‘Blade Runner’ Predicted Fashion’s Future. Will Its Sequel Do the Same?

Revisiting the film’s iconic neo-noir looks, 35 years later

It’s back to the futures, babes. Blade Runner 2049, the much-anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner is coming back to the big screen after 35 years in the making. Costume designer Renee April talked to CNN Style about creating the looks for one of the most accomplished science fiction works of all time.

The noir, dystopian fashions of Blade Runner stand apart from other sci-fi films because they still, over three decades later, look like the future. They also inspired generations of designers, including a 7-year-old Jeremy Scott who was awestruck when he watched the film with his older brother in a small-town cinema. “I was never the same after that,” he told CNN Style.

Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons, and Alexander McQueen have all shown collections inspired by the original film. McQueen’s 1998 ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy is the ultimate homage with its strong-shouldered silhouettes and extreme hair. In 1983, months after the release, Vivienne Westwood released her Punkature collection with a still from the film — a smiling geisha seen on a billboard — printed on a skirt.

April was tasked with imagining what fashions would look like 32 years later in neo-noir Los Angeles. What resulted was a lot of plastic, fake fur (because the “real deal hasn’t existed for many years”), and a monochrome kosode for Niander Wallace, played by Jared Leto. All of April’s designs will be revealed when the sequel is released October 6, introducing a new generation to the DayGlo-hued future.

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