WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING buzz around a film today, I’m convinced there is a fashion formula. Like any formula, there are a few key components required to produce the optimal result, which, in this particular situation, is a film premiere campaign trail the internet can’t stop talking about. There’s the importance of wearing a brand that’s operating in the cultural zeitgeist; the power and potency of archival pieces and historical references. But the most important key component to this formula? A fit that’s wildly on-theme.
If there’s a Hollywood denizen out there that gets it, that denizen is Timothee Chalamet. The actor has been winning red carpets since he first stepped onto them in the early 2010s. Even on the red carpet for his breakout film Call Me By Your Name, the actor was serving in an ocean blue suit by Calvin Klein. Since then, his fits have only gotten bigger. His promo wardrobe for Dune: Part One, alongside fellow Gen-Z red carpet doyenne Zendaya, was a masterclass in how to make headlines. Their combined red carpet star power is a big part of why the release of Dune 2 was postponed until 2024, as the SAG strike meant they were unable to get on the carpet and do what they do best. And we all know how valuable that is.
But now, with the strikes well in the rear-view mirror, the 27-year-old actor is hitting the red carpet once again to promote the long-awaited Dune: Part Two, alongside Austin Butler, Florence Pugh and, of course, Zendaya.
The crew are only a couple of premieres in, and already, they’re serving up a feast of futuristic looks that are appropriately on theme. Here, we revisit some of the most otherworldly outfit moments to come from Chalamet’s tour de force of public outings in recent times.
At a photo call for Dune: Part Two, at IET in London, Chalamet strode out in a pair of leather pants and pointy-ass boots that matched so perfectly it appeared they were part of the same fit. Completing the look was a white long-sleeve top by Bottega Veneta, embellished with what look like scales. Next to Zendaya, who wore a deep purple three-piece suit with pointy-ass shoulders, the duo looked like they could’ve stepped straight off set.
Blinding the cameraman with this sequinned top, at the Dune: Part Two premiere in Paris, Chalamet went classic on the outside and disco-ready beneath. He was wearing Givenchy Haute Couture. Admittedly, he was kind of upstaged by Queen Zendaya, who arrived in custom Louis Vuitton with vintage Bulgari jewellery. But still, there’s no sleeping on Chalamet’s sparkles here.
At the premiere in Mexico City, Mr Chalamet dressed in one of his go-to brands: Prada. While the suit looks like a jumpsuit, it’s in fact separates joined at the waist by that big Prada belt. There’s nothing a rolled up sleeve can’t tone down, and here, Chalamet gives us his trademark ‘I’m dressed up but chill’ with scrunchy sleeves revealing a shirt beneath. Not pictured: the traditional Mexican wrestling mask a fan gave him to wear on the red carpet.
But before he switched into Dune mode, Chalamet was promoting Wonka. Described as a musical fantasy film based on the original story of Willy Wonka, a character in the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, it was a family-friendly jaunt through Oompa Loompa land. But with Chalamet tied to it, the film became a fashion spectacle. Take the Tom Ford snakeskin suit he wore to a premiere in L.A. Perhaps it’s occurred to you that the suit is chocolate brown, while it’s haptic texture isn’t that dissimilar to the feel of some chocolate bars. Hmmm…
At the Parisian premiere of Wonka, Chalamet went for a more subtle nod to the Wonka-verse (well, subtle in Chalamet terms). Once again he wore Tom Ford—the brand is one of the actor’s red carpet go-to’s—yet the glittery tank top was actually plucked from the recent spring/summer women’s ready-to-wear collection. This was also creative director Peter Hawkings’ first for the house, after the real Tom Ford announced he was stepping back as the designer of his eponymous label in April 2023. Crafted from pearly pink beads, it looked good enough to eat. A bit like an Iced Vovo, or boiled pink lolly?
Purple was the standout colour of the Wonka promo trail—which makes sense, it’s the colour we associate with the Wonka world, and Nerds (remember those?). Chalamet wore a lilac velvet suit (again, a Tom Ford creation) to the premiere in London with his signature styling trick of no shirt beneath. At the Tokyo premiere of Wonka, which was one of the first cabs off the rank, he came out with a bang in a custom Prada latex-look shirt and pants combo. Naturally (and as intended, I’m sure of it) the internet went nuts.
Perhaps his least on-theme look was worn at a photo call in London, alongside the film’s other stars (there are other very famous people in Wonka, Olivia Coleman, Hugh Grant and Rowan Atkinson among them. But when Chalamet’s in a film, he tends to take the spotlights). There, he chose a black pinstripe suit by Alexander McQueen. Although, it’s worth noting the suit had some pretty avant-garde coattails. Both Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp’s versions of Mr Wonka wore jackets with coattails, albeit more traditional, so perhaps it was a reference after all.
Now, we wait and wonder: WWCWN?
(What will Chalamet wear next.)