David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist and screenwriter
New York City, Spring 2012
Episode: “JFK to LAX” (Ep. 5.01)
Air Date: January 8, 2012
Director: John Dahl
Costume Designer: Alison Cole
I don’t often find myself traveling for work; my first business trip for this job was in March 2012 to Phoenix, Arizona, and I just returned from my second, a weekend in D.C. hosting a client conference. With the news of new episodes of The X-Files coming, this was as good a time as any to check back in with BAMF Style hero Hank Moody. Since I’ve been hopping on and off of planes, I also figured we could take an updated look at Moody’s airborne style. (My first post about Hank Moody on a plane focused on his travel to and from New York in the first season episodes “California Son” and “Filthy Lucre”.)
For a third twist of relevance, the first time I actually saw Californication‘s fifth season premiere was in my Phoenix hotel room three years ago. I’d been too busy to catch it during the first two months, but I managed to snag some downtime while idling away the hours in my room at the Courtyard Phoenix Chandler.
The fifth season premiere first finds Hank on a date… or technically avoiding a date, as he nervously smokes in the bathroom of a hip-looking NYC bistro. Having settled on a solid break-up speech, he heads out to end things with the lovely Carrie (Natalie Zea) before she ends up calling him out in front of the whole restaurant:
This man’s a monster! He likes to fuck women in the ass and then tell them that he just wants to keep it casual.
Needless to say, she dumps her martini in his face and takes to heels while he takes one on the chin. On his way elsewhere – my best guess is a bar – he receives a call from Runkle “with the prospect of a significant payday”. He takes the job, sight unseen, to avoid “a bunny boiler situation” with Carrie. This leads him onto a plane where he has a chance encounter with a voluptuous R&B singer, not yet knowing that his new gig is writing a shitty action movie for the singer’s volatile rapper boyfriend… and certainly not knowing that he just made his prospects a little cloudier by making out with her in the plane’s bathroom. Only Hank.
Of course, Hank and Carrie’s “bunny boiler situation” literally heats up as she burns down his apartment, likely ruining an impressive collection of both books and black t-shirts and once again leaving Hank stranded on his least favorite coast.
What’d He Wear?
Getting to see Hank in his native environment – New York City – for the first time since the second season flashback shows us just how little his style changed from coast to coast. In this case, though, his preference for all black fits in much more with the city’s slick atmosphere.
The most notable change in his wardrobe, which sticks for the rest of the show, is a cool black leather jacket that seems to have taken the place of the familiar brown smoking jacket as his outerwear of choice. The jacket is constructed of soft leather with a shirt-style collar, silver zip front, and slanted slash hand pockets. Each cuff closes with a silver-toned snap, and the waistband is free of any adjusters, tabs, or additional snaps. Stitching is present on all seams and down each of the front panels and down the rear to create a tri-panel back.
A stunt version of the jacket was auctioned by ScreenBid in July 2014 with “2 SIZES TOO BIG FOR DAVE” written inside. Considering that the jacket was a size 44, we can reasonably deduce that the jacket sported by Duchovny on the show is a size 40. Also considering that the stunt jacket was made by Dolce & Gabbana, we can again reasonably deduce that Duchovny wore a D&G as there’s no viable reason why the show would spring for a similar-looking D&G jacket for stunts but not for its lead character!
Amazon is currently selling a replica of Hank’s leather jacket. Marketed by BlingSoul as simply the “Hank Moody Leather Jacket”, the $189 real leather jacket appears to be a pretty accurate replica of the one Duchovny wore from seasons five through seven on the show with all favorable reviews from buyers, at least as of April 2015. The only noticeable external difference is that the Amazon jacket features a “T”-style three-panel back; Moody’s jacket on the show has a three-panel back, but it is divided down each shoulder blade.
The rest of the outfit is all Hank’s signature look. He wears a black short-sleeve James Perse crew neck t-shirt the whole time.
You can get your own from the James Perse website for $50, which is – admittedly – a lot of money for a plain black cotton t-shirt. Based on auctioned versions, we know Duchovny wears a size 2, JP’s equivalent to a ‘medium’. The site describes the shirt, style #MLJ3311, as:
Short sleeve crew with binded neck. Lightweight Jersey is an extremely soft knit made by specially treating the cotton fibers before they are spun into a yarn. This fabric breathes well and has a nice drape.
In New York City, he adds a layer with a “slightly darker black” (thank you, Archer) long-sleeve crew neck t-shirt over the short-sleeve shirt. The layering is reasonable given NYC’s naturally chillier climate than L.A. Once he arrives in L.A., he drops the outer layer and wears only the short-sleeve t.
Always an advocate of denim (“the people’s fabric”, as he earlier told a snooty country club attendant), Hank wears a pair of jeans in a very dark blue wash. The stitching on the pockets and seams appears to be rust brown-colored thread. I can’t tell if this is one of his Earnest Sewn pairs or not, but the brand has certainly been positively identified with Californication.
Hank’s shoes are his usual Timberland “Torrance” sueded leather Chelsea boots, colored in medium brown. We don’t see his socks in this episode, but he wears black socks 99% of the time so we can assume the same here.
