooped his beloved Blake into his arms, the best accessory to go with any red leather look have to be... a pair of (Pigalle snakeskin) scarlet-soled Louboutin heels.
What do you think of Blake's scarlet leather coat? Will you be wearing red leather this season or sticking to classic black?