How Fantastic Beasts star Ezra Miller is turning men's red carpet dressing on its head
Ezra Miller threw convention to the wind at the London premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the latest instalment in the Harry Potter spin-off series, on Tuesday night.
He was cloaked in a white Givenchy Haute Couture feather cape and matching trousers; with his hair spiked in a rather punk style and he daubed silver glitter under his eyes.
Some commentators compared him to Hedwig, Harry Potter’s snowy owl. Others proclaimed him, the male style icon we need right now. No moreso was this evident than in comparison to his male co-stars, Eddie Redmayne, who chose a sharp oxblood suit, and Jude Law, who favoured luxe bohemia. For further effect, he inked ‘Avada Kedavra’ on his palms, a reference to a spell in Harry Potter.
His hair was spiked in a rather punk style and he daubed silver glitter under his eyes. It was a far cry from his male counterparts, Eddie Redmayne, who chose a sharp oxblood suit, and Jude Law, who favoured luxe bohemia. For further effect, he inked ‘Avada Kedavra’ on his palms, a reference to a spell in Harry Potter.
Miller’s penchant for disrupting the codes of men’s red carpet dressing stretches further back than the last two weeks. In July 2018, he attended a panel to promote his latest film at San Diego Comic-Con International, dressed as Toadette from the Super Mario Bros. franchise.
His rebellious streak extended to the Beijing and Paris premieres. In Beijing, he sported a sky blue duchesse satin jacket from Raf Simons’ spring 2019 collection—it was relatively mild in the context of the London premiere but nonetheless uncommon for a red carpet. In Paris, he caused a social media frenzy in a black puffa jacket-cum-ballgown equipped with a hood from the Moncler x Pier Paolo Piccioli collaboration. Both looks, when originally presented on the runway, were inspired by traditions of women’s haute couture and photographed on women.
In a photo shoot for GQ Style, Miller sports a variety of womenswear looks. In the accompanying interview, he says of the photo shoot, “I was pleasantly surprised and overjoyed by how much room there was for my very strange and fluid expressions.”
Miller’s sartorial selections aren’t just symbolic of his desire to have fun while promoting the film but they’re part of a wider cultural shift. His decision to wear make-up, as he continues to do and his occasional preference for womenswear poses a counterpoint to rigid masculine tropes which dominant men’s red carpet dressing.
Film premieres, awards ceremonies, and black-tie events are awash with polished tailoring. It is a rare occurrence that men will stray far from style customs in the public arena. The closest thing to breaking convention is someone like Jared Leto sporting a floral embroidered Gucci tuxedo. Miller sporting womenswear—albeit the more grandiose, theatrical pieces—may come as a surprise but change is already afoot in menswear.
Gender boundaries are increasingly blurred and male celebrities are finally taking notice. It may not be a widespread phenomenon but men are shopping in the women’s section as much as women shop in the men’s section. Brands like Chanel already offer footwear for men and accommodate for larger sizes with their bouclé jackets. If fashion shows are the litmus test and consumers have spoken, will celebrities cement change? Ezra Miller has risen to the challenge and is being heaped with praise, but the question remains - . But will others follow suit?
One thing is certain, men’s red carpet dressing may have finally achieved the previously unheardof: unpredictability.