Ryan Gosling's Coat is the Best Thing about Blade Runner
The year 2049 looks a whole lot more stylish than we expected.
Such as we may talk about runway trends, nothing shapes the American man's style psyche like the big screen. (See: American Gigolo and American Psycho, for starters.) So when the first trailers for Blade Runner 2049 hit last year, we were psyched to see the new replicants and the old Deckard, but we replayed the clips for another look at Ryan Gosling's coat. Slick, fur-lined, and knee-length, it's a Western-military mash-up, the kind of trademark outerwear that can define a character. We hit replay a few more times, then got on the phone with the movie's costume designer, Renée April.
"It's the same world, but it's worse. It's dirty, it's slushy, it's not a nice place to be," April says of the new film, out in October and set about 30 years after the original. Gosling's coat was partly inspired by Deckard's 1982 trench, updated for the elements, so the heavy-duty duster is made of cotton, treated with a waterproof coating, and painted a greyish green.
Instead of zippers or buttons, the jacket has a concealed magnetic closure—which makes for a clean, futuristic look—and the collar pops up to form a makeshift mask. (April says this is a nod to pollution but also admits she did it because "it looks cool.") Finally, the Gos added his own touch. "He wanted the fur collar," April says. "That wasn't there in the beginning."
The coat's already sparked plenty of knockoffs around the Web, but guys who want the genuine article shouldn't give up hope: The crew made about 15 jackets for the film, to account for stunt doubles and inevitable damage. "I don't want to tell you the whole thing, but by the end it's full of holes and blood," April says. We hear that adds character.
This article was first published in the print edition of Esquire Singapore, September 2017.