Blade Runner 2049, Will Hyperfuturistic Fashion Speak Fashion Tech?

Set three decades later in rainy, neon L.A, is it expecting too much that Blade Runner 2049, in theory, will be showing off some out of this world technology?

Who has watched Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner? I, a closet science fiction fan, have. I first watched it in the early 90s and I remember how it represented a world that seemed a lifetime away. This time around, I cannot shake the feeling that the Blade Runner sequel is set in the not too distant future.

Blade Runner 2049

Set three decades later in rainy, neon L.A, Blade Runner 2049, in theory, should be showing off some out of this world technology. I am talking different types of wearable devices that go beyond the wrist. Technology gadgets that are cooler than James Bond’s trinkets. Smart clothes with invisible tech and a touch of noir. I expected Hollywood to inject mind-blowing technology that would result in me hyperventilating over a hyper-futuristic wardrobe of my dreams. But alas it wasn’t to be. The film did not check those boxes. It instead encouraged its characters to survive the brutal world of Blade Runner 2 with wit and imagination.

“I want to hyperventilate over a hyperfuturistic wardrobe of my dreams.”

Disappointed? Just a tad. But I must admit that I did not sulk for long because I was reluctantly drawn in by some of the characters fashion choices. How could I not love Marietta and her flamboyant style? Big, bold and colourful, her wardrobe is made up of floor-length coat striped with fuchsia feathers, fake fur, and a black pom-pom of a hat among other crazy pieces. Celebrating the unkempt grunge look circa. early 90’s Marietta’s look is the opposite of Luv. As Wallace’s right hand, Luv’s style of off-white suits with clean lines can only be described as slick. Giving the impression of purity, Luv’s closest is as futuristic as the film gets.

Blade Runner 2049 Reimagined By Harpers Baazar [Photo Credit: Harpers Baazar]
Let’s not forget main character Office K, played by Ryan Gosling.  Never seen without his leather, fur-lined coat, Ryan’s character is a definite reflection of the raincoat-wearing Harrison Ford from the first film. Moody and manly his style compliment Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace, who rocks a kimono-like no other. Worn like a uniform, the reclusive genius represents light and space. How Zen, right?

Future Trend Spotting in April’s 2049

The person who was responsible for Blade Runner 2049 cast’s wardrobe was costume designer Renée April. Her job was to imagine what fashion would look like 32 years from now. She explains, “The world — this world — did not evolve very much because they’re dying. It’s bad over there. If you’re still on Earth it’s because it’s not going very well for you … The ones that stayed behind, it’s because they’re not healthy enough or they’re not rich enough. The Earth is dying, basically, and they’re in survival mode.”
Ryan Gosling’s leather, fur-lined coat

April’s wardrobe choices for the film were inspired by the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier (AW09), Issey Miyake, Alexander McQueen (AW98) and Vivienne “Punkature” Westwood. More recently, designer Raf Simon  Spring-Summer 2018 collection adopted the “Blade Runner”-esque look. Staged under the lamps of New York’s Chinatown,  the models walked under umbrellas in deconstructed Macs.

Tech-less it may be, Blade Runner 2049’s post-apocalyptic fashion does have moments of being ‘really freaking cool’ especially Ryan Gosling’s coat, which has had more press coverage than the film itself. But darn it, a little bit of technology in the film would have given a nice nod to the future of wearable technology clothing, but I guess I would have to make do with the transparent raincoat’s cameo. I love that raincoat.

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