- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 14 October 2015
Complete with epic sunsets, high-octane chases and laid-back riding styles, the role that motorbikes play throughout the film industry has defined a style that has lasted for generations. From Steve McQueen's infamous ride aboard a Triumph TT Special in The Great Escape right through to the latest cinematic releases, Hollywood has always had a neat way of transforming the humble motorbike into a vehicle drenched in 'cool' connotations.
By looking at some of the films that have been released in modern times, we're keen to explore how the leather jacket in particular has played such a distinctive role within motorcycle folklore. Focusing on some of our Hollywood favourites, here are who we think have contributed the most to motorcycling's iconic image over the past few years…
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator
Documenting the meteoric rise of Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio), Martin Scorsese's The Aviator follows the life and times of one of America's greatest self-made heroes. As Hughes falls in love with the fantastical world of aviation, the audience soon find themselves swooning over Hughes' style – with a brown leather jacket stealing the show in particular. Since the 1920s, the jackets worn by American pilots have found their way into the heart of British retail, resulting in an awesome collection being forged over the years. From fur-lined collars through to the DiCaprio's simple button-up option worn in The Aviator, there's nothing like riding a bike while sporting a look associated with the legends of the skies.
Olivia Newton-John in Grease
Ever wondered why at every costume party there are always at least half a dozen guests dressed as Sandy Olsson from Grease? Of course, we're not talking about the blouse-wearing ribbon-sporting girl that features throughout the majority of the film – no, no. We're talking about the permed goddess with the high-waisted leggings and buckled leather jacket of course! Lined in red fabric and worn on top of a black Bardot, Sandy's jacket in the final scene of the movie has been a steadfast look for biker chicks since the film's release way back in 1978.
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Although Cruise's character Ethan Hunt spends most his time riding in nothing more than a pair of jeans and an open shirt, there are moments within Rogue Nation where Cruise can be seen sporting an awesome high-collared leather jacket. As a wardrobe staple, the style adorned by cruise can be worn to ride in or used as a casual jacket to complete a basic T-shirt and jeans look – meaning there's always an occasion for this classic number.
Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Complete with an array of piercings, wild hairstyles and a look that could kill, Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo represents all things renegade. However, despite her chokers, flesh tunnels and tattoos, the one item that really helps to portray her rebellious nature is her padded leather jacket. Worn on top of a standard dark hoody, Mara's character completes a laid-back look that can be seen in biker cafes throughout the world.
Bradley Cooper in Limitless
Based on Adam Glynn's novel The Dark Field, Limitless tells the story of Eddie Morra's (Bradley Cooper) rise from downbeat author to successful jetsetter. Throughout the movie, the use of motorbikes is almost non-existent, and yet Cooper's leather jacket plays a huge part in convincing the audience that his character possesses a 'bad boy' attitude often associated with bikers – so if you're looking at portraying a comparable image, it might be worth investing in a similar style.
Emilia Clarke in Terminator Genisys
Although, throughout the franchise's history, it was Arnie's awesome leather jackets that attracted the bulk of the praise, in 2015's Terminator Genysis, it was Schwarzenegger's co-star who stole the show. Sporting a folded collar zip-up jacket, Emilia Clarke's character, Sarah Connor, oozed with a sense of heroic style and all-action aesthetics. Shying away from the high-collared styles worn throughout the 1980s and 90s, Clarke's jacket makes an awesome addition to any biker chick's wardrobe, whether you're riding your hog or simply popping to the shops.
Daniel Craig in Sky fall
In 2012, Sky fall became the latest James Bond film produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Offering an abundance of swagger, slow motion action and Bond-like style, the one scene that sticks in the memory for bikers is the awesome rooftop motorbike chase that Bond (Daniel Craig) delivers while wearing a beautifully tailored suit. However, despite this awesome scene stealing the show for the majority, those willing to look a little further may have been able to spot Bond's vintage leather jacket, which is worn with pride throughout the film. Perfect for bikers looking to obtain a throwback look with retro connotations, there's no beating a vintage style when cruising through the town on your classic ride.
Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga
Upon becoming a vampire, Kristen Stewart's 'Bella' becomes immediately cooler in the saga's final film, Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part Two. As hers eyes open to a deep shade of red, Bella is given a new look, which is superbly rounded off by an asymmetric leather jacket. Buttoning up from the side as opposed to the middle, Bella's jacket poses a great alternative to the standard zipper options that dominate today's market. For bikers looking to make a bold statement with attitude, try combining this asymmetric style with a check-scarf or retro bandana and be sure to stay warm and on-trend this winter.
Dane DeHaan in Life
Depicting the friendship between photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Patterson) and Hollywood sensation James Dean (Dane DeHaan), Life is a film that portrays the iconic Dean brilliantly. As a keen biker himself, JD always knew how dress when taking his Triumph TR5 Trophy for a spin. Sporting an infamous leather jacket complete with a high collar and studded lapels, Dean's style remains synonymous with today's rebels without a cause.
Megan Fox in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
When it comes to combining both glamour and style, look no further than Megan Fox in 2014's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. By twinning the timeless chic of a zip-up collared leather jacket with a bold mustard color scheme, fox adds an element of real fun to this versatile outfit. For bikers, there are world of options available when buying a leather jacket, so why not try matching your personal style to that of your bike? After all, nothing says dare devil quite like a jacket finished in Ducati red…