Some icon's style stars rise and fall with changing tastes while others – like James Dean’s – are pretty much always there, showing weary fashion travellers the magnetic north of classic male cool.
Style icon: James Dean
By Matt Glazebrook, 24 September 2015
From his Hollywood breakthrough (and subsequent untimely death) in 1955, Dean has basically never not been considered a major menswear inspiration. But with the release this week of Anton Corbijn’s Life – telling the story of this friendship with Magnum photographer Dennis Stock – and the 6 October publication of photobook Dennis Stock: James Dean by Thames & Hudson, we thought it high time we took a closer a look at the late thesp’s wardrobe.
Dean’s sartorial reputation rests on timeless, masculine staples on-screen – his red Harrington jacket and white crew-neck tee in Rebel Without A Cause, the rugged Western workshirts in East Of Eden. Off-screen, he favoured a more bohemian, off-beat approach – round-lens glasses, rumpled suit jackets and Breton-striped tops. Together, these two facets made for a stylistic approach that’s both enduring and a lot more interesting than the 50s Hollywood bad-boy cliché suggests.