I don’t think the editorial team at Man Repeller has ever jumped to greenlight a shoot concept so quickly as when Head of Operations Matt Little pitched a Miami Vice-style fashion editorial to align with Vice Month. The idea immediately resonated because it corresponded with the site’s theme in more than name alone, holding a microscope up to preconceived notions (i.e. that the beginning of a New Year is for resolutions and goal-setting, not indulging or examining vices — or that running a photoshoot inspired by Miami in January is nonsensical) and flipping them on their head.
Just as reclaiming “vices” can feel even more necessary in the midst of a cultural climate uniquely poised to chastise you for having them in the first place, gazing at outfits replete with flip flops, white linen suits and Hawaiian shirts in the dead of winter might be the precise vacation your synapses need. In that sense, this shoot is less a prescription for how you should dress now and more a warm jacuzzi you may choose to soak your state of mind in for as long as you like.
So go ahead and pull up a mental lounge chair. Stick a tiny umbrella in your drink. Lean up against a windowpane and bask in the warmth of nature’s Vitamin D. While you’re sitting there soaking, allow me to entertain you with some background behind the American crime drama’s legendary costume design, which I guarantee will make you want to wear a T-shirt under a blazer as soon as it’s warm enough outside to expose your neck to the elements:
+ Detectives James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs wore an average of eight outfits per episode, which means they must have experienced the exact combination of frustration and delight I do trying stuff on in front of my mirror every morning.
+ The producer, Michael Mann, had a list of “approved” colors for everything from wardrobe to props. Apparently earth tones were banned — an approach worth considering if you’re struggling to combat the doldrums of getting dressed (or getting out of bed) in the winter. Make a beeline for the things and colors that spark joy, be it a kelly green shirt layered over a turtleneck or a bowl of grapefruit sprinkled with mint leaves.
+ Ray Bans saw a major spike in sales in 1984 after Crockett started wearing them on the show. I haven’t worn my old Wayfarers in forever but I’m experiencing strong urges to do so immediately.
+ The show is credited with popularizing stubble — a.k.a. five o’clock shadows (in the spring of 1986, an electric razor called the “Stubble Device” was released with the specific purpose of cultivating this look). If there is any winter habit that paradoxically embodies the vibe of summer “let-loosing,” it’s embracing your stubble — or any manifestation of seasonally indulgent hair growth for that matter.
So, are your fingers getting prune-y yet?