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An Urban Decay ‘Game of Thrones’ Collection Is Coming

There are many reasons that to be counting the days until April, not the least of which is the return of HBO’s Game of Thrones for its eighth and final season, when we’ll finally learn who will reign on the Iron Throne. While the world has been anxiously awaiting new episodes and deep diving into every internet theory imaginable about Sansa, Arya, Daenerys, and her dragon children, the good people over at Urban Decay have been busy with their own baby: a Game of Thrones collection.

The show’s first-ever official makeup collaboration was announced via a somewhat cryptic Instagram post caption: “WE ARE READY ⚔️ #FORTHETHRONE #URBANDECAY @gameofthrones,” it reads, along with an image that can best be described as fierce.

The brand also teased the collection on Twitter, writing, “Worlds will collide,” along with a fire and ice emoji.

Back in 2017 there were rumors of GoT makeup, but it never came to pass. Perhaps, Urban Decay had the inside track since the company had previously worked with HBO on a collaboration for the show Vinyl. And the network has certainly seemed to lean into the marketing and merchandising of the show as it comes to a close. Remember that Thrones/Bud Light crossover ad at the Super Bowl?

Whatever forces made this collaboration a reality, we are here for it. While we don’t know many details yet (we’ll update this post once more intel surfaces), we do know that it’s arriving in April. From the released photos, it’s clear that the color palette will definitely not be as neutral as that of the Starks at Winterfell. That blue-ish teal shadow looks incredible—and fit for a queen like…Daenerys, perhaps?

But we still have so many questions. Will there be different palettes based on characters like Dany, Sansa, Cersei, and Arya? (Although, really would the youngest Stark daughter ever wear mascara? Unclear.) Is there a guyliner inspired by Jon Snow? And most importantly, how many products will there be for me to spend all my money on?

More details to come. But from the reactions on Twitter, it’s safe to say the line will be as much of a hit as the show.

The Sweet Reason Meghan Markle Didn’t Open Up Presents at Her Baby Shower

Meghan Markle‘s much-anticipated baby shower happened this past Wednesday, February 20. The star-studded event took place on New York City’s Upper East Side and reportedly featured jazz music, food by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and flower-arranging activities.

One thing that didn’t happen at the shower, though, was present-opening. Gayle King, one of the celebrities who attended the baby shower, revealed Friday (February 22) on CBS This Morning that Markle opted not to open up her gifts during the actual celebration. And her reason is very sweet.

“She didn’t open up any of the gifts because she wants to do that when she and Harry are back together,” King said. “So I really don’t know what everybody got [her].”

King said a “good time was had by all” at the baby shower, which was also attended by Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, and Markle’s Suits co-star Abigail Spencer.

“She’s a very private person,” King also noted. “I think she should decide what she wants to say about [the shower].”

Watch King discuss this for yourself in the videos, below.

The only tidbit King reveals here is about the flower-arranging activity. “We all each made an individual base, and then Meghan, at the request, got in touch with an organization I’ve never heard of, and all of those [bases] were donated to different charities. I thought that was a very sweet thing. It just speaks to who she is: She’s very kind. She’s very generous and a really, really sweet person. I think her friends just wanted to celebrate her.”

King says Williams and Markle’s longtime friends Genevive Hillis and Jessica Mulroney hosted the shower: “It was a very small, private affair and just a very special time for her.

Kensington Palace announced in October 2018 that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were expecting their first child. She’s due this spring.

John Mayer Is In His Feelings On Downright Sad New Song ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like’

John Mayer‘s tender nature is on full display on his somber new single, “I Guess I Just Feel Like.” He first performed the record in October, as a tease, at the iHeartReadio Theater in Burbank, California. Fans clamoring for the release of the tune are now finally able to get their hands (or should I say ears?) on it and it turns out that this stirring number was worth the additional four-month wait.

On his latest track, Mayer blends his silky voice with guitars for a sullen ode to shady people. He comes across as a pessimist and worrywart, spilling thoughts about the world from a negative point of view. “I guess I just feel like / Nobody’s honest, nobody’s true / Everyone’s lying to make it on through,” he sings with his bottom lip poking out. He was probably eating a gigantic tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia while recording. (It would be only fitting, after all.)

Last year, Mayer released “New Light” and an accompanying video that screams #premiumcontent. His last studio album, The Search for Everything, came out in 2017. If you want to see him perform some of his recent material live, you’re in luck; Mayer begins a world tour in March.

Listen to the smooth yet gloomy tune up above.

Jordyn Woods Spoke Out for the First Time Since the Tristan-Khloé Scandal

The Khloé Kardashian-Jordyn Woods-Tristan Thompson cheating drama has dominated pop-culture this entire week. Kardashian broke her silence on the incident yesterday, posting a series of cryptic quotes about betrayal and trust to Instagram Stories. And, now, Woods is speaking out about what happened—well, tangentially, at least.

The model and influencer made her first public appearance since the scandal Thursday night (February 21) at an event launching her false eyelashes line with Eylure. At one point during the evening, she took a microphone and seemed to address the Thompson-Kardashian situation. “Thank you guys for coming out and supporting me through everything that’s going on,” she said, according to Entertainment Tonight. “It’s been real, and Eylure has been super real with a project I’ve been working on for over nine months right now.”

