If you want to talk trends, here’s the real scoop on what Parisians are wearing: the motorcycle jacket, or as the French say, “Le Perfecto.” Biking around the Bastille area on Saturday (in Paris it’s already cool, with highs around 60), I saw about two dozen women in cropped leather jackets. Where did this come from? I’ve got two guesses…

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Grease is the Word: On Motorcycle Jackets and Hedi Slimane

If you want to talk trends, here’s the real scoop on what Parisians are wearing: the motorcycle jacket, or as the French say, “Le Perfecto.” Biking around the Bastille area on Saturday (in Paris it’s already cool, with highs around 60), I saw about two dozen women in cropped leather jackets. Where did this come from? I’ve got two guesses…


From left: Emmanuelle Alt of Paris Vogue and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, daughter of Paris Vogue editor in chief, rock the striped-shirt-with-leather-jacket combo. Kirsten Dunst wears a leather jacket with a Proenza Schouler skirt.


If you want to talk trends, here’s the real scoop on what Parisians are wearing: the motorcycle jacket, or as the French say, “Le Perfecto.” Biking around the Bastille area on Saturday (in Paris it’s already cool, with highs around 60), I saw about two dozen women in cropped leather jackets. Where did this come from? I’ve got two guesses: 1. The rock aesthetic of major French influencers like Hedi Slimane and the girls who work at Paris Vogue. 2. It’s a practical thing—smmer dresses are made “Fall” with a motorcycle jacket.  

It’s a great look, but you walk in certain neighborhoods, and everyone looks like an extra from Grease. Can’t you just imagine “Summer Lovin’,” set in a Parisian café?

I said that I would talk about how I prepare for fashion week sartorially because it’s a question people ask me, although the answer may be pretty boring. Like any gal with an event coming up, I try to plan ahead. I try not to buy anything with the week in mind, and to wear my real-life clothes so that I feel, well, like me. The Vanessa Bruno Bubble Skirt Debate has been taken off the table. Cassie Walker went shopping with me, and I tried it on a second time. We both decided it looked kind of cool—subtly balooning out, in fabric folds, then gathering at the bottom in a tighter band around the thighs—but if I thought about it too hard, I felt like a Daumier caricature.  

Hedi Slimane’s exclusive interview with Le Monde came out last week (He’s the influential menswear designer who left Dior recently—he’s also the reason why skinny pants, skinny ties, and skinny blazers are back for men). He made a comment that fashion is always falling behind itself now. With a generation “born on the keyboard,” how should labels adapt now that the French, Russians, Japanese, and Argentines all look the same immediately? This is similar to the point I made yesterday with Marni. Is it death for a designer to stick to a signature design look when fashion moves as quickly as it does? Hard to know what the answer is.  

Which brings me back to the motorcycle jacket. As I write this, my true feelings are revealing themselves: I will trust what I see with my eyes, and I’ve always loved the style. That won’t change, no matter how many people buy them. Yes, I’m ready to throw caution to the wind and buy “Le Perfecto"—if there is still one to be found in the city of Paris.

 

Photography: (Image 1) Courtesy of The Sartorialist; (Images 2 & 3) Courtesy of Style.com

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