…We love ’em!

I was thinking the other day about uniforms and appropriate clothing and what I seem to end up wearing day after day. One of my Japanese friends asked me the other day why all fashion people wear black, and I’m almost ashamed to say that my answer was that black is both undeniably cool… and easy to wear! I know, I know, it’s ridiculous that as someone who writes about Japanese fashion on a daily basis that I actually tend to dress quite simply. My tried-and-tested go-to outfit will always be boots, black trousers and a leather jacket. Bags and accessories may come and go, various tops may be worn, heel height may go up and down, and style of trouser may vary, but I always end up wearing a variation on this theme.

So why not celebrate this classic look? Samuel and I pulled out a selection of our favourite leather jackets and boots, and a couple of other bits & bobs, and started snapping…

Picking a favourite jacket is (I assume) like choosing a favourite child. Sorry kids, it’s gotta be this one! I planned out the design for this vintage lovely, and Samuel brought it to life for me as a Valentine’s Day present. I love the contrast between the traditional biker style, studded punk elements and the beautifully wa Japanese fabric on the back. Oh, and that flash of red lining – perfection!

Like all truly great jackets through the ages, this should always be worn with red lipstick and rebellion in your heart.

So, this is about as ‘designery’ as I get (and even then the Vivienne Westwood pirate boots were saved up for forever, and the Chanel Rouge Coco lippie was a PR gift – score!), and I think this collection is fairly representative on my personal attitude to fashion: brands are nice, but so are vintage, DIY and bargain bin finds. The telephone brooch was a must-buy from Bunkaya Zakkaten in Harajuku, by the way!

Now this beauty is a bit special: I was with a good friend of mine when I saw it tucked away in a vintage shop, and the combination of Gareth Pugh-esque shape, black and white and huge sleeves called out to me, and it had to be mine! A month or so later, I saw this jacket’s twin in Nude Trump – one of Tokyo greatest vintage shopping haunts. I’ve since added my own blobby 3D designs to it, and maybe I’ll get Samuel to pop in a stud or two…

Attitude and cattitude! Sculptural boots to go with a sculptural jacket, and a bright pop of orange lipstick to push it over the edge. I tend to keep my eye make-up sparse when wearing bright lipsticks, just a medium slick of black eyeliner and some mascara. I’m a recent lipstick convert, my current favourite is a tasty berry shade, and it’s fast become a staple look for me this year.

Breaking away from my beloved black for just one moment! I got this for a song in London’s amazing Brick Lane as there’s wicked sun fading, but I kind of prefer it like it this, less of a solid colour. And hey – it’s a lilac leather jacket: how on earth could I say no? I think this is about as far into kawaii fairy-kei territory as I get. Accessorised with a button-filled pin again from Bunkaya Zakkaten, and a Ticket to Darling badge from Tavuchi that makes me smile every time I look at it. One day I want to do something awesome to this jacket, perhaps involving stripes or roses, but I haven’t come up with any sufficiently fabulous ideas just yet…

What else could I put in this collection other than a glittery Jesus money box? As well as things a bit on the darker side, I do love a bit of kitsch now & again. I do enjoy being a bit matchy-matchy sometimes when it comes to colour, hence the boots, and I appreciate the stronger edge they give this coordination. Bright pink lipstick for kissing Jesus, of course.

Now on to Samuel’s choices;

The very first NOMI piece (I promise we’ll update our DIY site again soon)! The sheer weight of studs in this jacket is incredible, as is the denim lining. It feels almsot like a corset when worn, and I think Samuel would agree with me when I say that wearing it makes me feel like a crazy fashion future badass from Mad Max. It took Samuel several hours to produce, and was definitely a labour of love! I think the original vest was bought in Koenji, but it’s pretty unrecognisable now.

This is how manly this jacket makes you feel; very biker! Paired here with hand-studded boots (also by Samuel), a huge weight that my tiny arms can’t lift, and an S & A silver knuckle duster ring that was cheekily hiding in a jewellery in London a few years ago – you never know where you might find a gem!

A Jackrose jacket here – never be afraid of the mainstream end of fashion either. Samuel’s choice, as the leather piping at the sides and removable tattered hem elevate this from being commercial. It’s beautifully soft, and can be worn in a huge variety of ways, from tightly zipped and closed against the elements to undone and louche. What a stunner.

I love how there’s something of a green tint to the underside of the leather.

Eee, you can’t go wrong with Samuel’s classic style! Engineer boots from Jackrose as well, and white crocodile added by Samuel. Travis Walker chain and Stoplight cuff – a truly amazing piece of work from this Japanese biker brand. It’s a bit of a mission to find in Ebisu, but totally worth it!