Beauty and lifestyle influencer Jade Simone captured Jordyn Woods’ short speech on social media. Check it out for yourself, below:

If you’re unfamiliar about what happened this week, here’s a quick recap: On Tuesday (February 19), news broke Kardashian and Thompson were breaking up amid rumors he cheated on her with Woods, a.k.a Kylie Jenner’s best friend. Kardashian and her good friend Malika Haqq more or less confirmed this rumor when they commented “HARD FACTS” and a series of yelling emojis underneath an Instagram post about the story:

It’s been reported Woods moved out of Jenner’s home—where she was living—in light of this drama, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian took to Twitter yesterday to defend Khloé after a troll asked why she would leave the house after being cheated on. (Khloé made her first public appearance on Wednesday at a work event for the style brand PrettyLittleThing.)

“Would you prefer she lose the 💰 too?” she tweeted. “A single mom has to work too boo! This was a professional commitment planned far in advance and you better believe she is not waiting on anyone to pay her bills or provide for her daughter. PERDIODT!!!”

Why Are the Academy Awards So Long?

Average Time Per Category, 2014-18

Average Time Per Category, 2014-18

Average Time Per Category, 2014-18

Film clips, visual packages

All speeches

Host speaking

Intros, banter

Extended applause, filler

Opening envelopes

Last year’s Oscars show was the longest telecast in years, and also the lowest-rated one ever. Coincidence? Doubtful.

Such long nights—last year’s ran nearly four hours—help explain why the length of this year’s show is one of Hollywood’s biggest preoccupations.

Amid this awards-season angst, The Wall Street Journal set out to calculate precisely why the Oscars are so long. In the amount of time we spent viewing Oscar shows from 2014 to 2018, logging the number of minutes eaten up by speeches, songs, crowd shots and other staples of the annual broadcast, we could have plowed through the entire “Godfather” trilogy. Twice.

The Journal took a stopwatch to the last five years of Oscar broadcasts to breakdown what’s filling up those more than three-and-half hours. WSJ’s Jason Bellini reports the findings. Photo Illustration: Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal.

Which activities take up the most time? One of the most surprising revelations: Walking. Viewers watch an average 24 minutes of celebrities and winners walking to and from the stage. The figure is made primarily of victors ambling up to receive awards, as well as the generally quicker strides of presenters strolling to the microphone and guests heading offstage. This year, the academy is trying to curtail the walking shots, which can include cutaways of clapping celebrities, by urging winners to move more quickly.

The fastest walkers clocked around 22 seconds from seat to stage, including Mark Bridges, who didn’t waste precious seconds shaking hands or even kissing Eva Marie Saint when she handed him the Oscar for costume design last year.

By contrast, presenters spent an average 4 minutes on the main reason for the telecast: opening the envelopes and announcing who won.

Hosts fill an average 25 minutes and 27 seconds per broadcast, with roughly 8 to 11 minutes devoted to the opening monologue. Last year, host Jimmy Kimmel spent more than 7% of his roughly 27 minutes onstage talking about—what else?—how long the Oscars are. He did so with a comedy bit offering a jet ski to the winner with the fastest thank yous.

Acceptance speeches and other remarks filled just shy of 30 minutes of the show, on average, with nods to everyone from publicists to moms to “my dog Larry” (from a winner of best original screenplay, 2015, “Birdman”).

Songs can make the night seem never-ending: Our calculations show the longest songs were performed after 10 p.m. For this year’s show, the academy abandoned a plan to only air two best-song nominees and instead will show all five performances, according to industry trade publications. But these performances are among the least time-consuming, taking up just 13 minutes and 45 seconds on average.

When it comes to the Oscars, give any two people a stopwatch and a YouTube clip and they won’t log the action the same way. The Journal went to the Paley Center for Media in New York and watched the Oscars broadcasts as they appeared on television from 2014 to 2018. We did additional research by screening some footage posted online.

Long Songs
Lady Gaga performs during the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
Lady Gaga performs during the 87th Academy Awards in 2015. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lady Gaga notched the longest performance of the past five years with a 2015 Julie Andrews tribute that clocked in at four minutes and 11 seconds, not counting her standing ovation. Lady Gaga also scored the longest song in 2016 for her 3 minute and 29 second performance of the Oscar nominated song “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary “The Hunting Ground.”

Bette Midler’s 2014 tribute to deceased Hollywood figures with “Wind Beneath My Wings” was the second longest. With a song that lasted 3 minutes and 50 seconds, not counting her standing ovation, she had time to flap her arm like a bird on her final note.

Not-So-Speedy Speeches

Speeches grew longer with the hour. Eleven of the 13 speeches stretching over two minutes occurred in the second half of the show. (The exceptions: Viola Davis accepting the supporting actress Oscar for “Fences” in 2017 and Jared Leto’s supporting actor speech for “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2014, both the first awards of the night.)

Cate Blanchett, winning the best actress award in 2014 for “Blue Jasmine,” clocked the longest acceptance speech in the last five years at 3 minutes, 12 seconds. “Sit down,” she told the crowd over applause. “You’re too old to be standing.”

