Cillian Murphy Makes a Strong Case for Stark Minimalism

They're calling the Oppenheimer star 'Anti-Ken'
Published: 18 July 2023
Photo by Getty Images

By now, you're probably aware of an impending battle happening this week: Barbie vs Oppenheimer. The two blockbuster behemoths in their own right are scheduled for wide release on the very same day. Of course, there's nothing remotely similar about the two films—it's Barbie and Ken against a biographical thriller about the development of nuclear weapons—apart from sharing overwhelmingly positive first reactions.

The contrast in tones of the two films has also been reflected in how the two male leads (specifically Ryan Gosling and Cillian Murphy) have been dressing while promoting their respective films. True to the nature of Barbie, Gosling had been appearing in just about every spectrum of bright pastels imaginable; Murphy opted for the exact opposite.

Now, Murphy has hardly ever been one to gravitate towards a colourful fit. But the man is not opposed to it, based on several instances on the red carpet as well as in between the pages of Esquire US. His main style repertoire however, favours clean and minimalist lines with a penchant for elevated staples.

He's been taking it up a few notches for Oppenheimer's press tour. And if you think quiet luxury (or at least semblances of it) is on its slow death, Murphy's saying otherwise.

The all-black upgrade

At the TV BAFTAs on 14 May. Photo by Getty Images

It's been said since the beginning of fashion annals: an all-black fit does no wrong. Murphy gets it down pat every time. But it's all in the brilliant styling choice for this particular look—a tie rakishly worn askew for a brilliant addition of dimension to an otherwise safe outfit.

Long live the tie

At the Paris premiere of Oppenheimer in Paris on 11 July. Photo by Getty Images

The tie may be experiencing some sort of a resurgence on the menswear runway shows, but in everyday fashion, not so much. Murphy's Prada ensemble suggests that it could very well work for that special dinner date coming up. Again, it's the smart choice of opting for a tie in the same colour as the shirt. Here, it's a specific nod to the military aspect of the film with khaki as the star colour.

The stylish dadcore

At the London photocall of Oppenheimer in London on 12 July. Photo by Getty Images

Honestly, we're running to get ourselves a well-made cardigan after this. There's nothing heavily overdone (or under) with this, but it perfectly underscores how the right kind of wardrobe staples (Murphy's cardigan is by Studio Nicholson) are all one needs to be stylish.

Sheer brilliance

At the London premiere of Oppenheimer in London on 12 July. Photo by Getty Images

We definitely weren't expecting this sheer Saint Laurent fit for the London premiere of Oppenheimer. It definitely still keeps within Murphy's style leanings, all while venturing into something out of left field. But then again, who ever said being a minimalist meant being predictable?

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