Motorcycle (Biker) jacket

Motorcycle (Biker) jacket SS 2019. Illustration: evelinakhromtchenko.com

The brothers Jack and Irvin Schott have started their business in New York in 1913 and were the first ever to put a zipper on leather jacket. The first motorcycle jacket with slanting zipper has appeared in 1928. It was created by one of the brothers-founders of Schott NYC company, Irvin Schott. This model was called Perfecto in honor of Irvin’s favorite cigars’ brand. This jacket was made of 1 millimeter-thick lamb leather with waterproof finishing, with loops and the belt, a D-shaped chest pocket, a tiny envelope-pocket for change, two-sided slots with zippers, zipping cuffs, and buttoned straps on the shoulders. The construction of the zipper did not let the counter-wind pass in. This heavy and very thick item kept the motor-biker safe after falling.

In the end of 1940’s, the Schott NYC presented the new design, that was called The 613. This biker jacket was proclaimed The One Star, because each little shoulder-strap had a metallic five-pointed star, except for just buttons, on it. In the beginning of 1950’s, another version of Schott NYC motorcycle jacket has appeared – The 618. The new model did not have stars on shoulder straps anymore, which led to the mass stealing of the famous accessory in the brand stores. But the most commercial success was meant to belong to The 618: the character of Marlon Brando, Johny Strabler, in The Wild One movie of 1953 wore exactly The 618, decorated with the stolen stars.

The vintage oversize leather jacket from Schott NYC is considered very chic, but I do not recommend this kind of chic to women. Despite the hygienic aspect, the jacket has also weight and plasticity problems: the real «slanting» leather literally stands still, if leaned on the wall, it does not slide down to the floor. This is why, the designer’s models created specially for women are, undoubtedly, a better option.

I sincerely recommend the biker jackets of Balenciaga, Acne, Anna Nebrenchina, Slava Maslov, Paul&Yakov, recently Saint Laurent and Celine, which have respectively joined the list, thanks to designer Hedi Slimane, but this does not mean you can not have fun with lovely Zara, H&M, or TopShop jackets, if there is an occasion.

In the current season, as in the past one, as in the future one, and over the next hundred years – the biker jacket will always be popular, which is why it is a wise investment into your wardrobe. The biker jacket is a classic piece of wardrobe tested by time. It is hard to build the algorithm of modern wardrobe without this item. The biker jacket is applicable to any type of informal dress-code, because its initial idea is the protest against formality of any nature, including the very smart and bourgeois way of dressing. The biker jacket is usually associated with bad-girl style, high speed, loud music, and excessive metallic accessories… The purpose of the biker jacket in the wardrobe is to add democracy, youth, dynamism, modernity, romantics, and a bit of masculinity.

The biker jacket will please the ladies of any age – it is waterproof and eye-catching. It is not necessary to wear only jackets of black color, try to experiment with colorful options. Today the runway shows demonstrate various colors: from the very basic palettes and pastels to active vivid shades of gems.

The classic set of black biker jacket, black trousers, white blouse, and black pump shoes is suitable for older women, as well as for women who could be their daughters and grand-daughters. Absolutely calmly, without feeling awkward – just note, that the older women have to choose the models covering the hips. This is a perfect cocktail set also. The clutch and bright lipstick will fulfill the dangerous femme-fatale look.

The biker jacket can also fit into a very feminine look, relevant for a not very late date. In this case, wear the jacket with an ivory romantic lace-dress or with a peasant-dress with tiny flower print. Add heavy boots, soft low boots, white gumshoes, flat-foot mules, or light sharp-pointed ballet shoes of nude color.

For the every-day look a-la garçon, the motorcycle jacket should be worked into a very clear combination: dark trousers or boyfriend jeans, striped shirt, white T-shirt, or denim shirt, masculine thick sole boots, white sneakers, or kitten heels – and here we have an outrageous set in casual chic style, which you can wear out to meet your friends. You should not wear this set to any events of a cocktail type, because this combination is not adapted for any activities, like a special party in Bolshoi. However, you can dress up this way to watch a play in the contemporary theater. This look is also fine to wear at work, in case if you work in creative industry and do not have strict dress-code.

It is important not to wear the biker jacket with skinny leather pants, or, God-forbid, with leggings and other motorcycle gear, unless you are an inveterate biker, of course. You should not mix the biker jacket with a bandage mini-dress and knee-boots, or, even worse, with toe-platform shoes (it has been long since they are not anymore fashionable). Avoid the richly decorated models of biker jackets – not only they are vulgar, but also very recognizable, which is why they are only a single use items.


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Photo: Timur Artamonov for Elle-Russia

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