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Oct 3, 2014. - Jan 4, 2015.

Worn to be Wild

The Black Leather Jacket

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Gallery scenes from when the exhibition was in Seattle. Click image to enlarge.

It's a journey from function to freedom to fashion as told by a single item of clothing. The Chrysler's keynote exhibition for fall 2014 is a travellng blockbuster dedicated to the ultimate American sartorial statement: the black leather jacket.

From its humble beginnings as protective road gear for bikers and flight wear for military aviators, from its de facto revolutionary uniform for rebels with and without a cause, from rockers who moved the jacket off the motorcycle and onto the stage, and finally, to the must-wear runway accessory of the 1980s and beyond.

The exhibition includes two classic Harley-Davidsons, a vintage 1920 Model J and a 1956 Model K owned by Elvis Presley, and jackets straight from the headliners of Pop culture, including:

  • a metal-studded jacket worn by Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's jacket from Terminator 2
  • Rooney Mara's Gothic geek look from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Harry Shearer's jacket from the mock rockumentary This is Spinal Tap

Haute couture as contemporary art is also represented with jackets by Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, including one by Jeremy Scott adorned with a Keith Haring print.

Worn to be Wild is on loan from the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, in conjunction with the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle.

Painted WWII-era A2 military flight jacket from a private collection. Photo courtesy: Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee.

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