Wes Anderson's Stylistic Influence on the Runways
Wes Anderson has created countless iconic looks with his distinctive film characters: from the orange beanies in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, to the 60s fashion in Moonrise Kingdom, to the oversized sunglasses in The Darjeeling Limited.
Everyone recognizes his unmistakeable aesthetic when they see the stripped-back pastel colour palettes, the 1960s and '70s pop, or the eye-pleasing perfect symmetry. What is more, Anderson’s sharp eye for bursts of colour and patterning is proved to have inspired countless fashion designers. To the fashion industry, Anderson’s designs are both familiar and exotic: they speak the language of haute couture, but they are also elusive. Let’s see how his elegantly twee production design and wardrobe have influenced the fashion world by going through some recent runway looks.
The most recognizable feature in Wes Anderson’s distinct aesthetic style is his use of striking colour palettes. The harmonious interplay of light and colours with his characters and other objects produces fascinating visual effects. From the lavish hotel in The Grand Budapest Hotel to the unassumingly intricate submarine in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, his designs are beautifully saturated and unmitigated extravagant. When hearing the title of a particular Anderson film, one often thinks of certain colours: for example, pink, orange and yellow in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Christian Dior SS18
Calvin Klein SS18
The desire for colourful self-expression has always been a key take away for recent runway shows, especially for Spring 2018. Designers are comparably responding to the consumer’s growing appetite for flexibility in colour expression by mixing, amplifying and contrasting hues to create a new level of energy.
For most people, nothing can be more boring than wearing a uniform. Wes Anderson, however, turns wearing uniforms into an art. In addition to his deep-rooted love of symmetry, Wes Anderson's obsession with uniforms is unmatched. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, from Zero the lobby boy to M. Gustave the concierge, their purple uniforms with red piping has become a signature.
Yet in a closer look, the number of buttons, collars, tie-barrels, and epaulettes are all very different, tailored to each character’s identity. Looks inspired by these uniforms crept onto the runway after the release of the film, dating all the way back to Gucci’s Fall 2015 collection. And now brightly-coloured trousers topped off with side stripe is becoming a must-have in everyone’s closet.
The Tenenbaums also left their mark in the fashion industry. At Lacoste, Felipe Oliveira Baptista went the whole hog and seemed to imagine the entire family as part of his collection – head-to-toe red sportswear, matching headbands, 1970s font and all. The Tenenbaum-chic gave rise to a large wave of imitators, and even as a source of inspiration for the “Athleisure” craze today.
Striped polo dress, Fendi fur coats, Hermès Birkin handbags, baby pink cashmere gloves, smoky makeup, girly hairstyle – bizarre combination, we know. But this outfit of Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum has become a timeless piece.
And now we see vibrantly-coloured mink coats everywhere on the runways - anachronistic, moneyed, and age-agnostic.
It is indisputable that Wes Anderson has made his way into all facets of the fashion world, from high-end runways to department store sales racks alike. And we're hoping to see more unexpected looks from this master of style, and seeing how he can further shape millennial fashion sensibilities.