Tying for shortest speech: The 2014 best animated feature “Frozen,” when the three winners each delivered a third of the remarks, and the 2018 costume design award for “Phantom Thread,” whose winner also was offered a free jet ski for being so quick. Both speeches were 30 seconds.

When the Clock Is Ticking…

The time between major awards was fastest at the end of the evening, when trophies for best actor, best actress and best picture were announced in quick succession.

Time to Shine
Ennio Morricone accepts the best original score award for 'The Hateful Eight' in 2016.
Ennio Morricone accepts the best original score award for ‘The Hateful Eight’ in 2016. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Italian composer Ennio Morricone was the slowest walker: His trip to the stage in 2016 took 1 minute, 24 seconds. At 88 years old, he was helped down the aisle and up the steps, appearing to battle tears as he accepted the Oscar after five nominations. Mr. Morricone, who received an honorary Oscar more than a decade ago, picked up the trophy for best original music score for “The Hateful Eight.”

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph during the 2018 Oscars.
Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph during the 2018 Oscars. Photo: Craig Sjodin/Getty Images

The category of documentary short film scored two of the three longest celebrity introductions. Last year, Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish did a comedy bit for one minute and 55 seconds before announcing the nominees in this category, awarding the Oscar and moving on to live-action short film. In 2016 comedian Louis C.K.’s lead-in to the list of contenders took one minute, 26 seconds.

Methodology

To gauge time spent walking, we started the clock at the moment the winner or presenter’s name or movie was called and stopped it when that person spoke; we started it again after the last word of a speech and stopped it when that person got offstage or the camera cut to a new segment. Celebrity banter before envelope opening, along with speeches and songs, were timed from the first word to the last and didn’t include extended applause framing those moments. Standing ovations, wide shots of the theater, views of Oscar statues and other footage—a combination of filler, celebrity close-ups and up-next teasers—were counted together.

Write to Ellen Gamerman at ellen.gamerman@wsj.com

More in Film

Why Javier Bardem Is Excited About Joining Denis Villeneuve’s Dune

After years of preparation, director Denis Villeneuve is finally getting ready to get his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune into production, and in recent weeks he’s been assembling a cast with some of the most talented stars in the industry. Certainly one of the standouts is Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem, set to play Stilgar in the film, and from an outside perspective he seems like a major get for the project. According to Bardem, however, this is a case where he feels the pleasure is really all his, as he is both a huge fan of the source material and the filmmaker bringing it to life:

The most important thing is that I love Denis, since Prisoners. What a luxury! He asked me if I would ever be interested in being part of Dune. Are you kidding? How much do I have to pay? It’s one of those blessings that you have in this amazing, blessed life that I happen to have: having a job that I love, and make a living with, and also work with people that I truly admire and respect, and I’m getting inspired by it. It’s a lot.

Javier Bardem can currently be seen in select theaters starring opposite Penelope Cruz in the Asghar Farhadi drama Everybody Knows, and it was at the end of a conversation about that film this morning that I had the chance to ask the actor about his part in Dune. I inquired about his path to the project, and what led him to say yes, and he made it very clear that the whole thing is practically a dream and an opportunity he sees as a “blessing.”

In Dune, Javier Bardem will have one of the most significant parts, as Stilgar has a key role in the story through his relationship with hero Paul Atreides (who will be played by Academy Award-nominee Timothee Chalamet). On the desert planet Arrakis, Stilgar is one of the main leaders of the indigenous people known as the Fremen, and it is because of his alliance with the Fremen that Paul is not only able to fight against the corrupt Emperor and the dangerous members of House Harkonnen, but fulfil his ultimate destiny as a messiah.

Despite Stilgar’s importance to Dune, however, there is still some question how big his role will be in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming movie – purely because of the specific plan for the adaptation. Rather than trying to cover Frank Herbert’s entire epic novel in a single blockbuster, the idea for this new take is that the book will be split in half, with the first film establishing the world and characters, and a sequel completing the plot. The reason this is significant is because while Stilgar does appear early the story, his presence is much more important in what will be Part 2.

Of course, this is only true if Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is aiming to be a perfectly straight adaptation of the novel, which is not something that is known at this point. If the script plays around a bit with non-linear storytelling, which is something that the director has done many times, Stilgar’s role in the first half could be just as important as any of the other key characters.

We won’t have a full picture of what to expect until more details emerge – which will happen when we are closer to production – but for what it’s worth it sounds like Javier Bardem is game to contribute to a version of Dune that is as faithful and honorable to the source material as possible. Talking about his personal history with the story, Bardem told me that he not only read Frank Herbert’s first three books in the series – Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune – but also vividly remembers his experience as a teenager seeing director David Lynch’s adaptation for the first time and loving it:

I read the first three books, and, of course, I saw David Lynch’s film. I’m going to be turning 50 on March 1st, so I saw David Lynch’s film, which I loved. I remember the day I saw it in 1984, I think, and it was weird! And I loved it! It was big and weird, and those sandworms!

There is clearly going to be a lot of love for the material on the Dune set, and that just makes the project all that more exciting.

