Who is your faithful teen-to-adult crush? Mine – Keanu Reeves.
I am a nervous flyer: sweaty palms, deep meditative breaths, chewing gum (I’m told this is relaxing). However, on a recent long-haul flight I watched the circa ’94 action-thriller Speed and immediately felt more relaxed. An odd choice, one might think, for a panic-induced passenger to watch what is essentially 116 minutes of explosions and Dennis Hopper getting uppity and Keanu Reeves playing an L.A cop in a life-or-death situation. The truth is, I find watching the latter very soothing; a powerful combination of moody, protective and gentle.
Oh, and he has a great smile and nice eyes.
The internet seems to agree on this one. Google ‘Keanu Reeves’ and you’ll get over 67 million results.
I’d wager that a large portion of that content is dedicated to life-affirming memes of the actor and a vintage photo album chronicling his Nirvana-esque grunge years, poster boy floppy hair (perfection) and talent for breathing fresh life into a simple black blazer with every outfit (so slick).
Undoubtably, Mr Reeves’ most long-lasting sartorial footprint exists in the cinematic universe. Playing the role of Neo – aka The One – in revolutionary ’99 sci-fi, The Matrix.
Sexy (vegan) leather? Dark and dangerous attire? Skinny shades? Floor-length overcoats? The style reverberation can be felt, even 20 years later.
With the fourth Matrix film officially headed into production in 2020 – bringing back Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as no-nonsense sidekick Trinity – we are fully prepared for more Keanu memes and leather-clad #throwbackthursday posts to fill up our feeds.
And as an extra bonus, also serve up plenty of autumn/winter 2019 style inspiration.
It is a truth universally known (come the end of September) that Matrix mania will do a fashion merry-go-round. The billowing dresses and cotton blouses take a sixth month hiatus, in favour of darker hues and lots of layering in; with variations on the tough-guy-girl-in-dystopia look.
This season, designers more than ever have gone hell-for-leather and embracing a new kind of cyber-punk meets utility wear to nail Neo 2.0.
Speaking to ELLE UK, Ida Petersson Womenswear and Menswear Buying Director at Browns Fashion, says: ‘Bottega delivered the most updated and sleek looks in my opinion, I was basically salivating as they walked down the runway.’ She continues, ‘their cropped leather jacket with the quilted skirt is a great all leather look that is giving the Neo look a more feminine yet edgy touch. Or the amazing square neck leather dress.’
Like The Matrix, fashion oft entangles itself in new technologies and becomes re-formed by events of generations past, present and future.
This trend taps into a particular cultural phenomenon in 2019. In a time of political uncertainty; where fantasy blurs into reality (*waves to Instagram); where switching on the morning news sounds like a series of apocalyptic events, it is perhaps less surprising Neo-inspired garms are making a comeback.
The clothes represent something more than an attitude, they embody an armour of sorts – ready to free the world from the control of machines.
Let’s face it: that’s something we all could use a little more of these days.
This article first appeared on ELLE UK.