And last but very much not least, Samuel’s Makin Jan Ma jacket – found in a brand resale shop in Kichijoji; one of those moments when you want to run to the till because you can’t quite believe that no one else wants it! Also found in this bargain paradise were the boots pictured below and a Comme des Garcons bag. I think we have incredible good luck whenever we visit… or more likely, we have strange taste. Nonetheless, this is a corker of a jacket: it’s just utterly perfect.

Mizpah brooch from a local market. I have a Mizpah tattoo on the back of my right leg.

A natural collection, that’s also very ‘fashion’, right? Makin Jan Ma jacket, Whoop De Doo boots (that I’m gutted are too big for me to borrow!), strange hoof knife that I got for Samuel for Christmas one year and Ann Demeulemeester faux-watch bracelet that I’m also gutted is slightly too big. There’s no DIY in this collection unusually, but instead an eclectic mix that is totally Samuel.

Thus ends our ode to our leather jackets and boots. For now, anyway…

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17 Responses to Private Number: Leather Jackets and Boots

  1. brad-t says:

    Wow. That is a beastly collection guys. A lot I don’t like but I know friends that would, and some that I love (whoop-de-doo boots and that necklace, wow).

    You guys are gonna love the custom jacket I have coming. Can’t wait to show you.

  2. Ya know what, I think I want my own leather jacket now! I’ve actually never owned one! And if I have to pick one… I’d actually like one similar to Samuel’s Jackrose. But his last one is awesome as well. I think if it had no studs on the collar I’d make him an offer XD

    I love these shots. And your lipstick. Give Jesus a big old wet one 😉

  3. brad-t says:

    Everyone needs a leather jacket.


  4. brad-t says:

    Except Samuel. He needs TEN leather jackets.

  5. Rebecca says:

    @ Brad – Thanks! Even though it’s not all to your taste, I’m glad you appreciate it!

    Oooh, I’m really looking forward to seeing it 🙂

  6. Rebecca says:

    @ Caroline Josephine – DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! They are addictive though, I don’t even own a proper coat now, haha 😉

  7. Rebecca says:

    @ Brad – I think we have 17 leather jackets between the two of us! Wow.

  8. When you guys come here I think I’m gonna need Samuel to take me jacket hunting~ hmhmhmmmmm 😉

  9. Samuel says:

    @ brad-t

    Yeah, I am afraid I am one of the quantity over quality types. But there is a good reason – I know EXACTLY what my perfect jacket is, but it is so far out of my range right now that even saving for it is not a realistic possibility. Put it this way, all my jackets put together at full retail would not scratch it…

    @ Caroline

    Yes! Give me a budget and I will make it happen 🙂

  10. brad-t says:

    What’s the perfect jacket Samuel?

  11. Samuel says:


    The one Shaq is wearing (the guy on the right is Logan Riese). Obviously they are made to order with custom artwork by Gaboratory, all the hardware is silver right down to the elbow pads and there is even elephant leather in the mix… A guy in Ueno offered me a vintage one for 3000000 yen. But I guess that is less than some Rick Owens exotic leathers and about the same as RO or Gareth Pugh fur.

    My next reasonable stepping stone before that will have to one from Yasuyuki Ishii, at least that is vaguely obtainable with a bit of saving.

  12. brad-t says:

    Dude don’t you buy like $3k wallet chains? LOL

    That jacket Shaq is wearing is pretty bad IMO, though maybe it’s just his build and the details he chose. But I can see you rocking some Yasuyuki Ishii stuff pretty well.

    New Schorl leathers have been pretty bad IMO, it’s a shame.

  13. Samuel says:

    Hah! But not everyday!

    The jacket is more about the place it had in my childhood growing up admiring Gabor from afar and dreaming of a jacket like that. I know design has evolved since that was created back in the early 90s, but that will always be the first jacket I deified beyond the sum of its parts.

    Plus I can imagine wearing a jacket like that well into my 70s. Classic never dies.

  14. Leanne says:

    What an inspiring post – LOVE IT!! Love biker jackets and studs, and edgy boots (which I also have, heh). I did pick up a few coloured biker jackets on my last Japanese/Korean trip too..in blue and pink..but oh to have a purple one!

  15. Rebecca says:

    @ Leanne – I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I think I’ll have to pick up a few more jackets, then we can have a whole rainbow between us!

  16. umair says:

    hi i wana work with u sent u r number

  17. […] Lovely Leather: Talking of leather jackets… we absolutely love ‘em! So much so that we dedicated a whole post to photos of our favourites, plus some awesome boots for good measure – welcome to our personal style! […]

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