11 Lessons Derek Zoolander Taught Me About Fashion & Individuality
It's almost time for hilarious male model Derek Zoolander to grace our screens once again in the upcoming Zoolander 2 , which hits theaters on Feb. 12. Although he wasn't the brightest star in the sky, Zoolander's fashion expertise should arguably be adhered to by all.
During the first movie, Posh Spice described Derek as "a fashion icon" and Natalie Portman says he is "almost too good looking." Even Vogue has recognized his legendary status in its recent interview, for which they asked him 73 questions while Zoolander gave the publication a tour around his lavish home. After all, the man has been aware of his ridiculous good looks since the second grade, when he caught his reflection in a spoon and realized he could be "professionally good looking" as a career.
Although there are many stereotypes that the Zoolander franchise plays upon, these are undoubtedly for purely comedic purposes and should be taken with a pinch of salt. That being said, there are still some valuable lessons we can learn from one of the top fictional male models of our time, who was hypnotized into almost assassinating the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Here's what three-time Male Model Of The Year Derek Zoolander taught me about fashion.
1. A Killer Look Can Be A Powerful Weapon
There are many spoilers to come, so if you've yet to see the first Zoolander movie, I highly recommend you watch it and read this later.
Toward the end of Zoolander, Derek manages to stop the Prime Minister of Malaysia from being assassinated. How does he do it? With a look. A look can be a powerful weapon if used correctly, guys (although I'm not sure if any real life models could master "Magnum" and stop a shuriken in its tracks).
2. Anything Can Be Fashionable If It Has The Right Poster Person
Like art, fashion is subjective and what one person might call a work of art, another might think is absolute garbage. This was the case with Mugatu's "Derelicte" collection, which Mugatu described as "a fashion. A way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique." The collection included a bra top made of traffic cones and a scarf made out of inflated condoms. Derek, returning from his retirement, was the popular face of the brand.
3. Color Co-Ordinated Athleisure Outfits Are Most Fun When Enjoyed With Friends
As others before him have demonstrated — such as the girl gang from Clueless — athleisure is a look best worn while with friends. It's even better when you're wearing almost identical outfits in different colors.
4. Channeling Your Canine Companion Never Goes Out Of Style
People say dogs and their owners end up looking like each other. In this case, I'm not sure whether Mugatu was inspired by his pooch, or whether he styled his canine chum to look like his mini me. Either way, it's a super cute look.
5. The Best Way To Settle An Argument Is Through A Style Walk-Off
As showcased by Derek and Hansel, the best way to non-violently settle an argument is to have a walk off, of course. You can let out your rage on the runway, and winner takes all — including what little pride you'll have left between you.
6. David Bowie Was The Most Stylish Man To Ever Walk The Earth
I knew this already, because obviously Bowie was a music and style legend, but Zoolander just confirmed it. As with Labyrinth, David Bowie stole the show and I found myself with my eyes peeled, waiting for his scenes.
7. There Are Many Different Types Of Models
Before watching Zoolander, I thought there were only catwalk models and high fashion models. But Derek stumbles across hand model J.P. Prewett, who has managed to keep his hand unchanged over the years, proving that there are many different types of models in the world.
8. The Mermaid Trend Is Always In Vogue
Merfolk seem to be the most trendy mythical creature out there — as seen by Derek's merman role in an advert for Aveda. And they don't seem to be going away anytime soon.
9. Never Be Ashamed Of Your Unique Style
Derek's career choice and fashion sense are frowned upon by his family, but in reality we should all be supportive of other people's uniqueness. Above all: Never be ashamed of your individual style because it's better to look quirky and stand out from the crowd than blend in and be boring.
10. Makeup Looks Great On Everyone
Zoolander showed us that no matter your sex, gender, sexual preference, or anything else, makeup looks great on everyone. This is shown clearly when Derek wears metallic eyeshadow and lipstick when walking in Mugatu's "Derelicte" fashion show.
11. Fashion Can Be Used To Help Others
At the beginning of the first movie, Derek asks his friends, “Did you ever think that maybe there’s more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good looking? I mean maybe we should be doing something more meaningful with our lives, like helping people.” Later on, he realizes that he wants to create a "center for kids who can't read good," and at the end, his dream becomes a reality. Derek proves that fashion and fame shouldn't just be about clothes and vanity. They should also be about helping people.
It's not long before we find out whether there are more sartorial lessons that Derek can teach us. I for one can't wait to see if he's been working on any new looks.
Images: Paramount Pictures (4); Giphy (7)