Men’s leather vest with flame inlay & appliqué work

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This men’s leather vest is meant to do double duty – stage and real life. 

For a rock n’ roll icon, ‘natch!

This vest was created for the Iconic drummer Bobby Rondinelli. He is known for his work with  Blue Öyster CultRainbowQuiet RiotBlack Sabbath, and The Lizards. 

I created this along with a whole bunch of other stage pieces for The Lizards to wear while touring.  (And to wear just around if they wanted.)

The original flame vest concept went thru minor changes – originally BR thought he wanted a subtler look, so the original sketch was swatched with a grainy and smooth combo in black, the client’s favorite color.  I wanted him to stand out more – he is a drummer and always behind a big kit –  solid black is just deadly there!

So I handed him swatches of the leathers that ended up being used.  A rich, reddish cognac brown and a golden tan lambskin.  Keeping the body in black (and well within the clients comfort zone!) the flames changed only in color & just slightly dimensionally – from the original pencil sketch.

I love designing these graphic and fluid appliqués, and I am often inspired by iconic hot rod art and Celtic tattoo forms when I want to design an element that works with the shape of the garment.  These elements usually wind up wrapping around the body like a tattoo but in leather.  Here the flames wrap over  & hug the wearer’s shoulders.

I don’t create sketches for every single garment, but when I do, they are always functional working sketches.  Used to layout proportion, details, and especially the layout of any appliqué work that may be planned. Things may change some during the course of fittings, but your map is there.

This is especially useful when designing the appliqué since each appliqué is created to fit onto specific pattern pieces across the body.  Often crossing from one panel to the next.  And if a design is particularly large or intricate, working with the pattern and the sketch in tandem informs the final design and layout. 

Men’s leather vests also happen to be a great canvas for appliqué.  Men’s vests were the some of the very first pieces I made back in the day. 

Bass Master General Vest (Logo is ©)


Bassmaster general leather vest



Intricate Appliqué is best handled flat, so this type of work can only be done on a fully custom made piece.

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