Originally on display June 16 – September 3, 2012
The black leather jacket. Rebellion. Sex appeal. Confidence. Rock ’n’ roll.
The motorcycle jacket acquired its symbolic identity over the last half of the 20th century. Its roots go even deeper, and its current meaning embodies some interesting contradictions. It evolved from earlier leather garments developed to protect their wearers from danger. Today it carries a suggestion that its wearer is a little dangerous. It was adopted by rugged—or ragged—individualists who rejected mainstream ideas of fashion. It has now become a crucial accessory of the fashion-conscious.
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Schott “Perfecto”-style leather jacket with all-over pattern of Keith Haring artwork Jeremy Scott, Women’s Ready-to-wear Collection, Spring-Summer 2009
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Leather coat and riding gear, with 1920 Harley-Davidson Model J. This coat was the first leather outerwear piece manufactured under Harley-Davidson’s own label and is typical of a late 1920s-early 1930s motorcyclist or aviator.