Deconstructed leather jacket art piece.
"Worn to be Wild' is the Harley-Davidson Museum's latest special exhibit and in my humble opinion, the best one yet! I eagrly awaited the opening after seeing it highlighted in the June 2012 Elle Magazines's column in the front where they cronicle upcoming fashion events. This is the first time I've seen anything from MKE in there so it's a great shout out for the city!
After I checking it out, I could see why it made that list of events! It's got to be one of the best representations on the subject of leather jackets. Yes, it's a bit biased to the motorcyle angle but those two things belong together and are shown perfectly together in this exhibit!
As you enter you learn about how motorcycles and leather jackets have been paired together since the invention of motorcyles. There's vintage motorcyles paired with outfits that the rider would have worn. There's a look back at an important part of the leather jacket's history with aviation. It's an interesting look back at the early 1900's along with the beginning of Harley-Davidson's history.
Even back in these early days of motorcycle history you see examples of mass market leather jackets catching on. My favorites being one you could purchase from the Sear's catalog, and the baby leather is obviously adorable!
The Antihero's Antisportcoat
Continue on to learn how the leather jeacket became the ultimate symbol of rebellion in the section titled "The Ant-Hero's Anti-Sportcoat". Examples of early lawbreakers and motorcycle gangs are shown alongside with the contrasting Police force's own versions of leather jackets.
Around the corner the exhibit takes a turn into the world of pop culture. There's a huge wall of album covers featuring the artists in leather jackets, of course. And early B-Movie posters with actors sporting leather jackets. Examples from many movies and many rock stars are displayed along with framed photos of the celebrity wearing the ensamble. Lots of fun to look back and remember these pop culture moments!
The exhibit continues with fashion's intrepretation of the leather jacket. An incredible catwalk display of Jean Paul Gaultier's leathers spanning several collections was shown along with photos from the runway. Many other high end designer's takes on the classic are also displayed. My favorite in this area being the legendary 1980's artist, Keith Haring and a white leather jacket with his signature graffiti print in black.
The end of the exhibit is the coolest part in my opinion. There's an artistic display of leather jackets embellished by people in Seattle in the 1980s-1990s shown on giant spikes. I could stare at them for hours! The amount of detail that went into each piece was impressive. Then to realize these were traded in for a new jacket at a vintage clothing store makes you wonder what else these people created.
True Milwaukee girl, lived in a multiple areas in the state of Wisconsin and has traveled around the world but always remembers "where ever you go, there you are".
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