Let’s hear it for the men

Tom Hardy is widely viewed as the male fashion icon. Why has he caused such a stir?

Tom Hardy is forging a distinct path for himself as one of Hollywood’s leading men; but with an explicit difference. Hardy has distinguished himself both on screen and in real life from the clichéd metrosexual men dominating Hollywood’s faction of rising stars: he is, like those he portrays, unforgivingly macho with an attitude and style that confirms his title as Hollywood’s new rebel without a cause.

His style is simple yet effective, appearing casually in interviews with block coloured tees and straight-legged denim, Hardy emulates cool with no effort, frills nor fuss. For this he has been applauded by men’s magazines noting him as one to watch; a style icon. GQ bestowed to him the comfortable position of no. 24 on their 2011 Best Dressed List. His lack of pretence appeals to a variety of men often eluded by the fashion industry’s feminine exterior, and perhaps disconcerted by the androgyny of notorious male icons. Yet he is more than a two-dimensional alpha-male.

Spotted at Goodwood Racecourse wearing a dapper light grey checked suit, Hardy appeared the quintessentially English gentlemen. From then he appealed to a whole new audience of men. Impeccably tailored suits retain butch roots by adhering to muted colour palettes: GQ noted Hardy’s ability to go from “Savile Row to streetwear” whilst maintaining a distinctive style.

It is his ability to be all things to all men, whilst portraying each role with equal conviction, that has secured Hardy’s status as a style icon. His prominent online fashion following on sites such as Fashion Spot imply that there are greater things to come from Hardy, both on screen and in style.

This May celebrates the 76th birthday of superhero Batman. Luke Cavendish explores the evolution of his silhouette.

It also seems that Batman not only has a passion for justice but also for fashion, with an everchanging wardrobe since DC’s Detective comic issue 27 in 1939, Batman has been making men jealous of his batsuit.

The most memorable bat on television is a symbol of the 60s, Adam West’s batsuit in keeping with the campness of the show had a short purple cape and raised blue eyebrows on the cowl. Tim Burton’s Batman played by Micheal Keaton gave us the all black suit with the striking yellow ellipse emblem and yellow utility belt. Director Joel Schumacher’s Batman with Val Kilmer and George Clooney are notorious for their addition of rubber nipples.

Christopher Nolan brought the Dark Knight back to reality, or realativly close to it, with black eye makeup the batsuit is powerful and elegant all in one.

The fashion industry has taken note of Batman in the last few years with many designers using them as inspiration. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art spring exibit was entitled ‘Superheros: Fashion and Fantasy’ with work from such desginers as Balenciaga, McQueen, Givenchy, Moschino, and Gareth Pugh.

The symbol can also be found on practically all clothing in highstreet fashion from baseball caps to socks.