6 of the biggest fashion trends from The Matrix as a fourth movie is announced

21st Aug 19 | Beauty

We have two words for you: tiny sunglasses.

Matrix Cast Cannes

There’s good news for Keanu Reeves fans, because a fourth Matrix film has just been confirmed.

The newest movie doesn’t yet have a release date, but what we do know is it will be written, directed and produced by Lana Wachowski, who co-created The Matrix with Lilly Wachowski. Keanu Reeves is on board to reprise his role as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss will return as Trinity, but no word as to what will happen with Laurence Fishburne’s character, Morpheus.

The first movie was released in 1999, and the original trilogy has given us so much: it basically pre-dated the age of internet we’re in today, and perhaps more importantly birthed so many iconic fashion trends.

In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the Matrix style on the streets and the catwalk – and here are some of the key trends you should get to grips with ahead of the new movie.

1. Tiny sunglasses

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This is probably the most enduring fashion legacy of the film. When characters enter the matrix – the simulation which humans believe is the real world when they’re actually enslaved by intelligent machines – few are without a slick pair of slim, black sunglasses.

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At the start of 2018, Kim Kardashian West described how husband Kayne sent her an email saying: “You cannot wear big glasses anymore. It’s all about tiny little glasses.”

This heralded the age of itty bitty Matrix-style sunglasses. At first, it seems like a passing trend, but as time wears on it really doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

2. Long coats

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Most of the fashion moments come when characters like Neo and Trinity enter the matrix. Instead of wearing beat-up jumpers (more on that later), they are transformed with all-leather ensembles of skintight trousers and sweeping coats.

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Floor-length all-black coats were a particularly 90s trend, but as fashion moves in cycles it is well and truly back in style today.

3. Leather, leather and more leather

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Characters in the films didn’t just wear leather coats, but leather everything: from their trousers to their tops.

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MISBRIEHAVING. @eastendwinebar

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Trinity was particularly fond of tight, shiny PVC trousers – something Instagram influencers have also recently picked up on. As the fashion industry slowly moves away from the use of leather, finding alternatives like PVC is becoming increasingly popular – although we’re not sure if it would make them any easier to get in and out of.

4. Distressed jumpers

When Neo, Trinity and Morpheus aren’t fighting the villain Agent Smith in the matrix, they’re on board their ship the Nebuchadnezzar in the real world, underground. To reflect the gritty hardship of their reality, all the sleek leather looks are replaced by loose, distressed knitted sweaters.

We’re by no means the first people to notice that these earthy tones of loose jumpers remind us one particular label: Yeezy, the work of rapper Kanye West. If you don’t quite have a Yeezy budget you’ll still be able to buy jumpers with holes from almost anywhere, which are worn for the look rather than because you’re battling machines in underground tunnels.

5. Sharp suiting

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Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving in the trilogy, might be the villain of the movie but this doesn’t mean he can’t also serve looks. Instead of the all-leather outfits of our heroes, he (and the other agents) wear standard black suits with a white shirt.

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After years of experimentation with suiting in the world of fashion, we’re seeing something of a return to the classic in menswear. On catwalks like Vetements there’s been the rise of the Agent Smith suit: plain black blazer and trousers, a white shirt and a black tie.

6. Strappy harnesses

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In the movies, Neo is often equipped with various belts and harnesses to hold his many weapons – and, presumably, to look cool.

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We can thank Neo’s influence for the resurgence of the fashion harness last year. Celebs like Michael B. Jordan and Timothée Chalamet wore a patterned or sparkly Louis Vuitton harness on the red carpet – but this is firmly for the look, rather than to hold anything.

© Press Association 2019