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Method dressing is the new red carpet trend

From Margot Robbie to Zendaya, for an immersive and fun experience

Method dressing is the new red carpet trend  From Margot Robbie to Zendaya, for an immersive and fun experience

This summer, Margot Robbie's outfits for the extensive and lengthy promotion of Barbie captured social media, with every detail reposted and discussed with great enthusiasm. Thanks to her stylist Andrew Mukamal, the star of the most powerful, debated, and successful film of the cinematic summer recreated the most iconic looks of her character, even delving into vintage styles, including heart-shaped sunglasses, pink and white checkered suits, and bright, almost plastic-like smiles. So much so that they have now become a coffee table book, forever preserved for future memory. Both aesthetically and from a film marketing perspective.

What is method dressing?

In these cases, we're talking about method dressing, a way of dressing that tells a story, often the same story told by the film being promoted. It's a sort of off-screen impersonation, no longer behind the camera, of the character being portrayed. Adding further glamour to the operation is the contribution of the coolest designers of the moment, who want to participate by creating custom looks for the occasion or opening the doors of their archives, making them available to the most creative and enterprising stylists. Like method acting, but without eccentricities, only in a kind of costumed performance that extends throughout the product's promotion.

Zendaya for Challengers and the others

The latest example of method dressing is Zendaya for Dune Part 2. The actress, who is the female lead in the film series alongside Timothèe Chalamet, showcased outfits for the sand carpet that drove the internet wild. Not only the Mugler robot woman jumpsuit straight from the fall-winter 1995 collection, but a whole series of looks that her character would also wear, between archive pieces and creations made especially for her. For Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Josh O'Connor, she does it again with custom looks from Loewe and directly taken from the Louis Vuitton archive. In reality, the tradition of method dressing (even before it was given a name) has its roots in earlier times, for example, Blake Lively for A Simple Favor in 2018. After her, there's Anya Taylor-Joy for Super Mario, Halle Bailey for The Little Mermaid, and Jenna Ortega for Wednesday.

Why do we love it so much?

Old Hollywood has long been dead, red carpets are filled with TikTokers and influencers. We know everything about our favorite stars, perhaps too much. The enchantment, the glamour risks shattering. Method dressing gives us a moment of awe, of dream, of magic, it reminds us why we love movie stars so much when they commit, when they believe in what they do, when they sell us a lifestyle far away, when they tell us a story but truly believe in it. And the audience responds enthusiastically, dressing up even just to go to the cinema. Method dressing works on multiple levels: it keeps us tied to the film's promotion and its stars, goes viral on social media, sells us the story, and perhaps even convinces us to go to the movies. In short, a victory all around.