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Oppenheimer, an unlikely fashion icon, resurrects the suit

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Oppenheimer, an unlikely fashion icon, resurrects the suit
Thanks to the Oppenheimer effect, the formal men's suit is back en vogue—and it's not the first time a hit film has shaped the world of men's fashion
Christopher Nolan’s latest box-office hit Oppenheimer, alongside the Barbie movie, has been one of the most talked about films this season, and for good reason.
The must-watch picture is a brilliant portrayal of renowned American physicist J Robert Oppenheimer by the striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy, which sees his character try to balance ambition, love and responsibility as he masterminds the development of the world’s first atomic bomb.
Not only fascinating in its subject matter, but the film is also making an impact on the fashion world, changing current attitudes toward men’s formal suits and styling.  
"The popularity of films like Oppenheimer heralds a dramatic return to the kind of suits typically associated with the 1920s"
If comfortable clothing became en vogue in the aftermath of lockdown, the popularity of films like Oppenheimer heralds a dramatic return to the kind of suits typically associated with the 1920s to 1960s period in which the movie is set. 
Such is the power of the big screen that movies have a major impact on men’s fashion trends, and Oppenheimer is no different. Murphy looks sensational in a plethora of stylish and traditional suits that many of us are now desperate to emulate. 
In one scene, Murphy dons a grey wool, tweed three-piece suit over a long-collared shirt to create a razor-sharp silhouette you’d expect to see on the catwalks of Paris. Think Great Gatsby but with a modern twist. 
Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer wearing suit as he climbs tower holding atomic bomb
Murphy’s outfits, which were created by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, take on subtle changes as the film moves through the decades. Suits become looser with jackets that fall lower down the thigh, the shoulders are more square than naturally shaped, and ties are worn shorter than they once were.
As Murphy’s suit designs alter, so do the accessories as waistcoats are ditched for porkpie hats and thick, leather belts that accentuate the front pleat of a loose pair of trousers to complete a look that could easily have been dreamt up by a Saville Row tailor. 
While Oppenheimer could be responsible for the latest trends in traditional and formal suits, it is not the first blockbuster movie to have a major influence on men’s fashion. Some other examples of iconic movies and characters that have shaped the way men dress, according to House of Cavani, include: 

James Bond series 

James Bond
Arguably the biggest style icon in movie history is James Bond, and it’s easy to see why. It doesn’t matter if your favourite Bond actor is Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Daniel Craig, you can guarantee that Agent 007 will look a million dollars in a sharply-cut suit in numerous scenes throughout the movie.
"Arguably the biggest style icon in movie history is James Bond"
With famous designers like Tom Ford and Borini responsible for many of Bond’s more recent suits, it’s no wonder the franchise has had a major impact on men’s traditional suits. 

The Great Gatsby 

Men’s fashion took on a colourful twist in the Roaring Twenties, and the 1974 movie, The Great Gatsby, perfectly captured the changing mood.
The traditional dark grey and brown suits of the time suddenly gave way to an extravagant burst of colour and styling that oozed opulence and sophistication.
In the film, Robert Redford, playing the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, dons a full pink three-piece Ralph Lauren suit that opened new possibilities in men’s vintage suit fashion and remains one of the most famous tailored suits in the history of the big screen. 

Wall Street 

The actors Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen personified the successful stockbroker look that became inextricably linked with the high-flying corporate world of the 1980s depicted in the movie, Wall Street.
Decked out in pin-striped power suits, flashy braces, and wide-patterned ties, they perfected a look that wannabe yuppies were desperate to emulate if only to give the impression that they’d just sealed the next mega-bucks deal. 

Reservoir Dogs 

Reservoir Dogs
Who can forget the intimidating image of a bunch of career criminals strolling along in their black suits, crisp white shirts, and dark skinny ties?
Quentin Tarantino’s groundbreaking film captured the spirit of the early Nineties, and the minimalist dress code of its law-breaking characters soon became iconic, so much so that the Reservoir Dogs look is still fashionable to this day.
"The minimalist dress code of its law-breaking characters soon became iconic"
The timeless combination of black suits and skinny ties was also prevalent in another Tarantino classic, Pulp Fiction

American Gigolo 

Paul Schrader’s 1980 film became famous for a scene showing actor Richard Gere in the nude. But it was also a huge hit with lovers of men’s fashion thanks to the enormous variety of different styles and accessories featured throughout the movie.
The dashing Gere, sporting a dazzling Giorgio Armani suit, became an instant pin-up. It also helped put the Italian luxury fashion house on the global map and made it a household name, giving birth to countless other suit designs that men continue to aspire to wear. 
"The dashing Gere, sporting a dazzling Giorgio Armani suit, became an instant pin-up"
Admittedly, not everyone can be a Hollywood actor, but movies like Oppenheimer provide plenty of fashion inspiration any time you want to dress impress.
We hope that 2023 is the year that we wave goodbye to tracksuits and start to see elements of tailored styling being worked into men’s everyday outfits. Not only does dressing up make you feel great; it also shows the world you mean business.  
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