a guide to timothée chalamet’s fashion evolution
The guide you didn't know you needed, and now can't live without.
It’s strange to think that just over a year ago, only a handful of people truly considered themselves die-hard Timothée Chalamet stans. Ever since 2017’s awards season rolled around, the 22-year-old actor -- who stole our hearts by being dangerously charming in Call Me By Your Name and the ultimate face of fuccboi existentialism in Lady Bird -- has been that Hot Young Thing. It seems like everybody, whether they’re 15 or 50, gay or straight, man, woman or non-binary, is professing to be the New York native’s greatest admirer.
The natural byproduct of a young actor being thrust suddenly into the spotlight nowadays, is that the fashion world fawns over them. When it comes time to suit up for awards ceremonies or to head out on the road for a massive promo tour, the fashion cognoscenti try and predict who will be gunning for gold, and reach out to forge relationships with the next generation of acting talent. He’s yet to be a campaign boy (Lucas Hedges and Charlie Plummer, for example, were the final faces of Kris van Assche’s Dior Homme), but Timothée’s already delivered some stellar red carpet looks thanks to a loyal link-up with menswear master Haider Ackermann. It’s a far cry from those high school days rocking snapbacks for his now infamous rap persona.
But with each passing year, from cocky high school drama kid, to dressing modestly at schmoozy film events, to flat-out dominating the red carpets last awards season, Timothée has always proved that he’s a man of growth. These, in our humble opinion, are a selection of his most important looks; the ones that have acted as bookmarks in his style story from the very beginning.
2013: Lil Timmy Tim
Okay, we don’t know about you, but we feel it’s unfair for anybody to judge the fashion choices of a kid, purely because we’ve all dressed like an absolute dickhead at some point in your lives. But Timothée Chalamet ain’t no normal kid -- he’s got a bloody Academy Award nomination! -- so we’ll start our journey at his first (and so far only) foray into the music world, with his now prolific Lil Timmy Tim act.
At 17 years old, his fashion sense was clearly still in its formative stages. As he jumped on stage at LaGuardia High School’s Rising Stars of 2012 event, Dougy-ing like no white boy had ever Dougied before, Lil Timmy Tim decided to don a pair of MC Hammer-worthy white adidas sweats and a pastel-pink T-shirt. We’d call this the ultimate ‘ask for your number and never actually call you’ outfit, and as he strips the tee off to reveal a DIY vest bearing Nicki Minaj’s face on the back and his digits scrawled in Sharpie on the front, our worst fears are confirmed. In hindsight, this is a troubling but necessary step in Timothée’s fashion journey. We low-key love him for it anyway.
2014: Timmy’s first TIFF
At this point in Timothée’s impending rise to fame, a full three years before Call Me By Your Name premiered, the then 18-year-old had shed the Lil Timmy Tim persona in favour of something a little less ostentatious.
At the Toronto Film Festival premiere of his 2014 movie Men, Women and Children he left the sweatpants at home and opted for a modest, if crowd-pleasing, grey and white striped roll-neck. But if you thought he was going all conservative on us, think again! He kept it young by pairing it with some frayed black denim and camo-print desert boots. The hair, still a few years away from reaching its iconic tousled state, is channelling Jimmy Neutron in the most endearing way possible. 2014 TC? We stan.
2015: Soft florals for the Berlinale
When we first started putting together this guide, we swore that Timothée wore nothing but suits for the entire duration of 2015, but among that endless slew of black lapels and loosely hanging ties, there lies this jacket, which we’re sort of into.
This delicate floral puffer coat got just one public outing at an event at the Berlin Film Festival three years ago, when his sleepy drama about life on an arable farm, One & Two, premiered. We’re not entirely sure where it came from, but it looks like the first documented instance of everybody’s certified fave starting to touch on his softer side.
2016: Somewhere in Northern Italy
CMBYN might not have found its way to a cinema-going audience until the tail end of 2017, but the summer of the year prior saw Timothée, just a promising young actor at this point, make his mark on cinema’s relationship with style in a way none of us saw coming. The billowy shirts; arse cheek-scraping short shorts; classic wayfarer sunglasses; jewellery bearing the Star of David -- all elements of Call Me By Your Name’s flawless wardrobe design that imbued Guadagnino’s queer love story with a stunning sense of sex, electricity and romanticism.
