Why Is Daniel Day-Lewis Suddenly Dressing Like Timothée Chalamet?


Five years ago, the sight of three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis wearing a Carhartt work jacket and pants, a plaid flannel shirt, and a little rolled-up beanie set the menswear world on fire. The cultural cachet of canvas double-knee pants skyrocketed. Emma Specter, now a writer at Voguelikened his vibe to both an “NYU creative writing major with an ethnomusicology concentration” and “your Bushwick bartender/blogger boyfriend stepping out for a quick afternoon Juul.” The Wall Street Journal named him the best-dressed man of 2018. He had already retired from Hollywood by then, his final film Phantom Thread (in which he plays a fashion designer) long since out of theaters, but the “Daniel Day Drip” tone had been set.

Day-Lewis, a relatively private figure, hasn’t been seen in public much since—that is, until last week, when he was twice seen out walking in New York City with his wife, Rebecca Miller, while also sporting what seemed to be an entirely new set of threads. Upon first sighting, the 66-year-old wore a blue-and-brown striped tracksuit, dark shades, and black Hoka running sneakers, with a trucker hat from the Japanese moto brand Yoshimura resting atop his chin-length gray locks. (Day-Lewis is a big motorcycle guy—not unlike his Hollywood peer Keanu Reeves, who also tends to accessorize accordingly.) The next day, he swapped out the suit for a black zip-up hoodie, blue striped tee, and butter-yellow “Swooshie Pants” from the Boston skate brand One Gig.

In turn, the menswear commentators logged back on to reflect on how Day-Lewis, once legendary for his idiosyncratic ’90s suits, seems to have discovered streetwear in retirement. (Podcaster Chris Black, who’d previously compared Day-Lewis’s 2018 workwear ensemble to that of a “chic dog walker,” tweeted he had “a feeling the new Daniel Day-Lewis photos won’t be making as many mood boards as the last ones.”) But perhaps the actor has merely entered his own post-swag era, a fashion practice pioneered by current Hollywood hotshot Timothée Chalamet, whom his Lady Bird and Little Women co-star Saoirse Ronan once described as looking “kinda [like] a young Daniel Day-Lewis.” (To continue the aforementioned NYU metaphor, GQ’s Sam Hine wrote that off-duty Timmy tends to dress like “a Gallatin student on a hungover bagel run.”) Post-swag style centers on mildly gauche, usually expensive streetwear worn with the chameleonic, sloppy confidence only a famous thespian can possess. Which, as this latest public appearance suggests, Day-Lewis—a master of reinvention—very much still has.

A previous iteration of Daniel Day-Lewis, wearing his epochal Carhartt work pants, at a Phantom Thread screening in London on January 27, 2018.John Phillips/Getty Images

So is it possible that Day-Lewis, like his spiritual protégée Chalamet, could someday reappear at seaside photocalls of Cannes, or the high-fashion canals of Venice, to promote a new cinematic venture? Blessedly, he’s already got the wardrobe for it.


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