Sadly, as high as anticipation may be, we do still have quite a while before we get to see the end result, as Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment have planted a flag in a release date a year-and-a-half from now – specifically November 20, 2020. If you really need a Javier Bardem fix, however, as mentioned, you can see him now in Everybody Knows – and we’ll have more about that particular film coming your way in the next few days here on CinemaBlend.

Blended From Around The Web

 

Who Needs Gender? Why Men and Women Are Dressing Identically

Striped Sweater, $825, Henley Dress, $925, The Elder Statesman, 424-288-4221; T-shirts throughout, $90, sunspel.com; Gold Necklace, $185, Silver Necklace, $145, Miansai, 212-858-9710.
Striped Sweater, $825, Henley Dress, $925, The Elder Statesman, 424-288-4221; T-shirts throughout, $90, sunspel.com; Gold Necklace, $185, Silver Necklace, $145, Miansai, 212-858-9710. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal. See below for full credits.

“MEN’S” AND “WOMEN’S” categories still occupy the navigation menu on the website for 10-year-old retailer Totokaelo. Yet shoppers have increasingly crossed these virtual gender lines, said Fanny Damiette, vice president of brand and marketing for its parent company, Richmond, Va.-based NSTO. “We have data that shows that sometimes the girls will go in the men’s section and the men will go in the women’s section.” The shop leans into this fluidity, hiring transgender and nonbinary models and putting menswear in the women’s section.

Similar retail shifts are happening world-wide, as the fashion industry adjusts to customers who are challenging the gender binary. “Around 2015…gender identity [became] part of the national conversation,” said Ayako Homma, a consultant at market-research provider Euromonitor International. That same year Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender in the media; Target removed gender labels on kids’ clothing and toys; and a survey by Fusion Media Group found that half of millennials viewed gender as a spectrum. “These scripted ideas of what a man and woman should do are breaking down, and therefore what they’re wearing no longer has to follow those rigid lines either,” said Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director of Bloomingdale’s.

Officine Générale Hooded Jacket, $710, mrporter.com, White Shirt, $420, barneys.com, Pants, $290, 212-249-4053, Jacket, $630, Belted Pants, $325, Black Shirt, $320, officinegenerale.com; Socks, $10, gap.com; Shoes, $335, grenson.com; Bracelets throughout, $11,400, sidneygarber.com; Rolex Gold Watch throughout, $34,850, Rolex White Gold Watch throughout, $37,550, Tourneau Time Machine, 212-758-7300.
Officine Générale Hooded Jacket, $710, mrporter.com, White Shirt, $420, barneys.com, Pants, $290, 212-249-4053, Jacket, $630, Belted Pants, $325, Black Shirt, $320, officinegenerale.com; Socks, $10, gap.com; Shoes, $335, grenson.com; Bracelets throughout, $11,400, sidneygarber.com; Rolex Gold Watch throughout, $34,850, Rolex White Gold Watch throughout, $37,550, Tourneau Time Machine, 212-758-7300. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal
From left: Blazer, $4,800, Purple Top, $980, Pants, $1,700, White Hat, $980, Red Hat, $2,290, Gucci, 212-826-2600; Raf Simons Green Coat, $3,350, machine-a.com, Blue Coat, $5,258, Machine-A, +44-020-7734-4334.
From left: Blazer, $4,800, Purple Top, $980, Pants, $1,700, White Hat, $980, Red Hat, $2,290, Gucci, 212-826-2600; Raf Simons Green Coat, $3,350, machine-a.com, Blue Coat, $5,258, Machine-A, +44-020-7734-4334. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal

Also in 2015, with the appointment of creative director Alessandro Michele, Gucci began thumbing its nose at gender norms, mingling its collections and dressing men in pussy-bow blouses and women in ’70s pantsuits. Parisian brand Celine described all the clothing in its recent men’s show as unisex, and labels like Dior and Balenciaga have started marketing handbags as genderless.

Not everything can successfully be sold as unisex. As Ms. Homma noted, “We don’t see a lot of dresses or skirts in gender-neutral.” Cashmere brands the Elder Statesman and Naadam market their clothes as unisex, but most look like traditional men’s knits sized down for women.

More daring? Younger, millennial-led brands that have been ungendered since their inception. Earlier this month at New York Fashion Week, bicoastal label Eckhaus Latta showed dramatic balloon-sleeved jackets on men and boxy blazers on women. Los Angeles designers including 69, Smock and Olderbrother make flowy, loosefitting clothing that does not check any gendered boxes, a welcome option for the increasing number of people who don’t either.

We are still in the early days of a gender-questioning revolution, but fashion, for everyone, has become a lot more fluid.

