Californication – Hank’s Leather Jacket in “LOL” (1.05)
David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist with substance abuse issues
Venice Beach, Summer 2007
Episode: “LOL” (Episode 1.05)
Air Date: September 10, 2007
Director: Bart Freundlich
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer
In the Californication universe, Hank Moody is the Keith Richards of the literary world. He’s into drugs, women, booze, and is a master of his creative craft. Thus, it’s interesting that Hank obtains one of his most rocker-inspired items from Bill, who is the Lawrence Welk to Hank’s Keith Richards. The jacket goes on to become one of the more popular items of the series, despite his only wearing it this once until pulling it back out of the closet during the fourth season.
Update! In June 2014, Showtime announced a major auction of Californication costumes and props via ScreenBid. One of the 299 items being auctioned is lot 283, the coveted brown leather jacket featured in this episode and later in the fourth season. Be sure to check out the jacket at the auction link as well as all of the other items, sure to please any Californication fan.
What’d He Wear?
At the beginning of the episode, Hank is slouched at his computer, writing (or attempting to write) his much anticipated next novel. For his day of lazing around, he wears a dark green lightweight cotton casual button-up shirt, accented with a breast pocket and white buttons down the front and on the cuffs, left unbuttoned.
As usual, his jeans are the medium-dark wash. Rather than his typical boots, Hank wears a pair of gray and white Nike Cortez running shoes, worn with a pair of black socks. He rounds it all out with his usual accessories: a silver ring on his right index finger, the hexagonal-studded black leather bracelet, and a thin black leather braid to accompany the bracelet.
His enviable day plan of sitting around doing nothing is ruined by an unannounced appearance by Bill, Hank’s white bread nemesis. Despite his square nature, Bill is actually wearing a pretty cool brown leather jacket. Hank seizes his opportunity after Bill asks for a favor.
Hank: What’s in it for me?
Bill: What do you want?
Hank: Call off the wedding.
Bill: (um, no) Anything else…?
Hank: (realizes) That is a nice jacket.
Hank, sporting the jacket, sprints into a high school and hands off his still-lit cigarette to a girl (“Cool,” she exclaims) before ducking into his assigned classroom. Hank then gives a long lecture to the class about his writing career, imploring them to avoid following in his footsteps. Somewhat annoyingly and implausibly, every girl in the class stares at him doe-eyed and throws themselves at him, but at least he acknowledges the cliche and blames their stiff private school oppression. The whole time, Hank presented his lecture in Bill’s jacket and his own Izod 725 sunglasses, lazily dangling on the end of his nose.
So what’s so great about the jacket that Hank would voluntarily give up an afternoon of drinking to speak to a high school class for it? The jacket itself is a soft textured lamb-skin leather zip-up with shirt-style collars and three pockets: an open slash hip pocket on each side and a zipped left chest pocket. The jacket fits just below Hank’s waist with a soft drape and no rear vents. The jacket features plenty of stitch detail, further accentuated in future appearances after it has been worn even more. The color is a Cognac tan with a lighter brown polyester inside lining.
Update! The Showtime auction announced in June 2014 includes several photos of the jacket itself as well as a brief description:
There are few items available from the first season, so this light brown leather Blur zip-up jacket, size 54 (44 U.S.), with a really cool liner, is especially valuable.
Following the day’s events, which also include a radio interview with the legendary Henry Rollins and a bad lunch date with his girlfriend Meredith, Hank heads home and rids himself of the guilty jacket, which we – unfortunately – don’t see again until midway through the fourth season. He slips on a comfortable dark blue short-sleeve T-shirt and, several cigarettes and glasses of Scotch later, he’s back where we found him – in front of his computer, searching for words.
Go Big or Go Home
Hank stays true to himself during “LOL”, smoking and drinking at each turn. His cigarettes are a change from the usual Camels; the box resembles a box of Marlboro Lights (now called the “Gold Pack”) with Malvolio written on the box. An obvious prop brand, available from Prop Graphics.
As the cigarettes have brown filters instead of the white filters of the Marlboro Lights/Golds, they’re probably Duchovny’s Honeyrose herbals anyway. Hank has Scotch in nearly every scene, excluding the high school, often drinking straight from a mini bottle with a label resembling Dewar’s.
How to Get the Look
As it was still early in the show’s run, costumers were still playing with Hank’s look, but the main points were still there – brown jacket, dark shirt, and jeans. By the time the show reaches its third season, Hank has a rotation of clothing that rarely – if ever – varies.
- Brown or “Cognac tan” soft, textured lamb-skin leather zip-up jacket w/ open slash hip pockets, a zipped left chest pocket, and no rear vents
- Hank’s jacket has been identified as a product of Blur Leather
- Dark green lightweight cotton button-up shirt with breast pocket, white buttons, and unbuttoned barrel cuffs
- Medium-dark wash blue denim jeans
- Hank’s jeans are likely from Earnest Sewn
- Dark gray Nike Cortez sneakers with white piping and laces
- Black socks
- Izod 725 sunglasses with brown lenses
- Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
- Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist
- Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist
After getting home and settling in for the night, ditch all but the jeans and accessories and toss on a dark blue James Perse short-sleeve T-shirt.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the first season.
You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four figure wank machines. The internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it’s really given us is Howard Dean’s aborted candidacy and 24 hour a day access to kiddie porn. People… they don’t write anymore, they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it’s just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people at a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King’s English.
As always, Hank’s bracelets are available at Urban Wrist.
Nice blog, thanks for your efforts! I don’t see any evidence of the green shirt being a button-down so assume you meant button-up.
Thanks for the kind words!
Correct you are about the “button-up” terminology; some of my earlier posts here are plagued from my exposure to American menswear marketing shortcuts. Thanks for catching it!