Keanu Reeves has long dealt in auras and inarticulable projections of self, and they’ve developed into a series of enduring movie roles, memes, and most recently, high fashion bona fides. Johnny Utah became Neo became Sad Keanu became John Wick became a Saint Laurent campaign—something like that. From a distance, it looks like a road littered with detours, but you wouldn’t know it looking at his clothes. Black suits, onscreen and off, boots or other vaguely hiking-type shoes: These have always been the essential tools in a much-studied toolbox.
“People doing dances, people doing mannequin stuff or whatever—those people, they look like they’re having fun and doing some cool shit,” Reeves told GQ in April, on the subject of those memes.
As you already know if you’re tangentially interested in any of this, Reeves went to LACMA’s Art+Film Gala on Saturday with the artist Alexandra Grant. What’s more, they held hands. He wore a black three-piece suit and brown boots. In June, he went to Saint Laurent’s show in Malibu with Grant, but they didn’t stir quite as feverish a reaction. Reeves wore black boots that time.
When Saint Laurent collapsed the distance between style memes and fashion advertisement with a campaign that launched in April, it highlighted Reeves’s trademark silhouette and bearing. The photographer David Sims worked with creative director Anthony Vaccarello on a trio of disarming, serene black-and-white images. Reeves seems as if he’s entered into some sort of reverent communion with the clothes he’s wearing, making it a relationship that appears more considered than that with his boots.
And yet, the images still fit comfortably within the world of Reeves fanfare. It’s a mysterious business, becoming this particular type of online cult figure, and maybe some of this was just a snowball that eventually became an unstoppable avalanche. But maybe some of it comes from Reeves’s own constancy, the sharing of an energy so richly consistent that it becomes nearly incandescent. Time moves on, action movies get made, relationships get dissected. Reeves shows up in a sturdy black suit and efficient boots, ready for any and all of it.
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