As soon as Elio’s outfits reached the public, inspiring thinkpieces a plenty, the world went gaga for his 1980s wardrobe. That vintage shirt from the final scene (you know, the one covered with faces on it) soon became the most sought-after piece for every London fashion queer’s wardrobe. Meanwhile, we spent this summer seeing men of all ages bin their board shorts in favour of the teeny-tiny kind instead. Timmy’s character’s impact -- as well as his older companion Oliver’s -- was wild.
Of course, Timothée tried to pocket some of the film’s most coveted pieces, including an endless array of Lacoste polo shirts that belonged to the film’s producer, but wasn’t so lucky. Instead, all he got was a breakout role, an Oscar nomination and the promise of a lengthy career forever tethered to an encounter with a peach.
2017: Back to Berlin, a Berluti Boy
By this point, just after its Sundance premiere, the film world was starting to go wild for Call Me By Your Name and Timothée was in the process of being summoned to the It Boy throne. But who was waiting in the sidelines, keen to offer the then-21-year-old a full luxury clothing spread for the multitude of glitzy premieres still to come? None other than Haider Ackermann.
Back when the Colombian-French designer was still heading up Berluti, he decked out Timmy in this get-up, straight off the runway. But knowing not to push the new star too far on his first proper haute le mode moment, he kept it fairly simple: a black shirt, jeans and polished dress shoes with a deep purple suede leather jacket. The hair, just coming into its earth-shifting, tousled glory, is giving us serious matinee idol vibes too.
2017: The Velvet King of London Film Festival
Markers of wealth in fashion –- be it gold, diamonds or all white get-ups -- go through phases of being cool. Velvet is another thing that should be thrown on that list, but when it winds up on the back of the most sought after man in Hollywood right now, people start to see it a little differently. When Timothée rolled into London Town for the press run of Call Me By Your Name he wore two velvet outfits that proved he was edging a little further out of his comfort zone. Maybe, we thought, the ultra cocky Little Timmy Tim was back?
Not quite, but the burgundy velvet bomber he wore to the film’s press conference, paired with some earthy green chinos and a crisp white shirt, suggested that he was much more comfortable in his style now. He confirmed that fact by taking to the red carpet in a dark emerald tux later in the evening. They grow up so fast! :’(
2018: Petrol Station Couture at the Independent Spirit Awards
He might have been robbed BLIND at every turn when it came to last year’s awards run, but there was one voting board that got things right. Timothée rewarded them by delivering a painfully good look in return.
After donning an all-black tux for the Golden Globes barely a week earlier, Timmy turned up to the Independent Spirit Awards wearing a pre-fall 2018 Off-White utility shirt, black jeans and slick white sneakers. Unsurprisingly, the Virgil-designed number really got people talking. While film royalty rocked up in gowns and suits, it was Timothée’s decision to bring things down a peg that earned him comparisons in the tabloid fashion press to a petrol station or car wash attendant. Don’t worry, TC, this is what happens when you’re always 10 steps ahead of everyone.
2018: An angel at the Oscars
To earn a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards is a big deal for any performer, no matter their age, but when Timothée found himself rubbing shoulders with literal legends of the game -- Daniel Day Lewis and Gary Oldman -- the desire to present himself as a standalone kid in a sea of older faces was too tempting for the man who dressed him.
After speaking with Timmy about what his debut Oscar look would be, Haider Ackermann opted for a bright white Berluti tux, and in retrospect, it feels like the perfect call. “He was the young dude between all those massive actors,” Ackermann said in an interview earlier this year. “I wanted him to be pure.”
The return of Ackermann for TIFF
Ackermann might have parted ways with Berluti earlier in the year, but Timmy’s relationship with his go-to designer continued. At the world premiere of his latest film, the heartbreaking addiction drama Beautiful Boy, that he’s already gathering swathes of Oscar buzz for, he rocked up wearing a suit from Ackermann’s eponymous line. Paired with a black T-shirt and some military-style leather boots, his embroidered beauty is custom-made; Ackermann (so far) has only released the suit as part of his women’s wear line.
But that suit wasn't the only thing that grabbed people's attention – look at the hair! Having sacrificed his iconic locks for his role in The King, he's fashioned it into a monkish bowl cut that's already causing teenage fans around the world to lose sleep and weep uncontrollably.
But it's all a sign of things to come in terms of TC’s still fascinating evolution. Glimpses of floral-embroidered McQueen oxford shirts and garish Hawaiian print number suggest that there's still so much to explore when it comes to his style. As long as we keep writing about it, there's bound to be another brilliant element to his wardrobe for us to obsess over with each passing season.