Robert Sheehan makes a bold statement on the red carpet in all white for Netflix's Umbrella Academy premiere
Robert Sheehan is an integral part of actors in young Hollywood challenging gender norms when it comes to their clothing.
Like Timothée Chalamet, whose vibrant suit jacket at Sunday night's BAFTAs landed him on best dressed lists the world over, and Ezra Miller, whose Fantastic Beasts promotional wardrobe was a thrill to watch, Sheehan, from Portlaoise, has just as much fun on the red carpet as he can. For last night's premiere of his new show, Netflix's Umbrella Academy, he opted for all-white, which is brave enough in February, but his decision to wear a vintage sheer smock with a polo neck and a Liu Chen coat with metal detail embellished throughout and a pair of Manolo Blahnik boots was statement making to the say the least.
His stylist Michael Miller praised the actor for his willingness to "take a risk together with me" in their collaboration. Sheehan now splits his time between London and Los Angeles, sprinkled with the occasional visits home, but since landing the role of Klaus in the tv adaptation of the popular comic book, he has been using his budding profile to showcase his unique style. For example, at New York Comic Con last year, he arrived to a panel discussion wearing a sheer mesh t-shirt and paisley skirt.
"Why not? If you enjoy colour and vibrancy, wear whatever you like. I think people should feel less restricted by the perimeters of things like 'menswear' and 'womenswear'. It's not something that I really give much credence to when I'm buying clothes," he told Weekend magazine last month. "I buy mostly ladies clothes. I think to be yourself, first and foremost, that's the easiest way to think about it."
Too often, rising stars are hyped up too soon, but Sheehan's craft and image have been years in the making and the coup of scoring a superhero show at the height of superhero entertainment fascination on the biggest streaming network in the world shouldn't be underestimated.
Umbrella Academy focuses on seven children, adopted by billionaire Reginald Hargreeves after a bizarre worldwide event sees 47 infants born by women who had previously shown no signs of pregnancy. They attend the 'Umbrella Academy', a relentless training programme to raise his children as superheroes. The first episode pick up 17 year after the group began to split after their former mentor's death.
"What's interesting about the superhero landscape is that it's kind of mirroring television, oddly. Cinema has become television and television has become cinema," he said. "A superhero movie can't exist without world-building, and that means it becomes episodic, like a TV show. I think we're at an odd crossroads in terms of cinema, and the superhero landscape is at the epicentre of that crossroads. It'll be interesting to see if cinema carries on surviving in the traditional sense - I'm not sure if it will."