The futuristic fashion of ‘Her’
Allie Tollaksen | Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Though Spike Jonze’s new film, “Her,” is undoubtedly a love story, the not-so-distant futuristic tale also has everything to do with the role of technology in our lives. Just as the movie’s unconventional romance and impressive gadgets characterize its technological theme, so did the film’s carefully designed wardrobe.
With the help of costume designer Casey Storm, Jonze created clothes for a tech-saturated world, complete with large pockets (to fit the characters’ personal computer operating systems, of course) and minimalistic, fitted pieces that render belts and ties useless. But while “Her” takes place a little ahead of our time, the film’s unique apparel can be purchased today thanks to the “Her” collection by fashion brand Opening Ceremony.
Launched in December, the “Her” collection was created by Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim in collaboration with longtime friend Jonze. Instead of exact replicas of costumes made for the film, the line consists of versatile pieces inspired by Storm’s original designs. “Her” by Opening Ceremony makes wearable the collarless shirts, sleek sweatshirts and high-waisted pants seen in the film, and though we don’t quite have our own personal operating systems to fall in love with yet, the distinctive deep pockets are included to comfortably fit an iPhone instead, according to Leon.
Marketed as unisex and described by Storm as “retro-futuristic,” the collection incorporates 1920s-style, markedly out-of-fashion elements with the minimalist basics made popular by brands like Uniqlo and Kenzo. In fact, despite high-waisted pants not being considered stylish in decades, the “Her” trousers are flying off shelves. Though the prices may be considered steep (a shirt costs around $175), the fashion line is seeing considerable success.
This isn’t the first time that on-screen style has inspired a clothing line — Opening Ceremony and Jonze actually collaborated only a few years ago on a “Where The Wild Things Are” collection inspired by the 2009 film. Similarly, Brooks Brothers released a “Gatsby” line last year, Banana Republic introduced a “Mad Men” collection and the insanely popular H&M sold out a “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”-inspired collection in a single day. Opening Ceremony even released a “Spring Breakers” line recently, based on Harmony Korine’s acid trip of a film.
Unlike Opening Ceremony for “Spring Breakers,” however, with its array of neon tank tops, the “Her” collection has the potential to introduce some new and interesting trends into menswear. If successful, Spike Jonze’s jazz-age-meets-high-tech style could start to be seen not just in theaters or for $200 online, but in everyday apparel. Like “Risky Business” to Ray-Ban sunglasses, items like high-waisted trousers could possibly reenter real-world fashion due to box office success.
This idea of the cinema generating fashion trends certainly isn’t new. Legend has it that when men saw Clark Gable without an undershirt in 1934’s “It Happened One Night,” t-shirt sales dropped dramatically. It wasn’t until 1955, when the iconic James Dean starred in “Rebel Without a Cause,” that t-shirts fully recovered and sales skyrocketed. Hollywood has always had a hand in what’s hot in the fashion world, and “Her” could be the newest example.
It’s hard to tell whether Opening Ceremony’s success will translate into a larger trend — the Opening Ceremony brand isn’t necessarily for everyone, and even Joaquin Phoenix expressed doubts over the costume design. Only time will tell whether the film’s “retro-futuristic” look will make its way into our wardrobes this year or if Jonze and Storm are accurately ahead of their time, but “Her” fashion is certainly an interesting addition to the menswear conversation. Now that the fashion is available, all we have left is to wait for a personal operating system to fill our hearts and extra-large pockets.