There have been countless modifications to the original Perfecto style since its creation back in the 20s, and the innovative takes on this timeless design just get better and better. From unbelievable textures to breathtaking details, and of course, awesome plays on color, what started as merely “a biker thing” has transformed into a key statement maker for guys and girls alike throughout the past century. Standing not only for toughness, but individuality, as well, the moto has been deconstructed, painted on, patched up, studded, spiked, and pretty much anything else you can think of that affords one the ability to be themselves through their jacket. It’s more about the message it gives than the function it serves.
Nowadays, you don’t have to do as much work to stand out from the crowd — the designers are taking care of that. With so many cool styles hitting the racks each day, it’s impossible to keep track of them all.
Texture plays a huge role in the design of modern motos, especially now that it’s not all about protecting one from 60 mph winds and nasty bruises. With an abundance of fabrics at their disposal, designers are changing the game, one jacket at a time. A favorite of mine is neoprene, which you can see in the style worn below. Juxtaposed against stiffer leatherlike materials, it’s nice to have softer, less constricting components come into play. My girl Leia pulled out a little faux fur, which is commonly seen as an accent detail by way of shearling collars and decorated sleeves (as you can see on hers). Whether it’s in the details or all over, the fabric makes a big impact!
Other exciting fabrics and textures:
Denim, quilting, wool-blends, animal skin (like Calvin Klein Collection’s amazing $70k alligator moto—I shot in it for our Head in the Clouds
project and it is jaw-dropping), worn leather, and mixed media (or fabric-blocking, as I love to call it)
[his]. Jacket: Zara moto with neoprene sleeves // Other pieces featured: Croft & Barrow mock turtleneck, Zara Denim Couture biker pants, PUMA x Miharayasuhiro MY-72 oxford sneakers, DUMB Accessories watch. [hers]. Jacket: Nicole Richie for Impulse faux fur moto // Other pieces featured: Zara tee, BCBGeneration mesh cardigan, H&M leggings, Dr. Martens boots.
It’s not just about the fabric, but what you do with it. The details, whether store-bought or added DIY-style, are truly what set a piece apart. I owe much of my love affair with the moto to Burberry Prorsum’s Spring 2011 runway show and Diesel Black Gold’s FW13 campaign, both of which revamped the essence of the biker by way of the sickest studs and spikes imaginable. But those shiny embellishments are only the beginning. My favorite element would have to be heavy quilting. It packs the perfect punch for the guy (or girl) who wants to give an off-the-charts look without being too flashy. I prefer mine in banded rows, as you can see below.
Other statement makers:
Military inspiration: think Belstaff — thick, belted waists and tons of pockets;
collar action: point, band, and buckled stand collars; cropped lengths;
trapunto designs; fringe.
Jacket: H&M quilted biker jacket // Other pieces featured: American Apparel sheer tee, Conflict of Interest NYC limited edition fashion parody collection tee, Alexander Wang for H&M neoprene trousers, PUMA x Miharayasuhiro MY-72 oxford sneakers.
If you know me well, then you KNOW I love color. Solid expressions, ombre, color-blocking, subtle accents—however it comes, I’m a fan. With that said, Leia and I pulled out a couple of tinted takes on the moto. I love a good color-blocked moment, so this [midnight blue x black] combo was a no-brainer! Meanwhile, Leia took a brighter approach, pulling out one of my favorite colors of the fall season, orange.
When I break out my bikers, I tend to stick with black bottoms, but when the jacket’s got a little color to it, I see it as the perfect opportunity to introduce other hues into play. Sometimes I’ll get bold with a tartan pant or just keep it cool with denim, which we both used to complete our looks. Hers, distressed. His, jogger-esque.
[his]. Jacket: H&M color-blocked moto // Other pieces featured: American Apparel Vintage crew neck sweater, Dirty Robbers Denim Co. joggers, H&M boots. [hers]. Jacket: Club Monaco moto jacket // Other pieces featured: Sara distressed denim jeans, Dr. Martens boots, bling courtesy of Macy’s.
Special thanks to Leia Kelly for hopping in front of the camera with me.
Photographed by Matthew Alexander.
Check out my [elements of FW14] Pinterest board for cool styles from your favorite brands,
a ton of moto inspiration, and even more exclusive [tnn] content to get you right for the season.