Now more than just a staple for boys, a biker is a must-have in many women's wardrobes
Deconstructing the biker jacket
Irving Schott can be credited with inventing the biker jacket, having designed the first one for Harley Davidson in 1928. Quickly adopted as a symbol of rebellion, it has been the armour of choice for bad boys through the ages – from Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) to Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986) and Mel Gibson in the Mad Max trilogy. When Elvis Presley staged a comeback in 1969, he did it in a biker jacket, and Sid Vicious made it required wearing in the late 1970s. A terrifying Arnold Schwarzenegger wore it as the unstoppable cyborg in The Terminator, while a more genteel approach was adopted by The Fonz in Happy Days and Danny Zuko in Grease. Now more than just a staple for boys, a biker is a must-have in many women's wardrobes. Kate Moss is a big fan (apparently she owns twelve) and, having teamed one with Hunter wellingtons, can be credited with creating the ultimate example of festival chic. As easily thrown over a dress as a pair of jeans, leather jackets have, of late, made appearances at Diesel, where they were worn oversized and hooded; in uber-luxurious crocodile and shearling at Vuitton; and even high gloss black at Bottega Veneta. The lasting appeal of a good jacket is its ability to dress down an outfit, so a biker will always work shrugged over an evening gown, or even a suit. For the true fashion cognoscenti, however, head-to-toe leather is the way forward. Worn with patched leather motorbike trousers, a white T-shirt, and a pair of killer Louboutin heels, it is the epitome of urbane insouciance. Just don't ever wear one on an actual motorbike. That's just for thugs.