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Game, set, match: Josh O’Connor emerges as the Challengers fashion king

From the beginning of the tour, it was quite evident that O’Connor and long-time stylist Harry Lambert had some sort of J-Dubs hotline installed. At the Australian premiere, when Zendaya was hogging the limelight in (an admittedly quite fab) tennis court dress, O’Connor was swathed in a deep-coffee Loewe suit and bulbous lilac trainers. At the UK premiere the actor went for a seemingly traditional tuxedo, except for the ‘I TOLD YA’ printed across the shirt, referencing a tee O’Connor wore in the film, of which Anderson was the costume designer.

The film’s LA screening was arguably O’Connor finest fashion moment of the tour – a slouchy pinstripe suit, double-breasted, with lime green shirt sleeves that extended far beyond his fingers. The outfit was good because there’s a fair amount of drama in a sleeve that’s too long – they’re excessive and impractical, and result in over-gesticulation as one fights against their own cuffs. And while they definitely have a certain elegance to them, there’s also something quite wayward and grumpy about long sleeves that made O’Connor look like a disgruntled teenager, or someone in Year seven waiting for his mum to come pick him up. That’s a lot of personality for quite a simple look, and O’Connor is pulling them off with ease.

Elsewhere, the actor slipped into Anderson’s designs at other pit stops. At a photocall in London, what seemed like your average grey blazer made very little sense proportionally, with more long sleeves, a too-high hem and tiny lapels. And the return of a frenetic Richard Dawkins-designed print from January’s men’s show – one that is very hard to style – proved why O’Connor’s current fashion sense is particularly praiseworthy.

Despite how commonplace they might seem – a shirt, a suit, a simple sweater vest – Anderson’s clothes are odd in ways that don’t seem obvious, which makes you forget how difficult they are to pull off. The fact that O’Connor can integrate these details so seamlessly into his wardrobe, without looking like he’s making some sort of big “fashion play”, is why he’s emerged as the true champ of the Challengers press tour. It’s also what makes him the perfect J-Dubs muse, as Anderson’s designs often deal in the sort of unstudied yet avant style O’Connor is so good at projecting. So, sorry to Z and Mike, but it looks like Josh is taking this round. Congrats on the slam dunk, and may your cuffs stay large forever.

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  • Source of information and images “dazeddigital”

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