Jun 04, 2023
We need to talk about Cillian Murphy's Oppenheimer fedora
By Zak Maoui Oppenheimer is first and foremost an epic film about nuclear war. Big Bombs. Big explosions. Bigger brains. It's definitely not meant to be a film about menswear, but surprisingly
By Zak Maoui
Oppenheimer is first and foremost an epic film about nuclear war. Big Bombs. Big explosions. Bigger brains. It's definitely not meant to be a film about menswear, but surprisingly Christopher Nolan's high-stakes thriller is becoming just that. Case in point: Cillian Murphy, who takes on the titular role of atomic bomb Chief Mastermind Robert J Oppenheimer, is causing upheaval in the way men dress up on a high street near you.
Murphy is there in scissor sharp suiting. The straight and narrow stuff – stamped with a Manhattan Project security K-6 badge – you'd expect of a guy who hides away in a scientific bunker. Specatuclar suiting that hangs delicately on the actor who lost a lot of weight to portray the frail, cigarette-chuffing nuclear scientist.
Murphy also sports some pretty fetching headgear in the film – and it is that that has got people talking. "It’s like artfully dishevelled hair, it takes a lot of fussing", Murphy said about the hat in an interview with the LA Times. Over on Twitter (sorry Elon, X?!), one user has suggested “No one has ever made a goofy hat look better than Cillian Murphy”.
The hat in question resembles a fedora, but it isn't a fedora in the traditional sense. It's more of an exaggerated porkpie – all height and wide rims. It doesn't come with the pinched top that signifies a true fedora. It was designed by Los Angeles-based Baron Hats founder Mark Mejia, who worked closely with Oppenheimer's costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.
Following the release of Oppenheimer this weekend, fedora sales are blowing up (pun intended). It's as if we're witnessing a second coming of the Peaky Blinders effect. You know - when every man – David Beckham among them – rushed out and bought a flat cap. “In 2016 on the launch of Peaky Blinders our flat cap sales increased 83 per cent,” a spokesperson for John Lewis told GQ today.
But we might be experiencing an even bigger boom in headgear wear as a result of Oppenheimer. The fedora has outstripped the flatcap as the rising star of the headwear universe. A spokesperson for the John Lewis sales team has revealed that “fedora hats are currently leading the way over flat caps. We are currently selling 21 per cent more fedora hats than flat caps.” They continued, "The launch of the Oppenheimer film has certainly influenced the renaissance of fedora hats, which are leading the way at John Lewis."
And while one Twitter user has asked “is there any hat Cillian Murphy can’t sell”, others aren't so pleased. The fedora – the Marmite item of the men's headgear sphere, having been picked up from Old Hollywood legends and adopted by hopeful X Factor contestants and early 2010s #menswear influencers – might be about to make a comeback following its steady demise in recent years. A lot of people want it to be thrown into the fiery abyss. Because apparently out of misery comes…even more misery? “Can we stop casting Cillian Murphy in things where he has to wear hats?” said another Twitter user. ”The flat cap trend after Peaky was god awful & now we're going to have to cope with the rise of the fedora again. Guys, you don't look like Cillian Murphy & a hat won't change that, please put the hat down."
Just like Oppenheimer, whether he likes it or not Murphy's like a nuclear warhead, and his effect on menswear is all too real. Whether you're into it or not, is down to you.