For our SS14 menswear collection a desire to update the resort style of the halcyon days of continental café culture took the Reiss design team on a journey of inspiration with varied reference points. One man whose dress sense made a lasting impression was Alain Delon, an enduring icon of both mid-twentieth century cinema and men's style.  

Before the proliferation of modern celebrity culture it was icons of the silver screen who provided aspirational sartorial cues. Few men can lay claim to having such a profound impact on the way we dressed then - or now - as Alain Delon.

Though Delon's ascent began in 1957, it was in Rene Clement’s Purple Noon (an early adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley) that the actor became a cinematic force to be reckoned with.

With his near-fabled combination of arresting good looks, beguiling charisma and a troubled background, Delon's real life truly mirrored the masculine allure that he so often channeled in his on-screen roles.

The sun-drenched glamour of the French Riviera may now be inextricably synonymous with Delon's name, but at the time his sartorial stylings were a novel way dress, appreciating classic codes of dress but with a subversive feel, resulting in effortless elegance with a tantalizingly off-kilter edge.

How has Delon's style inspired us for SS14? We've taken cues from the actor's appreciation of rules and reinvention. While Delon's wardrobe drew on many of menswear stalwarts (such as flannel shirts, pleat front trousers and tailored blazers) his penchant for wearing classics re-imagined mirrors the thematic flair running through Reiss' SS14 menswear collection.

Whether he wore his shirts open collared, or his trousers sitting slightly higher on the waist, the daring spirit of sartorial adventure was always present.


For more of our inspiration for SS14, read our menswear notebook.