By Antonio Malara
“Rebel Without a Cause” was the second movie played by James Dean and probably his most iconic role, the one who made him popular. The movie also shows the hard side of the youth in the fifties. Jim Stark (played by Dean) is a teenager who has a problematic life, his parents instead of helping him, makes things worse. He moved to Los Angeles, he had no friends and not a clear view of his future. He meets Judy (who’s the girlfriend of Buzz, a boss of a teenage gang) and Plato, a lonesome guy. They found out to have more or less the same problems and tried to help each other. The story evolved with love between Jim and Judy and friendship with Plato but this also brought to a tragedy.
At some point in the movie, Jim shows an outfit which will become history. He wore a blue jeans with a white t-shirt and a red bomber jacket. The outfit become a symbol, it identifies James Dean and his character. Maybe it was because of the red bomber but this color combination is not so popular, even now it’s had to find someone wearing that outfit.
It’s not a secret that I love cinema and icons so this kind of outfit was on my wishlist and finally I realized a tribute to James Dean and his popular style. I worked more on colors instead of the style. In the movie Dean wears the bomber and a pair of boots, I replaced this two pieces with a biker leather jacket and socks sneakers. My goal was to make an old outfit wearable today with also an innovation. I don’t know if my outfit has the same effect but it looks cool and the red jacket is so bright that people turn around to look at you.
So at almost forty years old I had fun to impersonate an iconic character, hoping to have created inspiration rather than ruin the memory of James Dean.
Shoes: Philipp Plein
Photo: Maria Chiara Malara