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It’s been 18 years since the first film in the Wachowski Brothers’ The Matrix trilogy hit theaters, but its influence remains unremitting. Renowned for its groundbreaking post-production technical feats (that now iconic “bullet time” effect in particular,) rigorous choreography and cyberpunk sci-fi aesthetic, the film holds one of the strongest legacies in the history of Hollywood cinema.

Of course, it’s not hard to see why The Matrix appeals to so many people. Sci-fi geeks go weak at the knees at the sheer mention of the film’s employment of futuristic technology and head-scratching psychological narrative. Action movie buffs are entranced by its loaded fight scenes. Ravers, goths and metal heads applaud the film for its sinister, high-octane soundtrack and fetishistic all-black clothing (more on that in a second.)

The Matrix was truly ahead of its time and continues to inspire creative exploits across many fields, but even if science fiction isn’t your thing, one element that’s universally praised is the film’s costume design. Between the hard-as-nails footwear, dominatrix-tinged patent leather coats and futuro-rave shades, The Matrix‘s characters have landed themselves on countless moodboards throughout the years, especially among fashion designers.

Here are eight current trends that The Matrix has inspired throughout the season – are they real or just an illusion?

Futuristic Sunglasses

The Matrix, 1999 / Balenciaga Women's FW17
LinkedIn / Vogue.com

Statement eyewear is gaining significant traction in the fashion community, particularly frames that employ a futuristic rave aesthetic. Those gabber goggles from Gosha Rubchinskiy’s SS17 collaboration with Italian label RETROSUPERFUTURE have been huge players in the street style circuit, but Demna Gvasalia’s wide-slit shades as seen on the catwalks of Balenciaga and Vetements this FW17 season brought forth the Neo vibes in full effect.

Leather Shirts

The Matrix (1999) / Kenzo Men's SS17
Pinterest / Kenzo

Skintight leather shirts are certainly not the most versatile shirting options, but damn did they look good on Trinity. Granted, a certain physique is required in order to make this style choice work, but if svelte and taut is your build, take a peek at some iterations offered in Alexander Wang, Kenzo and Juun.J’s recent collections.

Crocodile Skin

The Matrix (1999) / Balmain Women's FW17
The Long Brown Path / Vogue.com

There’s a reason why Morpheus is the captain of the NebuchadnezzarA crocodile skin trench coat? A garment only worn (and pulled off) by a true leader if you ask me. Crocodile isn’t the most popular of leathers when it comes to coats, but luxury heavyweights such as Louis Vuitton, Balmain and Hermès have all boasted the pricey material in their FW17 lines.

Leather Trench Coats

The Matrix (1999) / Versace Men's FW17
Fanpop / Vogue.com

The trench coat is perhaps The Matrix’s most signature clothing item. The gamut of designers that weaved the lengthy outerwear into their FW17 collections ranges from Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga to Vetements and Versace. Coincidence?

Bondage Pants

The Matrix (1999) / Palm Angels FW17
Pinterest / Vogue.com

The rave wave is already trending in New York City (us Big Apple denizens love a good subcultural sartorial motif,) but labels like Palm Angels, Hood By Air and Alyx are definitely taking style cues from Neo’s bondage pants – they’re also a big vibe on Instagram, especially with the underground fashion youth.

Business Suits

The Matrix (1999) / Vetements FW17
Dreamcatcher Reality / Vogue.com

OK, so suits have been regulars on the runway for a minute, but there’s something about Agent Smith’s deadpan demeanor and austere corporate getup that makes him the prominent catalyst behind this whole #officecore trend, which was a huge vibe throughout the FW17 fashion week circuit.

Post-Apocalyptic Fashion

The Matrix (1999) / YEEZY Season 3
Thrill Clothing / Highsnobiety.com

Ever since YEEZY’s debut dystopian-tinged collection, tattered, militaristic clothing has been a staple for a plethora of style-forward consumers. It’s not a new fashion concept, and many designers before Kanye West have boasted the aesthetic in previous collections, but it continues to be forged by numerous brands and fast-fashion retailers.

However, there’s something to be said about how striking the resemblance is between YEEZY’s moth-eaten garb and that which is worn by several Nebuchadnezzar dwellers prior to entering The Matrix.

Catsuits

The Matrix Reloaded (2003) / YEEZY Season 5
Zimbio / Vogue.com

I highly doubt that body-hugging catsuits are really going to pop off with mainstream fashion folk (guess it depends on what kind of scene you’re in,) but there’s something about YEEZY Season 5’s race wetsuit (created in collaboration with Australian compression tights brand 2XU) that echoes Trinity’s trademark patent leather number.

They were quite prominent in the ’90s, though, so if the era’s recent fashion revival is any to go by, I suppose we shouldn’t completely dismiss the chance of them making a comeback.

Here are 13 trends we think will blow up in 2017.

Words by Nico Amarca
Fashion Editor, North America
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