Five style lessons to learn from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet

Youthful rebellion.

It’s the movie that established Leonardo DiCaprio’s title as a Hollywood heartthrob; with his floppy blonde hair, sexy iambic pentameters and signature chain-smoking. Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is an ageless modern classic, marrying the 16th century and the MTV era with vibrant visuals, sparkling cross-dressing and bold statements of youthful rebellion.

The liberating fashion is sound-tracked by American rock bands like Radiohead and Butthole Surfers generating an elevated energy of Shakespeare’s original version. The modernised star-crossed lovers’ story, involves two opposing gangs: the Capulets and the Montagues, both serving iconic subculture styles (think tight leather Dolce & Gabbana vs Soviet punk). Keeping the Elizabethan language of the original script, Luhrmann was left to communicate to the modern day audience with fashion, so here’s what we learnt from him…

Button down and spike up

Film still / Romeo + Juliet

Romeo’s Montague boys look like they’ve emerged from a Miami version of the Kings Road. Their Hawaiian shirt and combat trouser combos could be straight off the Balenciaga 2018 runway.

WHITE Angel wings go great with chiffon

Film still / Romeo + Juliet

It’s Juliet’s most iconic look; the ensemble that mesmerised Romeo. Angelic fancy dress is perfect for summer in a forest festival; you never know who will fall in love with you.

Suits don’t have to be fitted to be a sick fit

Prada only started menswear three years prior to Luhrmann’s Shakespeare adaptation but she succeeded with Romeo’s minimalist navy suit. The messy, boxy, 70’s collared suit introduces the film’s protagonist: the guy every teenage girl later pinned up on their walls.

Men can make dominatrix fashion too

Film still / Romeo + Juliet

The Capulet crew prove macho can be immaculate in tight velour, big buckle belts and leather bullet-proof gillets; all thanks to Dolce & Gabbana. Serving SNM mafia vibes.

Sequinned bras will bring out your inner Candi Staton

Film still / Romeo + Juliet

Mercutio’s debut in the film is drag goals: dressed in his sparkly sequined two-piece, silver heels, suspenders and curly fright wig, thrusting to Staton’s Young Hearts Run Free. Shine on…

Related Content