En terms of biker jackets, there is, on the one hand, the Perfecto, the flagship jacket of the XXe century popularized by rebels with or without a cause, from Marlon Brando to the punk scene – until becoming, in the XXIe century, a garment worn by people who are obviously not very rock. On the other, the less flattering circuit pilot jacket.
Here, no large lapel collar, but a short, straight jacket with a press stud at the collar closure, reinforced shoulder pads, bold colors and large logos. In short, the jacket of the pros, the teams, the sponsors. Of those who go really fast and are not afraid to take turns while lying on the asphalt.
This jacket has of course also been successful in pop culture: by Peter Fonda in Easy Rider to Mickey Rourke in Harley Davidson and the man with the cowboy boots, passing by Tom Cruise in a large number of his films. And the women in all this? A highly sexualized figure, the biker has long been confined to the skin-tight leather jumpsuit, if possible worn without underwear. This is the case of Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle, where Alain Delon slowly unzips his jumpsuit… with his teeth.
Almost emancipated sexual object: in this film, Marianne Faithfull plays the role of a young wife leaving the marital bed to join her lover in a Harley. Later, in Kill Bill, Uma Thurman rides a Kawasaki ZZR 250 to match her outfit (yellow) on the road to her revenge.
In defiance of all safety rules
More recently, the hyperpopstar Rosalia has made motorcycling her creed, fully exploiting the machine’s erotic charge. For the cover of Motomami (translate “motomeuf”), her latest album, the Catalan poses like Botticelli’s Venus, simply wearing a motorcycle helmet. In the song clip Saoko, she appears in the middle of a group of female bikers chaining in slow motion or accelerated aerobatics on the rear wheel. In defiance of all safety rules, the biker jacket is here worn short, fitted and without pants. All in thick exhaust fumes.
Has the health crisis revived a certain desire for speed? Or is it the inability to stop the race of the world that drives society towards the thrill of ultimate acceleration? The motorbike is in the cinema the privileged mode of transport of a future where everything has twisted.
Nightmarish visions of societies that have obviously not made the choice of soft mobility, Akira, Tron, Mad Max, Terminator Or I, Robot all exploit his universe (and his wardrobe) in their own way. Once tamed, the machine offers speed, power and anonymity, to escape, for example, the general surveillance of artificial intelligence. Does the return of the biker jacket signify the advent of this dystopian future?