This Week We're Channelling: Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones has become renowned as one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history, not least for his trademark outfitting.
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Ask around and it becomes quickly apparent: there are few fictional characters as widely worshipped as Indiana Jones. The heroic archaeologist and adventurer, characterised by Harrison Ford in four films and counting, endures as a cultural icon thanks to his typification of that romanticised notion of the all-American male and his associated traits - brains, brawn and bravery.

A large part of Indiana Jones’ enduring appeal can be attributed to his beloved trademarkstyle, which was expertlydevelopedby costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis anddebutedin the first of the franchise’s films, Steven Spielberg'sRaiders of the Lost Ark(1981). Defined by a fabled felt fedora,batteredbrown leather jacket and sweat-stained linen shirt, it’s a look that has become firmly ingrained in popular culture and appropriated time and again, whether on the runway or at Halloween parties.

It should be acknowledged thatNadoolman Landis took inspiration for Indy’s costuming from Charlton Heston’s hardened adventurer character Harry Steele inSecret of the Incas(1954), but her adaptation of the outfit to the significantly more relatable character of ‘Indy’ was what made the ensemble so iconic - it represented a simultaneous softness and valiance.“He’s in brown because he works in the Earth; he’s brown because he’s approachable and vulnerable,” she told The Daily Beast. “He and the dust are the same colour.”There’s a certain timelessness to the earth tones and military-inspired details of Indiana Jones’ outfitting, allowing for easy replication – so while you may not possess the same whip-cracking skills as our hero, channelling suchruggedstyle is perhaps the closest you’ll get to embodyinghim.


    Aobh O'Brien-Moody


    November 2018


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