An Op-Ed: A Fascination with Leather and the other RnR

Towards recognizing a fully rounded fashion identity, it should be comprised of two major halves: a specific decade and culture or subculture you feel you most intrinsically connected to, and then of course, your own personal input of aesthetic that makes you you. Books, magazines and now blogs can give all the advice and insistence they when it comes to clamoring upon one’s personal style and demanding you define it–yet–truth be told, most individuals gather ideas from various situations and instances, leading to hyphenated labels and explanations of why we dress the way we do (“Corporate Grunge”, “Urban Prep”).

Nearly all conjured looks derive from another which makes fashion complicated, more constructed than we imagined, and hopefully more often than not, a fruitful occasion in self-discovery that was worth the trial and error. What may be most frustrating aspect of getting dressed is that by the middle of the day, we abruptly feel incomplete with our outfits, like we could’ve done better, or we feel a great urge to alter our looks all together due to a mood swing or eureka moment of confidence. Yet, this is only natural considering our levels of ADD increasing as time goes by and the palette of options to be dramatically influenced by all that we come across.

Acne jacket

As a topic to write about, this came to me when I acknowledged to myself that lately, I’ve been greatly sparked by the devil may care sensibility of ’80s rock n roll stars and associates (should I just be honest and call ’em groupies). I’ve always had a fondness for leather, all things related to music’s dominance on fashion, and materials such as the aforementioned that weren’t harsh but felt aged, like they had a story of their own to share if they could only get the time to settle down and find the right words in remembering those raucous nights and contemplative mornings.

Since I was a child of the ’90s, therefore a baby of the ’80s, I wasn’t there people watch the concert parking lot shenanigans, to walk by and pity the heavy hearts of L.A..’s Skid Row, or in witnessing the high school days of bad-ass hooligans sitting in the back of the cafeteria or outside somewhere on the grass or concrete wondering if the promise of those better days ahead were currently a gift the world couldn’t prepare to start denying.A leather jacket, joined by a T-shirt, either crisp white or what today they’ll refer to as a “graphic tee” (a shirt of your favorite band or artist never fails to stand out), straight leg jeans that just happen to play the part of rugged, and a mean pair of boots, or even Converse sneakers, is a classic sartorial statement of revolt and anticipation. By the time you leave the house to fight against the day or embrace it in your hands, how you to choose to configure these essentials to your own pitch is subjective, but every great rock ‘n roll outfit seemingly includes these “features”, but then that’s where it gets fun because not every leather jacket is made equal and not everyone loves the same band.

How we interpret the rock ‘n roll lifestyle through our clothes is also a reflection of the the chapters of its history we’ve met. As we accent with accessories like too many bangles, big jewelry, scarves, Native American surplus, likewise fingerless gloves, or a full brim hat, the leather and the rock ‘n roll style blueprint is parts ’80s hair metal glam (Poison) and debauchery (Guns ‘n Roses), ’50s Americana, and the low-pressured charm of Southern simplicity, decisions that were once deemed invincible of consequence (think anything involving the Hell’s Angels) and the overall bravado of the ego of the human being.
fully embellished Harley-Davidson jacket

Immediately, once a leather jacket is rested upon those chosen shoulders, it’s inexplicably okay to feel taller, more daring, a bit like that former recluse ready to let either the uptown or downtown streets that you’re here and where you’re going is up to you. Another interesting fact is that rock ‘n roll style, in all its cavalier glory, is the most accessible form of obtaining that dangerous swagger that doesn’t involve going to work in bondage gear (which should be relatively left indoors and in the comfort of one-on-one intimacy).

My unceasing adoration of this chapter of fashion history, I can’t apologize for, I can only slowly incorporate more into my everyday style which is more about self-assurance than leniency.  It also remains a controversial choice because for many it is an obvious choice towards exhibiting or at least trying to convey an ideally abundant behavior and belief that acting on instant than instinct are your new rules of life. Whilst easier explained than showcased, the allure of the leather jacket and the adage of rock ‘n roll will never falter as long as they’re are guitars and kids seeking solace in the rough around the edges glassheart of the cult of music, as their soundtrack to their adventures of heartbreak and success, long live the leather jacket.

This article was originally posted on January 9, 2013 on Power by Beauty

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