So I originally had something else planned something different for this post, it was a little more generic and in relation to the general theme thus far. That was until I went to the cinemas last night with my special man and we watched a movie about the life of a film icon and unexpected style icon for men…
The movie was ironically called “Life” and it showcased the life and unlikely friendship between an actor and a photographer. It allowed me to see this macho man in a whole new light, showcasing an unexpected soft side, as well as a really fashionable side.
Today’s feature is all about…
James Dean: Style Icon
James Byron Dean, born February 8, 1931 was one of the most iconic actors in American film history. He was and is still seen as a cultural icon of teenage cynicism and social disaffection, he never really felt he belonged in Hollywood and shied from convention. His most notable role was as Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause, having only acted in two other films: East of Eden (1955) and Giant (released in 1956).
The heart-breaking truth was that Dean never really got to hone his incredible in-born natural talent due to his premature death. Dean died in a car crash, driving his new Porsche 550 Spyder with his Porsche factory-trained mechanic, Rolf Wütherich, in tow. He died on the 30 September 1955 in glory, cementing his status as an actor and an icon. He was 24 years old.
On a lighter and more appropriate note, Dean was also an unsuspecting style icon. His style was manly and nonchalant, he wore pieces that still today play dominance in every man’s wardrobe.
In 2012, Time Magazine listed Dean as one of the Top 100 Icons in Fashion.
We will now take a look at some of the most distinct items that Dean wore.
The Polo Shirt:
If you ever needed any evidence to confirm that the polo shirt is a gentleman’s essential, then all you needed to do was look at Dean. He opted for dark, solid colours and chose to wear them tucked into his trousers that were a fuller cut.
Other than the other male legend, Marlon Brando, no man ever wore a T-shirt quite like James Dean. He would wear this classic wardrobe essential with Levi’s 501 denim, featuring a straight leg cut and a high rise, as well as tough leather boots with minimal detailing.
The Suede Jacket:
Dean was particularly renowned for his love of lightweight jackets. In his monumental role as Jim Stark, he donned a red Harrington, but his off-screen choice was his suede number.
On the rare occasions that he did wear them, Dean really made the most out of his suit. Always a classic black tux, he created an image that men all around the world still try to imitate to this day.
Tart Arnel Glasses:
While it could never be confirmed, it was believed that the iconic pair of glasses that Dean wore in his short life were made by Tart Arnel. Whether they wore or not certainly did not take away from the way they looked. He somehow seemed even manlier wearing them as he did without them.
While he may not have directly been a part of the fashion world, he has affected the style of actors for dcades. His style will be recognised for years to come and he will always be as legendary as he was the day he died.
Some actors who like to mimick his style include; James Franco and Scott Eastwood who both ironically resemble Dean.
The similarities in style and appearance are uncanny but unfortunately, there is no man who man enough to be another James Dean.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
~ James Dean
Share your thoughts and comments below.
Thanks VB xx