Fashion

Where Did Austin Butler Come From???

The Elvis star is ushering in a new era of understatement.
IMAGE FRAZER HARRISON / GETTY IMAGES
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We've obviously been aware of Austin Butler ever since it came to light that the actor would be playing Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's imminent biopic, but in truth, we knew little about him before that. Did you know that he was in Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood? Us neither. But he was, and he might have had the best line in the whole film, spoken in the finale to a very high Brad Pitt: "I'm as real as a donut, motherfucker!"

Perhaps our (shameful) ignorance to Butler's earlier career is down to geography, and that most of his work has been on US TV shows, but nonetheless, he is indeed real. Real stylish, as it turns out. Properly cool. Or at least, as a few recent billboard fits would suggest.

At the Stella McCartney show in Paris, 2021

Photo by JACOPO RAULE.

Perhaps we should have twigged in July 2019 when, to the premiere of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Butler out-slicked everybody in all-black Brioni. I'm going to be so bold as to say he out-dressed Brad and Leo themselves, which is no mean feat. Especially as Pitt was in the midst of a major glow-up.

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Then - skipping over the pandemic years - in October, he was in Paris for Stella McCartney's SS'22 show, and nailed studied-understatement once again in a powder blue DB suit and (we assume, faux) croc boots. More recently, he was pictured at Cinemacon in Las Vegas in full Celine double-denim.

Another double-breasted blazer, this time worn Seventies style with cowboy boots and a 5-o'clock shadow, and our man nailed it again. There is something of a paradox here: the blazer-and-denim dichotomy. Get it right and you're Robert Redford in Day Of The Condor (1975), but get it wrong and you're Jeremy Clarkson, in a car dealership in the Cotswolds. Butler, we can safely say, got it right.

Photo by GOTHAM.

Finally, to Monday night's Met Gala, and Butler's latest big low-key fit. Elvis is likely to allow him to pull up a seat at Hollywood's top table, so it would be understandable if he went big. But no, he took to the red carpet in pared-back, monochromatic Prada, the only punctuation a simple broach on the lapel. At an event that celebrates being extra, to have the confidence to underplay it speaks volumes. And if you ever needed proof that less is more, this is it. And not a blue suede shoe in sight.

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Charlie Teasdale
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