What Unisex Style Means for Menswear
Cropped Blazer, $2,600, Black Pants, $2,200, White Shirt, $570, Striped Blazer, $2,500, Pants, $940, Striped Shirt, $580, Ties, $195, celine.com.
Cropped Blazer, $2,600, Black Pants, $2,200, White Shirt, $570, Striped Blazer, $2,500, Pants, $940, Striped Shirt, $580, Ties, $195, celine.com. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal

THE ENTIRE CONCEPT of what it means to dress like a man has morphed tremendously in the past decade. Damien Paul, head of menswear for English retailer MatchesFashion.com, pointed to entertainers and athletes as the catalysts behind this shift, including rapper A$AP Rocky who is “open to [experimenting] with different brands that maybe are womenswear.” Rocky has worn pearls and a fluid pink suit yet somehow avoids looking like he got lost on the way to the men’s department. Other influential stars who have moved the needle include Pharrell Williams, with his penchant for wearing Chanel cardigans, and actor Ezra Miller, who’s sported leopard-print coats.

Shapes and styles once arbitrarily designated as womenswear have bled into menswear. This season, Dior is selling a range of frilly lace shirts, while everything from Nike sneakers to Paul Smith suits comes in pink. “What we are seeing is men being unafraid to take a risk or wear something that’s a little bit bolder and that maybe historically has been more…seen in womenswear,” said Bloomingdale’s’s Justin Berkowitz. In a way, this is throwback style: During the Renaissance, lace shirts were a staple for male dandies, and pink was a masculine color in the 1920s well before Barbie took it over.

Marco Martinez, 25, a research analyst in Los Angeles, is part of a younger generation of men that’s rediscovering the power of permeability. He has begun to gravitate toward lively leopard prints and wider, women’s-inspired silhouettes. “That’s made the experience of dressing up much more rewarding for me,” said Mr. Martinez. “I’m not much of a loud talker. I let my own actions speak for themselves and by extension it’s nice to have clothes that speak when you enter the room.”

From left: Dries Van Noten Jacket, $1,560, Opening Ceremony, 212-219-2688, Shirt, $670, barneys.com, Blue Crop Top, $1,105, Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300, Trousers, $680, barneys.com, Sweater, $545, jeffreynewyork.com, Printed Jeans, $665, Nordstrom, 818-884-7900; Shoes, $80, adidas.com; Camel Sweaters, $75, naadam.co; Shirts, $238, Pants, $258, mohawkgeneralstore.com; Shoes, $90, nike.com; Sunglasses, $220, illesteva.com.
From left: Dries Van Noten Jacket, $1,560, Opening Ceremony, 212-219-2688, Shirt, $670, barneys.com, Blue Crop Top, $1,105, Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300, Trousers, $680, barneys.com, Sweater, $545, jeffreynewyork.com, Printed Jeans, $665, Nordstrom, 818-884-7900; Shoes, $80, adidas.com; Camel Sweaters, $75, naadam.co; Shirts, $238, Pants, $258, mohawkgeneralstore.com; Shoes, $90, nike.com; Sunglasses, $220, illesteva.com. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal

Today, a man like Mr. Martinez could satisfy his leopard craving with a woolly cardigan from Stella McCartney or a black-and-white fleece jacket by Los Angeles upstart Noon Goons. Citing the latter, Mr. Paul of Matches noted that a masc-leaning fleece that channels Jackie-O. leopard style can be “worn in quite a dressed-down way.” An open-minded attitude about prints doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the functionality and comfort of the menswear you’ve grown up with.

Another effect of the unisex shift: The menswear palette has broadened beyond navy blue. Mr. Paul said that pink and yellow are among Matches’s fastest-growing colors for men’s clothing. Dior Men’s latest collection includes suits in pink, though it’s a muted blush that perhaps crosses gender lines more easily than fuchsia.

Ms. Damiette of NSTO noted that designers are gender-blurring menswear with delicate details and accessories that formerly would have only been available in women’s clothing departments. See: Belgian Dries Van Noten, who stitches ornamental embroidery onto his overcoats and button-up men’s shirts. She also pointed to Camiel Fortgens, a young Dutch designer who makes pearl necklaces in addition to masculine checkered overcoats and wide-legged jeans.

About the Photographers

The photographers of these images, Isabelle Chaput and Nelson Tiberghien, aka Cesar Love Alexandre, are a French couple that chronicle their matching outfits on the entertaining Instagram account @young_emperors.

Silhouettes, too, are becoming less gender-specific. When Max Kingery and Bobby Bonaparte started Olderbrother, a Los Angeles-based unisex brand, they decided to adopt a sizing system that works for both sexes. The brand is still “masculine-leaning” and revolves around men’s staples like jeans, blazers and work jackets. But like other innovative brands such as Balenciaga and Jil Sander, Olderbrother’s clothes have a loose, oversize silhouette that doesn’t feel designed to flatter either gender specifically.

You may already be familiar with the concept of unisex clothing through the ubiquity of the athletic wear that both men and women sport everywhere from the gym to the coffee shop. And the 10 best-selling sneakers of 2018, including the Nike Air Force One and Converse All Stars, were all targeted at both men and women. “Men wearing oversize sweatshirts, women wearing oversize sweatshirts…that kind of idea, we’re seeing that in a big way,” said Bloomingdales’s Mr. Berkowitz. Which explains why you and the women in your life may lust after the same Ralph Lauren tie-dyed hoodie. One upside? Shared wardrobes.

