On another quiet and gloomy quarantine weekend, the world was offered two beacons of hope in the form of the long-awaited European release of Christopher Nolan’s Travis Scott-scored Tenet, as well as a trailer for Robert Pattinson’s first turn as the titular masked hero in The Batman. And, in each case, we have been offered glimmers of what are bound to be important contributions to the canon of RPatz’s blockbuster outfits.
While it’s clear that neither film will serve us the scum-bro realness that we were treated to in the Safdie Brother's Good Time, each offers suited-and-booted outfits that are worth scrupulous examination. And, interestingly, taken together, the duo of films serves as a bizarrely exact recap of Pattinson’s longstanding gig as a Dior Homme ambassador.
(A disclaimer before going further: It is unclear and doubtful that Dior had anything to do with the costuming on either film.)
To start, let’s have a look at the one non-Batsuit outfit we can see in the Batman trailer. Here, Pattinson appears with a quintessentially Pattinson wet hair look and an outfit that seems to be plucked straight from Kris Van Assche’s 10-year tenure as the artistic director of Dior Homme. This reality is broadcast immediately by the hallmark combination of a black skinny tie and white dress shirt with a micro Windsor collar, a Mod-inspired combination that was a staple during Hedi Slimane’s iconic stint at the helm of Dior’s menswear line and one that Van Assche riffed and expanded on endlessly during his time there. Pair that with Bruce Wayne’s wooly overcoat — under which we can only assume lies a similarly skinny black blazer — and you have the spitting image of a uniform that Pattinson wore countless times during his early years selling cologne and looking disheveledly handsome for the brand.
In 2018, the arrival of Kim Jones as the artistic director of Dior Homme — he immediately changed the name to Dior Men — marked a Cambrian explosion in the outfit antics of Pattinson, as well as many red carpet dudes across the globe. When the future Batman rocked up to Jones’ debut SS19 show in a Frankensteinian deconstruction of a classic Dior Homme skinny suit, it served as a metaphor for the bombastic exploration of men’s suiting that was to define this new direction for the house. And on red carpets since, Pattinson has been snapped wearing Kim Jones science experiments ranging from basketball short-inspired suit pants to the iconic wool and leather swaddled-up yeti outfit he wore to the follow-up FW19 Dior Men’s show.
Although we must admit the suits in Tenet look a lot less like Dior dupes than Pattinson’s off-duty Batman gear, a variety of tropes from the house’s new era have made their way into the film. To start, glimpses of the British actor in Nolan’s picture show the prominent use of a silk scarf as an accessory to a pale gray suit. And while the suit’s silhouette is not classic Jones, the use of light gray (or, “Dior Gray”) as well as a silk scarf as a suiting accessory very much are. Furthermore, in another outfit from the trailer, we catch Pattinson flanking star John David Washington in a stately double-breasted business look, a boxy and wide-shouldered menswear silhouette that Jones revived to great acclaim with his oblique-cut suits for Dior.
Listen, as we confessed earlier, there is almost zero chance (especially in the Tenet case) that either of these films were costumed by Dior. And, furthermore, you’d have to have a lot of menswear knowledge and a lot of peyote to think that the two films together act as a conspiratorial metaphor about how menswear at the LVMH house has evolved in the last three years. But the wide range of suiting looks in the two films speaks to how far wearing a jacket and blazer has come in our era. In yesteryear, it was almost a law of physics that only one men’s silhouette could reign supreme at a given time — skinny in the '60s, boxy with fat lapels in the '70s, etc. But today, the eclecticism of menswear is one that now measures up to that of women’s fashion — to the point in which the world’s biggest movie star can appear in two films in the same year wearing suits on polar opposites of the silhouette spectrum.
That’s a fact worth celebrating, as you wait for The Batman to actually come out.