By Mike Adler
With the sad passing of philanthropist, singer and actress Olivia Newton John, comes the reminder of the iconic leather jacket that her character Sandy wore in the famous Grease movie scene. She auctioned it for charity in 2019 and it raised $243,000.00 only for the mystery buyer to give the jacket back. Thus it solidified its place as one of the most iconic leather pieces in history. From movie scenes, music memories and celebrity red carpet moments, here are some of the most celebrated leather looks in celebrity history!
- Grace Jones
When Grace Jones wore a threaded leather Issey Miyake dress and wide-brimmed leather hat to the 1983 Grammy Awards, she confirmed her place among the most recognised women not just for her music but also her style.
- Olivia Newton John
The leather jacket transformed the sweet characterisation of Sandy into the strong, independent woman who dominated love interest Danny in the film Grease. The jacket was auctioned off for her cancer charity and raised $243,200 in November 2019. The winning bidder returned the jacket to Olivia for display in the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research and Wellness Centre in Australia.
- Julia Fox
Following her split with Kanye West, Julia Fox wore a claw chokered leather dress from Hankjobenhavn’s SS22 runway styled by Brianna Andalore. The look dominated the red carpet of the Vanity Fair Oscars Party turning all fashion conversations towards the pair.
- Bella Hadid
There’s nothing like a celebrity-themed birthday party for the stars to go all out – best friend Kendall Jenner’s 24th birthday party in 2019 saw Bella don a head-to-toe leather Catwoman body suit, mask, glove and boot that would have the original Catwoman spitting and scratching with jealousy!
For the 2021 Grammys, it was Beyonce’s Schiaparelli sculpted leather dress that saw the award-winning singer slay the fashion stakes as well as the awards. The custom look was by Daniel Roseberry and was topped off by leather gloves appliqued with Schiaparelli jewelled nails.
- Elizabeth Hurley
In another celebrated movie moment, Elizabeth Hurley wore a wardrobe of red when she played the seductive devil in 2000 update of comedy film Bedazzled. This red leather skin-tight two piece proved the perfect temptation for co-character played by Brandon Fraser and the many global fans who still connect this look with the film and the gorgeous Hurley herself.
When Zendaya and her long-time stylist Law Roache took inspiration from sculpture Undine Rising from the Fountain by Chauncey Bradley Ives.
Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing moulded the bust from the actress herself, creating the nude leather wet-look dress for her Dune, Venice Festival films red carpet debut in 2021.
- Kim Kardashian
In another Kanye West break up (the original) Kim’s request for privacy from the press was communicated with an all-consuming leather zip up body and face mask, coat, boot, glove and bag. Privacy guaranteed!
- Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis
The patched leather aviator jackets made famous by Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in the original Paramount Pictures 1986 movie Top Gun have come around once more. The latest blockbuster success, Top Gun Maverick, reminded us once more of how leather has dominated this movies legacy.
- Gianni and Donatella Versace
The designer’s luxury ensembles of leather, metal and plastic captivated the fashion industry in the 90s. He dressed his sister Donatella in a leather buckled bondage dress from his fall/winter 1992 Miss S&M collection at the Met Gala. Gianni paired his own look with a Versace leather shirt, trouser and tailored jacket. This leather bondage dress has continued to feature in the brands collections, worn by numerous celebrities and is one of the brand’s all time signature leather iconic looks.