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STYLE NEWS

Five film fashion fads

By Will Morley, 22 April 2015

Film fashion fads

Picture: Rex


Menace II Society (1993)

For a smallish film with a limited release Menace II Society had a huge impact on teens in the early to mid 90s via VHS – specifically the character of O-Dog played by Larenz Tate. Much like Scarface, O-Dog was the guy you’re meant to see as a warning, but dudes everywhere warmed to his neatly dreadlocked barnet, proclivity for swearing and utter disregard for human life. Obviously not everyone has the ideal genes for dreadlocked hair, so guys could often be seen with plaits dangling from their heads, held at the ends with rubber bands (bonus points if those bands were in the colours of Ghanaian flag). Usually the look was complemented with some sleeping bag-width Karl Kani jeans, and an oversized mesh vest.


Is the look still doable?

Perhaps if you’re going to a Wavey Garms club night. Otherwise, no – it looks a bit daft. 

Film fashion fads

Picture: Rex


The Matrix (1999)

Not only did people go nuts for the movie’s now badly dated Nokia 8110s, but they also invested in long coats and tight black tops. Originally conceived as leather, Neo’s coat was actually a cheap wool-mix fabric that the costume designer Kym Barrett picked up for $3 a yard. The super-slim cut of Neo’s outfit actually pre-dates the skinny-fit revolution of the mid-noughties and a light wool-blend coat would be handy for those cooler spring evenings, making his style oddly prescient. Not so much the cat-eye shades, though.


Is the look still doable?

Slim black pieces are always good, but break up the monotony with greys and crisp whites for a touch of visual interest.

Film fashion fads

Picture: Rex


The Ipcress File (1965)

Michael Caine will always by synonymous with the thick oversized glasses he wore as downbeat spy Harry Palmer. Crafted by the company UK Optical, the ‘Teviot 74’ frames were a classy tortoiseshell colour and were actually popular as an alternative to the cheap black NHS frames of the time. But it was Harry Palmer’s ultra-modern, laid-back hero with his new spin on masculinity that had blokes clamouring for a pair. Specs-wearers were now shown sharing a bed with swinging birds, ripping their superiors and saving the country, rather than being the butt of the joke.


Is the look still doable? 

Absolutely. Chunky frames add a touch of gravitas to a suit or smarten up chinos and a polo shirt for a casual weekend outfit that still keeps you looking in control.

Film fashion fads

Picture: Rex


Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club is probably responsible for more men hitting the gym than any other movie. Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden usurped Hollywood’s previous model of swollen out action physiques for something more toned, wiry and Bruce Lee-ish. His sleazy 70s-chic outfits of printed shirts, Elvis shades and battered leather similarly saw a rise in dudes giving dirt a go. Costume designer Michael Kaplan made multiples of everything from scratch – including the famed jacket – but stained, weathered and tore each of them for a suitably grubby look.


Is the look still doable? 

Yes, but ditch Durden’s goatee. Rotating vintage pieces into your outfit is a frugal way to add a touch of individuality, but remember you may have to sacrifice on fit – or take them to your tailor. Alternatively invest in some vintage-inspired items.

Film fashion fads

Picture: Rex


Top Gun (1986)

As he’d done earlier in 1983’s Risky Business with Wayfarers, Tom Cruise started a fad for Ray-Ban’s Aviator sunnies with Top Gun. The exact model is the 3025 and, after the film came out, sales allegedly increased by 40%. While the Wayfarer is a more evergreen item and can work with a multitude of outfits, the Aviator can be the cherry on top of a formal ensemble.


Is the look still doable?

Wearing Aviators with a flight jacket is a tad OTT and can stray into parody, especially with mirrored lenses. Grab a pair with a green/grey lens and gold frame for a touch of panache and a more maverick (sorry) feel. 

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