High-Flying Style Lessons From Top Gun
Ms Kelly McGillis Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwoodas and Mr Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun, 1986. Photograph by Allstar Picture Library
From aviators to field jackets, the style advice we’re taking from Top Gun .
“I feel the need… the need for speed.” Can it really be 30 years since those immortal words were uttered in Top Gun, the high-octane, testosterone-crazed action-adventure, which gave Mr Tom Cruise one of his most deathless roles as hot-dog fighter pilot Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (and yes, the clue to his swaggering, man-spreading, loner-and-rebel predilections is most definitely in the name)? The movie has endured – and been preserved by the Library of Congress as “culturally significant”, if you please – because of its killer cast, follow-your-dreams plotline, slick, MTV-influenced style, brilliant soundtrack (including Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Mr Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”) and, crucially, its beyond-parody dialogue. (Example gems: “Take me to bed or lose me forever”; “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”)
But there’s another reason that Top Gun still soars like an F-14A Tomcat: the clothes. While it’s true that military-inspired looks are hardy perennials, Top Gun took it to officer-class level. Here, MR PORTER singles out three style takeaways that will have you “jumpin’ off the deck. And shovin’ into overdrive” (thank you, Mr Loggins). With original producer Mr Jerry Bruckheimer still trying to get Top Gun 2 off the ground, the following tips will make sure you’re ahead of the curve style-wise, as well as being – as the movie’s original tagline had it – “Up there with the best of the best.”
AVIATORS ALWAYS FLY HIGHER
Mr Tom Cruise. Photograph by Allstar Picture Library
“I don’t like you because you’re dangerous,” Iceman, played by Mr Val Kilmer, hisses to Maverick at one point. “That’s right!” he exults. “I am dangerous!” And what tops off Mr Cruise’s air of heedless, improvident, you’ve-got-to-watch-out-for-him-’cos-he’s-a-bit-mad audacity? The sunglasses, of course. Aviators are a no-brainer for splash-the-sucker sky-fighters, but, with their cool simplicity and offhand elegance, they can confer an air of heroism on mere mortals, too. The sleek leather trim on these Cutler & Gross versions will give you added Mach-2 zip. And if that zip’s not enough – this Larose cap has one extra. .
ROCK IT WITH A POCKET
Mr Tom Cruise and Ms Kelly McGillis. Photograph by Allstar Picture Library
Even Maverick’s T-shirts are well-armed, and we’re not talking about the relative girth of Mr Cruise’s biceps. We’re talking about the fact that he’s opted for a tee with a pocket, which, far from being superfluous, accentuates the garment’s tactile charms, while providing ultra-convenient storage for all the things the average airborne avenger needs: chewing gum, iPod, certificate stating that you’re officially the baddest hellcat ever to hit the boosters, etc. James Perse’s cotton-linen blend version puts the joy into joystick.
PATCHES ARE MORE THAN SEW-SEW
Messrs Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise. Photograph by Paramount/Kobal Collection
“Whose side are you on?” asks an incredulous Iceman of Maverick after another crazy stunt. The answer is surely the side of the fashion-forward, as this study of Mr Cruise makes clear. Not only is he sporting the military-bondage melange favoured by everyone from Givenchy to Thom Browne over the last few seasons, but his jumpsuit is adorned with patches. It’s a trend that’s set to take hold for AW16, but it’s also a look that’s already been co-opted by the ever prescient Saint Laurent to killer effect on in this camo field jacket – though the usual hardcore exhortations (“Death before dishonour”, say) are replaced by some, something somewhat a little less, um, contentious (“Keep on rocking”). You might want to carry slightly fewer bags than Maverick is here – but one is usually helpful; keep it military with this Onia tote, which comes in ballistic nylon.