Ami Sweaters, $580, amiparis.com.
Ami Sweaters, $580, amiparis.com. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal
What Unisex Style Means for Womenswear

Most days you can find Sarah Best, 30, founder of Toronto-based supper club Dirt, in a T-shirt, blazer and her favorite jeans, a pair worn in to perfection that she happened to steal from her boyfriend’s father. Looking at Ms. Best, with her mane of wavy blond hair, you’d never guess she’s wearing the jeans of a 60-something-year-old man. “It’s not really about looking androgynous,” she said of her penchant for wearing men’s and unisex clothing. “It’s dressing to be a bit more relaxed and chill, and at the same time functional and sharp.”

In the past, a woman wearing non-feminine clothing usually meant something: a symbol of resistance during the French Revolution; a challenge to the patriarchy for early-20th-century suffragettes; a bid for workplace inclusion in the 1970s and ’80s. Today, as gender lines continue to blur, more and more women, like Ms. Best, are dressing androgynously not with an agenda but with more of a shrug.

“It doesn’t feel like a big deal to us that these are unisex styles,” said Matthew Scanlan, founder of direct-to-consumer cashmere line Naadam, which offers identical styles for men and women. “It just felt normal, like of course it should be unisex. It’s almost things we take for granted as obvious. Yes, of course, men and women are equal…So why wouldn’t a girl wear a guy’s sweater and vice versa?”

Clockwise from top left: Dark Blue Jacket, $90, Dark Jeans, $168, Light Blue Jacket, $90, Light Jeans, $60, levi.com; Yellow Sweaters, $75, naadam.co; Boots, $335, grenson.com; Double-Breasted Jacket, $4,900, Pants, $2,300, Shoes, $940, Oblique Jacket, $4,700, Dior Men, 212-931-2951; Shirt, Pants, Jacket, Skirt, price upon request, Jil Sander, 212-838-6100; Red Loafers, $395, Carmina, 212-687-0222; Black Loafers, $750, carminashoemaker.us.
Clockwise from top left: Dark Blue Jacket, $90, Dark Jeans, $168, Light Blue Jacket, $90, Light Jeans, $60, levi.com; Yellow Sweaters, $75, naadam.co; Boots, $335, grenson.com; Double-Breasted Jacket, $4,900, Pants, $2,300, Shoes, $940, Oblique Jacket, $4,700, Dior Men, 212-931-2951; Shirt, Pants, Jacket, Skirt, price upon request, Jil Sander, 212-838-6100; Red Loafers, $395, Carmina, 212-687-0222; Black Loafers, $750, carminashoemaker.us. Photo: Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal

Kris Kim, founder of the New York City shop and e-boutique La Garçonne, which mainly sells to women, echoes the sentiment. “When I go on buying appointments now, I don’t even ask if something is men’s or women’s,” she said. “It just comes down to a sensibility thing.” Ms. Kim notes that in the past women typically shopped the men’s department in search of an oversize fit or a traditionally masculine look. But as menswear traffics less in stereotypical codes of manhood, and as women increasingly prioritize comfort over sex appeal, the distinction between menswear and womenswear has become, to many shoppers, irrelevant.

Both Naadam and La Garçonne sell a tightly edited selection of high-quality basics in a streamlined, minimalist setting. This business model is striking a chord with a growing number of women recently evangelized by Japanese organizational wizard Marie Kondo. Ms. Kondo holds that one should keep only items that “spark joy” and get rid of everything else. That ethos doesn’t square particularly well with traditional womenswear, which encourages different clothes for different occasions, a steady rotation of ever-changing accessories, seasonal updates and a general glut of clothing items. Having less means each item must do more: Women want clothes that are useful, comfortable and feel appropriate in a variety of settings, from the workplace to a dinner out—qualities that menswear has traditionally excelled at.

“I can’t be at my job without a pocket,” said Ms. Best, who often wears carpenter pants when she’s preparing for an event. “I need somewhere to put my tape!” Heels and body-conscious dresses and skirts are out, too: “I just don’t feel comfortable in them, I don’t feel like myself.”


Dressing Alike is Nothing New

These notable couples—romantic and otherwise—donned identical outfits in different eras

Sonny Bono and Cher in Hamburg, Germany in 1966.
Getty Images

The minimalist aesthetic has bled into design on both sides: “I think everything is getting cleaner and more simplified,” said Ms. Kim. Women who are drawn to this aesthetic might choose to buy a pair of men’s Issey Miyake Pleats Please accordion pants, which are baggier and more forgiving than the women’s version by the same brand.

Naadam’s Prince Street store may just be the ultimate expression of this new KonMari consumerism: The entire shop carries a single item, a $75 unisex cashmere crew neck sweater in a variety of colors, from camel to cement. Sized down, it plays a classic role in a woman’s wardrobe, when paired with vintage Levi’s or simple slacks. Sized up, and paired with a voluminous parka and wide-legged pants, it makes a fashion-forward oversize statement.

Ultimately, for women, it comes down to choice. “It’s not about being masculine or being androgynous,” said Ms. Kim. “We are who we are. We’re not ‘borrowing’ from the boys. This is part of our wardrobe. We’re just wearing what we like.”