Hank also wears his usual accessories in the usual places, at least for the New York scenes. His silver spinner ring is present on his right index finger, and the left wrist sports both black leather bracelets that we’ve come to know and love – the larger one studded with silver hexagons and circles and the thinner one consisting of a tied black woven braid. (As you’ve also doubtlessly come to know, you can find Hank’s bracelets at Urban Wrist.)
However, something strange happens after Hank returns to L.A. The silver ring is now on his left index finger, the black studded bracelet is now on his right wrist, and the thin leather braided bracelet is nowhere to be seen.
At first, I assumed this was the result of an image reversal, but background evidence and Hank’s own finger tattoo prove that he’s simply wearing these objects on the wrong hands. Is it possible that both Duchovny and the wardrobe folks forgot how Hank wears his famous jewelry? The show had been on a year-long hiatus, after all? Or was the plan to eventually reverse the L.A. scenes to make up for something else? Either way, it’s mystifying to anyone who notices.
An additional mystery is the appearance of a pair of tortoise wayfarer-style sunglasses that Hank wears in – I believe – this episode only. He had worn his dark Izod 725 shades in the first four seasons, occasionally sporting a pair of thicker-framed Oliver Peoples in some episodes of seasons 3 and 4 (Duchovny’s own, I understand). After this episode, he wore black-framed Ray-Ban aviators for the rest of the show’s run.
Based on the temple logos and the distinctive 21mm folding bridge, I believe Hank’s sunglasses in this episode are a pair of classic Persol PO 0714 sunglasses in color code 24/57 with tortoise “Havana” plastic frames and large, 54mm wide crystal brown polarized lenses. Whether I’m right or not, you can pick up your own pair of these Persols here. It was a pair of these sunglasses, with smaller blue 52mm lenses, that Steve McQueen made popular in The Thomas Crown Affair.
If I’m wrong about Hank’s sunglasses, or if someone has more information about them, do us all a favor and let me know!
Go Big or Go Home
The first frame of the episode sets up both Hank and Californication as entities that don’t care about social norms. With a flick of his red Bic, Hank lights up a cigarette while nervously constructing the perfect break-up speech… of course, it turns out to be inside the bathroom of a New York City restaurant, and New York was one of the first states to implement a statewide smoking ban (in 2003, if you’re curious) that would certainly include restaurant bathrooms. (Although, of course, California’s 1995 act made it the first state to pass a statewide smoking ban.)
Hank stays true to his drink of choice – Scotch, neat – whether in the New York eatery or on his mile-high journey to L.A.
The most surprising change is Hank’s telecommunication technology. For the first three seasons, he’d stuck with his Motorola RAZR before upgrading to a BlackBerry Bold for the fourth season. Interestingly, season four premiered six months after I switched from a flip phone to a BlackBerry Bold…
Now, in season five, he’s got an iPhone 4S. Again, an eerie coincidence for me as I had just switched from the BlackBerry to an iPhone 4S the day before the business trip where I first saw this episode. Hank and I even use the same case, a hard plastic black SPECK with dark gray rubber edges and buttons. While I’d like to think it’s Hank mimicking me, I will shamelessly admit to borrowing his “Who callin’ my phone?!” greeting.
The show’s use of music has always been impressive, and one of my favorite tracks featured on the show was Paul Oakenfold’s remix of The Doors’ “L.A. Woman” in the second episode. Another Doors remix is used to kick off “JFK to LAX”; this time, it’s a remix of “Love Me Two Times” by Infected Mushroom.
While a badass song in its own right, it’s also a cheeky implication of the “two times” – or two ways – that Hank has been “loving” Carrie.
The episode also introduces two of the better recurring characters from the show’s later seasons: RZA as Samurai Apocalypse, an absurd but talented rapper who pushes Hank into writing Santa Monica Cop for him, and the stunning Meagan Good as Kali, Samurai’s girlfriend and – naturally – an eventual love interest for Hank.
How to Get the Look
Hank’s updated look for 2012 is admittedly more versatile – and accessible – than the smoking jacket that had defined his style for four seasons.
- Black soft leather Dolce & Gabbana jacket with shirt-style collar, silver zip-front, slanted side pockets, and snap cuffs
- Black cotton long-sleeve crew neck t-shirt
- Black cotton short-sleeve crew neck James Perse t-shirt
- Dark blue denim bootcut jeans
- Brown sueded leather Timberland “Torrance” Chelsea boots
- Black socks
- Black boxer briefs
- Persol PO 0714 folding-bridge sunglasses with “Havana” tortoise plastic frames and brown polarized lenses (color code 24/57)
- Silver spinner ring, worn on right index finger
- Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist
- Thin black braided woven leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Watch the series, and – if you want to see this episode – pick up the fifth season.
Usually, I get on the plane, and I’m seated next to John Candy or Ruth Gordon… if I’m lucky. But I end up next to the most beautiful woman in the tri-state area, and I go and spill a drink in her lap. Nice work, huh?