This month marks 20 years since the release of Luc Besson’s colourful cult classic, The Fifth Element.
Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich, it’s an outlandishly entertaining sci-fi romp — and as visually appealing now as it was in 1997.
The film’s aesthetic longevity is due, in no small part, to its costumes, which were designed by fashion maestro Jean-Paul Gaultier. In honour of the film’s platinum anniversary, here are 10 outfits from the movie we wouldn’t mind seeing on the runway today.
10. Zorg’s executive realness
Who doesn’t love a pinstripe? Power-dressing is still clearly a thing in 2263, and Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg looks every inch the monopolising magnate here.
9. Korben Dallas
There’s nothing more 90s than pairing a bleach blonde barnet with luminous orange, but Bruce Willis wears it well. In fact, this is the kind of look you might see at a present day club night.
8. The Mangalore
This small role was played by Canadian supermodel Ève Salvail, known for her striking tattooed shaved head. Sure, she’s an ugly alien who has shapeshifted into a beautiful woman, but as disguises go, we’re not hating this flamboyant, furry, feathery one. Although her lower half is probably a little on the chilly side…
Milla Jovovich spends most of the movie wearing a deeply unflattering fluorescent cyberpunk rubber wedgie-harness. But we can see swimwear inspired by this strappy white getup.
6. Zorg’s secretary
Gaultier and Besson populated the background cast of the movie with supermodel cameos, and the role of Zorg’s personal assistant was played by Sibyl Buck. A vision in aquamarine, she’s also using a nifty space age device which instantly colours and manicures her nails.
5. The Fhloston Paradise hostesses
The air stewardesses of the future are neoprene-clad glamazons with eyebrows tinted to match their uniform. How’s that for a strong brand.
4. Zorg’s iridescent look
He might be a soulless businessman following the orders of an ancient cosmic evil, but Zorg sure knows how to dress. We’re still not sure about that hair, though…
3. Korben’s formalwear
We love a man in a tux, and Jean-Paul Gaultier dressed Bruce Willis to the absolute nines for this opera scene. Willis even manages to look good after an explosive shootout, when the suit is hanging off him in shreds.
2. Ruby Rhod on air
Without a single doubt, Chris Tucker’s Ruby is the most fashion-forward character in the entire movie. He’s the biggest celebrity of the 23rd Century, and just like Bowie or Prince, his gender-fluid approach to style only makes him more attractive to the opposite sex. When we first meet him, he’s adorned in this phallic ‘do and leopard print number.
1. Ruby Rhod at the opera
Bruce’s opera look was suave, but Ruby’s is downright fabulous. The roses! The jewels! The hair! That earpiece! Madonna is shook. I want Jayden Smith to wear this to next year’s Met Gala.
Oh, and one final thing; who else wishes they could do their face in the morning using a gadget like this?