Nearly twenty years on, and Neo and Trinity from science fiction blockbuster The Matrix are still forecasting the future, albeit from a fashion point of view.
At the time – 1999 – we were on the cusp of the next millennium and all desperate for a glimpse as to what da fuq it might look like.
Cue a dystopian, dark, futuristic aesthetic with use of (then) forward-thinking technology – all slow-mo action and snazzy special effects – where the style was as important as the scenery.
Referencing the futuristic 80s catwalk creations of Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana [above], as well as cyber punk and fetish style, costume designer Kym Barrett was given the following brief by the directors:
“We want it to be dark, we want it to be high contrast, we want Trinity to be like an oil slick.”
It appears The Matrix has reloaded for spring/summer 2018, with designers like Louis Vuitton [below] and Prada [main image, top] showcasing all-black ensembles accessorised with sleek black shades.
The references keep on coming for AW18: Alexander Wang showed long leather coats and sci-fi sunglasses combos at New York Fashion Week last month.
Here are four reasons The Matrix is on our fashion radar right now:
1. Skinny sci-fi shades
Tiny sci-fi style sunglasses have been having a moment since Balenciaga showcased them for AW17, and we’ve since seen them at Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Prada for SS18. Perfect for hiding your gaze from the machines.
2. PVC trench coats
We’ve been coveting a slick trench coat since THAT Alexa Chung for M&S one last year, but this season, it’s even more appropriate (and not just because of the non-stop rain – where you at, spring?). Besides, is there any greater armour than a trench coat when you just want to look effortlessly stylish in shitty weather (never mind an impending world apocalypse)?
2. Black leather separates
Actually, scratch that: all black EVERYTHANG. Yup, black is officially the new black this season (AT LAST!), as wholeheartedly embraced by the Kardashian klan on nights out. We’re also enjoying Gigi and Zayn’s dedicated Neo/Trinity tribute on date night last month.
4. The ‘banana’ phone is back
Nokia’s 8110 slider phone looked so slick in Keanu’s grip nearly 20 years ago. Until he dropped it from the top of a v tall skyscraper, that is. The “reloaded” version will be available in May for about £70, and while it ~will~ have access to The Matrix (well, 4g and Google Assistant), the camera is still said to be SHITE, soooo… could be good for going “off the grid”.
5. We’re living in the Matrix now
Cast your mind back to 1999, if you will: mobile phones were barely mainstream and iPhones weren’t even invented. We were still wearing Walkmans. The internet still dialled up. The September 11 attack hadn’t happened. We were all excited and hopeful for what the Millennium might bring…
Fast forward to 2018 and what with Alexa doing battle with Siri, fake news, 3D printing, Kim Kardashian clones, AI, VR and widespread gun violence, we’re now living in an era of man against machine. There’s never been a more appropriate time to dress like a futuristic rogue seeker of justice. As per the film, what if the world we humans think is real, is actually a computer simulation, controlled by robots? Or maybe Kris Jenner?
Maybe it’s time to unplug.