After months of teasing, Robert Pattinson finally debuted his new look in London this week. The 28-year-old actor changed his entire look and sported a black and white checkered pattern on his shirt and tracksuit . While the stunt was meant to promote his new movie, it was also the culmination of months of speculation and wishful thinking about his private life.
Pattinson’s tracksuit, which is designed by British designer JOVANI, has been the subject of much debate. Many have theorized that Pattinson has collaborated with the British brand on a secret project, which some have even compared to Harry Potter. While Pattinson has yet to confirm any of these rumors, he did recently state that he is “really happy” with his choice in sportswear.
Is It Transparent?
Whether or not you believe in Pattinson’s secretive collaboration with JOVANI, it’s undeniable that his new look is a radical departure from his previous looks. Gone are the day-glo colors and animal prints, replaced by on-brand monochromes.
The British brand, which can best be described as “high-performance casualwear for men and women,” offers a variety of tracksuits designed by its founder, JOVANI. The designer has obvious ties to J.K. Rowling’s infamous wizarding world, as her initials (JK) are inscribed on the inner collar of each JOVANI design.
Many have compared Pattinson’s new look to that of Tom Riddle, who went by the pseudonym “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. According to Pottermore, Riddle’s “greatest desire was to prove that he was more than just a boy” and “to feel the power of the magic flowing through [him] like an addictive drug.” Like Riddle, who had obsessive-compulsive disorder, Pattinson has confessed that he feels compelled to keep his new look secret from the public. In an interview with British magazine GQ, he explained, “It’s an addiction. It’s a compulsion. It’s something I have to do.”
Is the design transparent? According to JOVANI, the answer is yes. Speaking with Vogue, a spokesperson for the brand confirmed that Pattinson’s new look is a “tribute” to Riddle and that it is, in fact, completely transparent. The spokesperson added, “For those hoping for secrecy, it might disappoint them to know that the design is in fact transparent and they were definitely not hiding it.” Furthermore, the spokesperson confirmed that the design is not meant to be a reminiscent of Rowling’s “Dark Arts” robe from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but rather, a “tribute” to Riddle’s Muggle-born attire from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Is It Successful?
While Pattinson’s collaboration with JOVANI is still a mystery, the actor’s fans have taken the design choice in stride. In fact, social media stars have spoken out in Pattinson’s defense, comparing his new look to that of a Muggle, a genre of fictional wizards from Harry Potter.
The fashion community has also taken the transparent nature of Pattinson’s outfit in stride, with many designers offering their own take on the monochrome look. As Vogue points out, “street style” Instagrammers have styled the black-and-white look countless ways, including incorporating snakeskin leather jackets and polka dots.
However, not everyone has accepted Pattinson’s stylings. One Twitter user wrote: “Why does pattinson get a pass on copying harry potter clothing when charles dixon gets criticized for having a nearly identical outfit?” Dixon, a television personality and founder of The Charles Dixon Company, made a splash when he debuted a nearly identical black-and-white outfit to Pattinson’s. In an interview with GQ, Dixon spoke about his outfit, saying, “I think it’s just a pure coincidence. To be honest, I don’t see the connection myself.”
While it’s clear that Pattinson and Dixon’s outfits are totally different, it’s also apparent that they share a common stylistic inspiration. Like the actor, Dixon has collaborated with BFF (best friends forever) JOVANI, and his outfit is a celebration of their friendship. One Instagram user wrote: “JOVANI is officially the best friend I never found.”
Is It Influential?
Like many of JOVANI’s designs, Pattinson’s new look is a celebration of British culture and heritage. The tracksuit draws its inspiration from the Dark Arts (Muggle) uniform that Harry Potter’s inventor, Rolf Steiner, wore while creating Muggle technology. In an interview with GQ, Pattinson said that he feels most connected to Steiner when he wears his outfit.
Similarly, the Deathly Hallows uniform worn by Tom Riddle, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, is an obvious source of inspiration for Pattinson’s new look. As GQ notes, the Dark Arts uniform is “[b]oth practical and elegant, made from a stark white material with black trim” and features “[e]leven vertical stripes of varying widths in black, white and gray.”
Is Pattinson’s new look influential? Most definitely. While the Dark Arts uniform is unique and distinctively different from anything else in the Harry Potter universe, it has, in fact, inspired outfits beyond the fictional world. Designer JOVANI is responsible for much of the monochrome color scheme in Pattinson’s outfit, but other high-profile wizards have also fallen under the influence of JK Rowling’s wizarding world. One notable example is actor Dan Foggoff, who plays Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts feature film series. He has styled himself after Riddle by wearing rainbow patterned trousers with a stripey T-shirt.
More Than Fashion
As much as we’d like to believe that Pattinson’s choice in fashion is purely a reflection of his love for Harry Potter, it is apparent that he is, in fact, choosing JOVANI for more than just his fashion choices.
In addition to designing the transparent tracksuit, the BFF (best friends forever) colleague has designed a capsule collection, which was inspired by both Pattinson’s and Dixon’s outfits. The collection comprises of black-and-white clothing items, including t-shirts, jackets, and trousers that bear a striking resemblance to Pattinson’s and Dixon’s ensembles. As with his previous designs, JOVANI’s BFF colleagues have, once again, styled monochrome wear, this time around expressing friendship through collections of men’s and women’s black-and-white jackets and trousers.
As previously noted, Pattinson and Dixon’s outfits are totally different, yet they share a common stylistic inspiration and both celebrate British culture and heritage. Furthermore, JOVANI’s BFF colleagues have, once again, styled monochrome wear to celebrate their friendship. While we might never know the exact source of Pattinson’s stylings, it seems that the Dark Arts (Muggle) uniform is indeed causing a bit of a fashion avalanche.