Fight Club (1999). Directed by David Fincher. Costume design by Michael Kaplan. Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Fight Club’s Tyler Durden is a monster among men. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a world of duvets, Starbucks, and crass capitalism, Brad Pitt’s Durden is a real, honest to god predator, ready to press the reset button on the world and return to the hunter’s world.
Durden is an exceptionally charismatic character, able to pull everyone around him into the maelstrom of his personality. Learn just what makes him so appealing, and just how you can get some of that magnetism yourself.
‘I’m Tyler Durden’
Though his life is chaos, the freedom that Durden exhibits, morally, sexually, and stylistically, makes him an object of attraction. Durden is Freud’s Id, man’s urges given pace and life, and that freedom is appealing.
Every man wants to be him, every woman wants to be with him, and Durden sums up his appeal handsomely in the film. ‘All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look like you want to look, I fuck like you want to fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not. ‘
Intimidating, but emulating this persona is not impossible. After all, there’s a little Tyler Durden in all of us.
You’re Not Your Khakis
Tyler’s persistent use of statement pieces are only used to amplify his magnetic personality. From the oversized faux fur coat, to pastel colored t-shirts, and red leather jacket, all of Pitt’s clothes draw the eye towards him and make him the center of attention.
The clothes are only the means to bring your attention to Durden. Durden is the real show, and the clothes are only made cool because he is wearing them. He is outgoing, he is charming and this role is something difficult for many to carry off.
It requires a certain brutal charm and originality all your own. Don’t try to be yourself playing Tyler Durden; be yourself as if you were living without moral or social limitations.
Joining the Fight Club
Pick the right statement pieces. On the rack, the items are glamorous tributes to excess. A bright red leather jacket. A full length fur coat. A pair of oversized sunglasses. They all draw the eye towards Durden.
However, Durden’s pieces almost all look like they’ve been received second, or thirdhand. The washed out colors, uncleanable stains and tears and rips are a deliberate part of the look. The glamor and optimism of these pieces is turned on its head by their thrift store status.
Designers like Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano do an excellent job of emulating this look, but a cheaper alternative is doing the actual thrift store thing. For help, you can consider EveryGuyed’s How To Buy Vintage.
The Tyler Durden look is just as much about personality and magnetism and freedom as it is about clothes. It’s a ratty rock star, freed from everyday constraints and expectations about clothing and life.
- The clothes are all ultra glam rock star style pieces. Bright colors, gaudy materials, over the top accessories.
- The finish of each of these items is worn down to threads, with the pieces looking like they were fished from the Goodwill box.
- The man makes the clothes. Your personality should be the real show. Loud, charismatic, just a bit outrageous, and absolutely unapologetic. Don’t try to be someone else; be what you would be if you didn’t care what anybody ever thought.
Got your own ideas for your own personal Project Mayhem? Need help figuring out which mink coat would look best? Use the comments box below.