The new season of Game of Thrones is upon us and so is a new mood in fashion. Indeed there’s something quite… of-the-moment about the looks being worn in Westeros (et al).
Perhaps it’s because the fantasy world is in a state of war, with some kind of dubious potential leaders of the free (and not so free) worlds having a tilt at the throne and it’s hitting a little close to home. After all fashion can be an awfully good barometer for the political and social climate. Remember Dior’s new look that emerged post World War II? And the anti-Trump sentiments (including slogan T-shirts such as the ones seen at Prabal Gurung and Planned Parenthood pins given out by the Council of Fashion Designers America) that dominated at New York Fashion Week earlier this year?
In any case, the fashion worn on Game of Thrones – as we previously noted when we first got a glimpse of the new costumes – is echoing a few key trends right now. All of which we will get to but first we need to discuss Euron Greyjoy’s ‘Jared Leto in his guyliner phase’ new look.
As Vulture noted of the moral compass challenged king determined to win the hand of Cersei (even after she unequivocally knocked him back, he’s definitely the kind of guy that just doesn’t get the message), his makeover makes one think that “somewhere between Pike and King’s Landing, Euron found himself in an Urban Outfitters from 5 years ago to pick up an outfit inspired by the New York rock scene of 15 years ago, stopped by Burning Man to find himself/get a little wear and tear in his look, and then hung out with Joshua Jackson circa Fringe for some #twinning Instagrams”.
He’s basically the really bad boyfriend that you just can’t quit.
But one trend that Greyjoy, as well as pretty much everyone in the Seven Kingdoms, is nailing right now is directional leather. As The Cut put it, they all look like they’ve joined a “biker gang,” except one with a real focus on aesthetics and also intricate details. The look, all mismashed texture and interesting shapes, is a little Anthony Vaccarello’s second show for Saint Laurent meets Balmain by way of emo mid-noughts boy band.
There are also a couple of other key trends emerging from the first couple of episodes. No slogan tees yet but we’re eagerly awaiting their arrival. Especially if they’ll accompany an uprising of the people against an oppressive and marginalising power structure – never underestimate the power of fashion.
If there’s one fashion aesthetic that the folk of Game of Thrones are good at pulling off it’s deconstructed classics – layered pelts of fur and sharply constructed armour tend to do that. And it’s a look we’ve been seeing in fashion too, whether it’s one-arm blazers as seen at Ports 1961, new takes on the classic trench as seen at JW Anderson or the spliced layering at Burberry earlier in the year. A little subversion – be it in new silhouettes, clashing materials or re-thinking how we wear clothes – never hurts. Especially in lawless lands/when the fashion ‘rules’ have been thrown out the window.
The people left alive in the Seven Kingdoms, just like fashion people, are well aware that the details matter. Whether it’s an excellent belt to bring your outfit together (or hold your sword) or some shiny if pointless buttons to give your look some polish, these are the things that get you noticed. In the good way. No guarantees on Game of Thrones as to what might trigger a dreadful disembowelment (etcetera) though.
While fashion types are often the ones wearing the white T-Shirt and sneakers, slipping by unnoticed, there’s something new about this season’s enduring love affair with minimalism. This time around it’s less normcore, i.e. about fitting in and being non-descript and more about elevating the pieces that you buy. I mean, Who What Wear UK are calling it post-minimalism. Which might be a stretch, but it does speak to the idea of choosing pieces that are deceptively simple, but also have interest in the fabric, the cut and the colour. Exactly what you might see in Game of Thrones, where it might seem like someone is wearing a simple leather capelet, but actually it features twisted detail and studs and, like, breast plates. In battle, and in fashion, an element of surprise is always welcome – it’s classic with a twist, see.