EMP Leather Exhibit and Runway Show

Posted on October 23, 2012, 11:15 pm
8 mins


The inspirational leather designer Aykut Ozen and his bohemian chic team. This group really rocked this look in a very nonchalant way, being cool is not about trying.

Upon arriving at EMP’s Worn To Be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket runway show, I noticed there was much ado—and it was definitely about something very cool. I let my senses absorb the excitement and my eyes peruse over the stylish people who had turned out for this event.

The exhibit itself was truly gritty and resonated with me on every level. I want to say it was very rock ‘n’ roll, but it was more than that… with representation from Harley Davidson to the Sex Pistols, it was raw and unabated urban rebellion with pugnacious spirit!

This daring fashion show was the opening act for the stunning exhibition of the black leather jacket. It was a throw down success considering the EMP has never produced a fashion show. If you missed it, the exhibit is currently showing detailing the black leather jacket’s gritty and fashionable journey to date. Starting with biker culture, the punk movement and their influences on high fashion. The EMP hosts this exhibition in a stylish, sophisticated way. I fell in love with the Clear PVC Biker Jacket by Comme Des Garcons ready to wear collection 2011. My favorite piece of the exhibit was the black cropped, chain-mail biker jacket from the House of Jean Paul Gaultier, in a word – breathtaking.

The evening kicked off with an introduction from EMP’s illustrious leader, CEO Christina Orr-Cahall, who was clad in her own enviable black leather jacket pictured below. In fact, most of the attendees found a way to showcase their leathers giving the crowd a level of flavor that added to the show’s excitement.

The show commenced with a creative and courageous collection by Stone Crow Designs: Jennifer Charkow. Her warrior- princess designs were edgy, feminine, raw and sexy.

Next up was Ruki by designer Melanie Parr, whose designs are inspired by architecture. This was immediately apparent, especially on the runway, and consequently her collection was unique and her attention to detail outstanding. Her leather hoodie is perfect for casual Seattleites who still want to look rockin’.

The collection by Aykut Ozen’s was of functional, hand crafted pieces. His collection was bold and eye catching, it commanded one’s attention every second. The Jagger-esque looking street leather collection included snake head lapels and estate furs. It was the epitome of vintage swagger and  70’s iconic, glam-rock cool.


Designer with attitude: Noel T Austin. Noel, a Seattle-resident attended the evening’s show to support his fellow fashion designers whilst adding to the gritty urban vibe with his rock idol panache.

EMP’s Christina Orr-Cahall donning a stylish LA Made leather jacket.


This ‘Stone the Crows’ dress embodied the leather warrior styled shoulders and feminine sheer white, bellowing fabric so effortlessly. Stunning.

Aykut Ozen’s vintage rock idol jacket, designed for the diehard 60’s-70’s rock fans—this style is timeless.


Luxurious red leather jacket by Ruki, designed by Melanie Parr. Rock chick has never looked so good.

Pierre Davis, inspired by SiFi and aliens created a truly universally appealing collection.


This Ms.Wood’s leather dress really was an eye turner when strutted down the runway. It had all the movement of a rock star front man and the punch.

Pierre Davis, student fashion designer at the Art Institute of Seattle, finds his inspiration in Sci-Fi. Using leather and vinyl Davis did not disappoint, his pieces were out of this world.

Alicia and Ben Wood are the dynamic husband and wife duo behind Ms.Wood. What struck me the most about the Ms.Wood pieces was that they were a clever expression of bohemian extravagance, yet still functional.

Carole McClellan‘s pieces rocked the runway hard with a glamorous ‘I’m cool, I don’t care’ attitude for the grand finale. It was the same rockstar attitude that inspired Carole when she designed the infamous Ann Wilson’s leather jacket back in the ’70s. Carole’s pieces are a statement and include menswear and womenswear. The collection showcased leather pants, a suede shirt, a big luscious fur hoodie, a biker jacket, and silk t-shirts featuring Juan Alonso’s printed art. Adding to the drama, Martha Driver’s Rock Star Jewelry adorning the necks and heads of the models.

I highly recommend that you go to the EMP and take in one of the best inspired fashion movements of all time. The Black Leather Jacket- who wore it and why?  Which jacket will be your favorite?

Carole McClellan finale with two of her show stopping designs. Edgy, cool and fun, these looks were given that extra dazzle with Martha Driver’s rocks—of Rock Star Jewelry—and sumptuous silk scarves from artist/designer Juan Alonso-Rodriguez.

From the EMP Official Press Release:

Presented in partnership with the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI, Worn to Be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket showcases for the first time the complete history of one of pop culture’s most iconic garments.

Artifacts featured in Worn to Be Wild range from the first leather jacket produced by Harley-Davidson in 1929 to artfully adorned punk rocker styles, screen and stage costumes worn by stars like Elvis, Fergie, Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator 2), Gene Vincent, Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap), and more. Haute couture also stakes its claim in the exhibit with five outfits on loan from French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, as well as jackets by Gianni Versace, Jeremy Scott and several other renowned designers.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s cropped chain-mail jacket from his autumn/winter ready to wear collection of 2009/10. This is a dazzling creation for the ultimate urban, yet glamorous, evening look.

Comme Des Garcon PVC Biker Jacket. I imagine this jacket being worn on the moon lit Paris streets by someone with courage and spirit!


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