Photographs by Cesar Love Alexandre for The Wall Street Journal, Hair by Yasu Nakamura, Makeup by Kento Utsubo, Models: Varsha Gopalakrishna/Supreme and Max Fieschi/Wilhelmina, Fashion Editor: Rebecca Malinsky

10 Sci-Fi Films that Predicted Unisex Fashion
‘Star Trek’
‘Star Trek’ Photo: Everett Collection

IN 1979’S “Alien,” Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) stares down the film’s namesake intruder while wearing a shapeless, slate-gray jumpsuit. The movie predicted a future full of gender-nonspecific clothes, a recurring theme in many great sci-fi films. From the muddy drab workwear of the poor Panemeans in “Hunger Games” to the primary-colored, collarless tops on the “Star Trek” crew, men and women in sci-fi films and TV shows have long plucked their clothes from the same rack. This unisex garb would be almost utopian, if the poor souls on screen weren’t so busy battling aliens, asteroids or each other.

Here, a list of 10 as-it-turns-out visionary entertainment in which getting dressed, for better or worse, has little to do with gender.

1. ‘The Hunger Games’ (2012)

2. ‘Annihilation’ (2018)

3. ‘Alien Covenant’ (2017)

4. ‘Sunshine’ (2007)

5. ‘Maniac’ (2018)

6. ‘Stargate SG-1’ (1997)

7. ‘Alien’ (1979)

8. ‘Star Trek’ (1966 to now)

9. ‘Avatar’ (2009)

10. ‘Tron’ (1982)

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.

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In Charged Political Climate, Best Picture Oscar Is About More Than the Movie

In Charged Political Climate, Best Picture Oscar is About More than the Movie
Photo: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY Ryan Olbrysh; Twentieth Century Fox; Marvel/Walt Disney Studios; UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

In the 2019 Oscar race for best picture, a vote for a film has become a vote for a cause.

“Black Panther” fans say the Marvel movie deserves to win because of its cultural impact and the diversity of its cast and creators. Champions of director Spike Lee and his “BlacKkKlansman,” a drama set in the 1970s—and ending with real-life footage from the violent 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.—want to spotlight his commentary on racial hatred.

A vote for “Green Book” can be seen as supporting interracial harmony, fans of the buddy movie say, while detractors call it one-sided, tone deaf, and clouded by behind-the-scenes controversies. Supporters of “Bohemian Rhapsody” celebrate its upbeat themes of creative expression and rock and roll. But critics of the Queen biopic say it mishandles the sexuality of its gay lead character and is plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct by its director.

Fans of ‘Black Panther’ say the film deserves to win because of its cultural impact.
Fans of ‘Black Panther’ say the film deserves to win because of its cultural impact. Photo: Marvel/Walt Disney Studios

The Oscars have always been subjective, of course, but at its core, the best picture award is meant to recognize greatness on-screen. Now, movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, a call for Hollywood diversity that emerged in 2015, and the rising influence of social media, have changed the conversation about which films deserve to be honored. As a result, debates about the quality of movies are less divisive than those about the high-voltage issues that the movies represent. With America in a seemingly constant political and cultural uproar, partisan rancor has spilled into the Oscars competition.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years of my life, and I’ve never seen it reach this level,” says Sasha Stone, founder and editor of the news site AwardsDaily.com. In a January essay, Ms. Stone defended “Green Book,” about a black musician and his white chauffeur on tour in 1962. It was an example of the opprobrium that hits filmmakers who fail to meet certain standards of inclusivity or conscientious storytelling, she says.

‘Green Book’ merits the best-picture award because it celebrates interracial harmony, fans say.
‘Green Book’ merits the best-picture award because it celebrates interracial harmony, fans say. Photo: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Just before “Green Book” was released in November, actor Viggo Mortensen, who plays white driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, used the n-word on a panel while discussing racism. A brother of the late musician Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, condemned the film as “a symphony of lies.” Shortly after “Green Book” won many Golden Globe awards, years-old feature stories about director Peter Farrelly resurfaced, describing how he used to expose his penis on set as a prank. Not long after, co-writer and producer Nick Vallelonga, son of the man Mr. Mortensen plays in the film, drew fire for an Islamophobic tweet that he had posted in 2015. These flare-ups elicited apologies from the people implicated. As “Green Book” racked up awards, the filmmakers emphasized its conciliatory themes, summed up in its tagline: “Inspired by a true friendship.”

“Discussing aspects of movies that offend people, that’s a valid conversation,” Ms. Stone says. “What is weird is the intended destruction [via social media] of the people who made the film, and the film itself as an evil that must be purged. And if you support the movie in any way you get swept up in it. It’s almost as if nothing else matters except for these political points.”

Others say awards season simply amplifies the long-overdue reckoning that Hollywood faces over its checkered history of stereotyping based on gender, class, sexuality and race.

“There’s a pattern of flattening black characters, or using them only to help a white protagonist grow,” says Brooke Obie, managing editor for Shadow and Act, a news site about black talent in entertainment. She took aim at that formula in a critique of “Green Book,” and also called out the movie’s handling of the book referenced in its title, a series of guides that helped black drivers navigate segregated businesses on potentially dangerous roadways. Ms. Obie’s review led to a story about the Shirley family’s anger over the film, which went viral.

