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Bear in mind when Christian Bale wore make-up on the purple carpet?

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

Delving into the archives of popular culture historical past, “Bear in mind When?” is a CNN Fashion sequence providing a nostalgic take a look at the superstar outfits that outlined their eras.

Bear in mind when a 24-year-old Christian Bale wowed onlookers with this purple carpet look that includes a shimmering sweep of silver eyeshadow that struck like lightning throughout his face?

This 12 months marks the 25th anniversary of the daring make-up alternative (two silvery cat-eyes with a dab of rouge on every cheek), which was a homage to what was then Bale’s new film, “Velvet Goldmine.” Premiering on the Village East Cinemas in New York Metropolis that night time, the mock-biopic adopted the turbulent lifetime of a ’70s and ’80s glam rock famous person, extensively assumed to be impressed by David Bowie (who had launched a titled tune “Velvet Goldmine” many years earlier).

The silver make up was tied to the glam rock movie "Velvet Goldmine," premiering in New York.

The silver make up was tied to the glam rock film “Velvet Goldmine,” premiering in New York. Credit score: Steve Eichner/Archive Photographs/Getty Pictures

Whereas the film left some reviewers chilly, costume designer Sandy Powell’s camp aesthetics received a BAFTA and secured an Oscar nomination in 1999. And, fittingly, it was a flamboyant purple carpet all spherical: Director Todd Haynes arrived with eyes ringed in glowing blue kohl pencil, whereas The B-52s singer Fred Schneider rocked up in purple slacks flecked with stars and a fuzzy feather boa.

However it’s Bale’s playful full-face that has really stood the check of time. The truth is, with males’s make-up hovering in recognition, close-up photographs of his sparkly eyeshadow have discovered new followers on social media.

“I can not consider that is the primary time I am seeing these photos,” writes one person below a tweet in regards to the look that has been appreciated over 21,000 occasions. The photographs have even discovered their method onto TikTok, the place customers have devoted whole movies to fawning over Bale’s then-subversive make-up — and a few even making an attempt to recreate it on their very own faces.
Images of the flamboyant look have recently recirculated on social media.

Pictures of the flamboyant look have not too long ago recirculated on social media. Credit score: Steve Eichner/Archive Photographs/Getty Pictures

The web’s zealous resurrection of Bale’s “Velvet Goldmine” look comes at a time when notions of masculinity are being challenged and remade, particularly in the case of style. Skirts have grow to be completely acceptable clothes to seek out hanging within the fashionable man’s wardrobe: Brad Pitt, Oscar Isaac and A$AP Rocky have all worn them. Glitter jumpsuits? They’re an on-stage staple for Harry Kinds, who launched his personal model of nail polish final 12 months. Equally well-documented is Machine Gun Kelly’s penchant for pink — whether or not it within the type of crop tops, floral fits or open satin shirts.

However to many individuals, Bale nonetheless represents a sure breed of machismo — partially due to his function in 2000’s “American Psycho.” Within the final two years, communities on Reddit and TikTok have anointed the hyper-masculine, completely preened however sociopathic character, Patrick Bateman, because the poster youngster for “sigma males”: A male-dominated web subculture perpetuating misogyny on-line. The tag “sigma” has 41 billion views on TikTok, with many movies that includes clips of both Bateman or followers reenacting scenes from the film.

The 1998 red carpet look was a direct contract to Bale's role as uber-masculine sociopath Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" (2000).

The 1998 purple carpet look was a direct contract to Bale’s function as uber-masculine sociopath Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” (2000). Credit score: Kerry Hayes/Lions Gate/Kobal/Shutterstock

The second appears to straight contradict his inadvertent place in incel tradition, which can be why the pictures have been recirculating since 2020. “Replying to each Patrick Bateman obsession degenerate being homophobic/misogynistic with photos of Christian Bale rocking make-up and nail paint,” one person wrote on Twitter.

He was in good firm. It was the last decade of male crop tops, a la Will Smith in “The Recent Prince of Bell Air” and Mark Wahlberg. Earlier that 12 months, David Beckham was seen off-duty on the World Cup in France carrying a printed Jean Paul Gaultier sarong. Different stars would go on to expand, campier style statements. In 1999, Brad Pitt starred on the quilt of Rolling Stone journal in a form-fitting mini-dress, making a gender-defying second that may go down in popular culture historical past. Nevertheless it’s about time Bale acquired his due, too.

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