There’s more at stake in such coverage, she says, than one movie or its growing haul of awards. “It’s the type of film Hollywood likes to make, in which situations are contrived so a white character saves the day,” she says. “Seeing ‘white savior’ narratives over, and over, and over, creates a racial hierarchy in the mind of viewers.”

Smear campaigns have long been used in Hollywood to undermine awards contenders and sway voters. Social media has intensified the speed and scope of the takedowns.

A digital brouhaha in January illustrates the stakes and strong feelings. On the night of the Golden Globes, 15-year-old Elsie Fisher, nominated for her starring role in the coming-of-age film “Eighth Grade,” posted a message on Twitter celebrating wins by “Bohemian Rhapsody” and its lead actor, Rami Malek, who played singer Freddie Mercury.

Supporters of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ praise the film’s upbeat themes of creative expression and rock and roll.
Supporters of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ praise the film’s upbeat themes of creative expression and rock and roll. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Some people pounced on the tweet, slamming the praise of “Bohemian Rhapsody” because the movie was directed by Bryan Singer. Mr. Singer, who was fired during production, has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted teenage boys. Other respondents came to Ms. Fisher’s defense, arguing that she was entitled to be a fan of the movie and Mr. Malek’s performance.

Less than 10 minutes after her first jubilant tweet, Ms. Fisher tweeted, “Why is everyone being so mean about this? I’m genuinely sorry if I did something wrong :(” That was followed by a conciliatory tweet, in which Ms. Fisher said she’d been brought up to speed on the controversy about Mr. Singer.

One Oscar voter, a woman who was invited to join the Academy last year amid the organization’s efforts to expand and diversify its membership, says Academy members discuss the public disagreements over nominees. But that probably has less influence on voters than the individuals’ roles in the industry and their relationships, she says, adding, “I would hope people are voting on the merit of the film as opposed to the background stuff going on behind the scenes of each and every one.”

In a rancorous year for movies, a lack of controversy might harm a nominee’s chances for best picture. “Vice,” for example, is a tone-shifting biopic about Dick Cheney that once seemed destined to rile liberal and conservative viewers alike. Yet the best picture nominee has prompted not controversy but consensus—on Christian Bale’s striking transformation into the former vice president.

Some nominees carry additional symbolism unrelated to what is onscreen. “Roma,” a black-and-white portrait of family, class and ethnicity in 1970s Mexico, is a front runner for best picture—and also a Netflix movie. More viewers probably saw “Roma” on their computers or TVs and not in theaters, where “Roma” received a narrow release. A win for “Roma” would represent a milestone in the streaming company’s incursion into the industry.

Ads aimed at Oscar voters describe the film as “a monument to the power of film”—a characterization Netflix’s rivals might find ironic. The way in which “Roma” was released, with Netflix withholding the customary box-office results and major theater chains refusing to show the film, demonstrates how the streaming service is upending the entertainment business. But such politics may not be a problem for “Roma,” given the growing number of people in Hollywood now working with Netflix.

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Appeared in the February 22, 2019, print edition as ‘When Best Picture Is More Than the Movie.’

How To Train Your Dragon 3’s Director Thinks The Franchise Should Continue

After almost a decade of How To Train Your Dragon movies, the newly released The Hidden World has audiences saying goodbye to the animation trilogy. But with all the good vibes and major dollar signs already being sent the movie’s way, is this really the end?

How To Train Your Dragon writer/director Dean DeBlois was able to see his vision through. He has always planned the series to be a trilogy, and for a good reason: to create a satisfying and focused franchise from beginning to end. However, considering how successful and beloved the movies have become, the chances of it coming back in some shape or form are quite likely. While DeBlois is sticking to ending the movies with The Hidden World, here’s what he thinks about how the franchise should continue:

There you have it! The filmmaker feels solid about leaving the franchise be, but can imagine the world opening up if a different point in time and characters were explored and his trilogy was left alone. During my recent interview with Dean DeBlois at DreamWorks in Glendale, he talked about this along with discussing what he wanted to deliver from the ending. Check it out below:

We love a thoughtful ending and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World does just that! After selling out hundreds of early screenings, many fans were walking out the theaters in tears of bittersweet joy, thanks to the movie’s conclusion.

You’d think it’s not wise to touch a good ending, but then there’s the Toy Story franchise. After the touching conclusion to 2010’s Toy Story 3, audiences thought they were saying goodbye to Woody, Buzz and the gang. Then Toy Story 4 came along. Almost a decade after the conclusion, Pixar didn’t mind continuing the franchise anyway.

Messing with a good ending can be sacred, which is why Dean DeBlois’ idea to have the How To Train Your Dragon continue by exploring a completely different world is a clever approach. Star Wars and Star Trek have done that in a sense, and it has proven to be an intriguing way to explore the world created in more depth.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World follows Hiccup, Toothless and the Berkians as they try to escape a dragon hunter named Grimmel and Toothless becomes smitten with a Light Fury. The movie is expected to win the weekend when it comes to theaters tomorrow, February 22. Bring tissues, the last installment of the trilogy is a tearjerker… though it’s a satisfying tearjerker.