Young Animal: Gerard Way’s Style in a Post-My Chemical Romance World | The Sound of Style
Sound of Style is a recurring series written by Logan Hannen breaking down style in the world of music and offering alternatives to musicians (sometimes) luxurious clothing choices
Welcome back to part two of our look into the style evolution of Gerard Way, frontman of the late My Chemical Romance, solo artist, and now head of Young Animal, an imprint of DC Comics designed for “dangerous people,” whatever that exactly means. When the band broke up, everybody went radio silent for a bit, as you’d expect. Gerard took to writing more comics, and eventually wrote and released a solo record, Hesitant Alien, in 2014. He toured in support of it, wearing essentially the get up you can see in the above cover photo every night on stage.
He described the vibe of that record as very much a Brit-Pop record, and his style echoed that. However, that style also involved basically skinny suits with skinnier ties, and that’s about it. Not much substance there, though. It’s the time after the touring cycle for that record wrapped, however, that becomes particularly interesting on a sartorial level, so let’s dive into it.
The above look is a snapshot into what I’m calling the “Transitional Period” between Gerard Way, touring musician, and Gerard Way, work from home comic book writer. As this period went on, his clothing got significantly more, for lack of a better word, comfy. The fits of things got looser, and the colors a bit more interesting. This above look is a good example of that. The jeans are Gerard’s definition of baggy, which is to say “not skin tight,” and the shirt hangs a bit loose on the frame as well. On his feet are a pair of vegan Doc Martens 1460s, so indicated by the sheer shine of the “leather.” No use assembling an affordable list for this look since a) we don’t know what he’s wearing for sure or how much it costs and b) the look is basic enough to be assembled with a trip to Kohl’s or Old Navy (minus the boots, of course). This next look, however…
So okay, this isn’t a look as much as a single item of clothing that I’ve been fascinated by since I first saw it. Apparently, I’m not the only one. A helpful website called The Hunt has an entire thread dedicated to the mystery of this hoodie, and apparently it’s an NSF Orion Grey Distressed Hoodie which retailed for about $150 when it was available. It has since been discontinued. There are literally hundreds of similar, more affordable options, but to be perfectly honest, my suggestion would be to pick up a cheap one from Walmart of Target and do it yourself to add a bit of personal character and flare. That’s what I plan to do at any rate.
This is the summer version of what I’m calling “Peak Gerard Eccentricity.” He’s mentioned on a couple of occasions being a customer of Mr. Porter, and it definitely starts to show in some of the visvim-esque pieces that enter his wardrobe. At the same time, cargo shorts/pants are still a must (Gerard’s always been a fan of the style for its utility, but now he can avoid maintaining the image he once fought to, which gives him the chance to be more expressive and also much more comfortable). It’s this jacket/shirt/thing that I’ve been hunting for, and I think I may have tracked it down.
When hunting for another one of Gerard’s kimonos, I came across this one - a Greg Lauren checked and denim front kimono. It was at this point that I had a flashback to the photo of him with the cast of Umbrella Academy (also above), and noticed what I assume are the obvious similarities. I can’t be certain if this model and the one Gerard was wearing are the exact same (some of the rips are in different spots, but they may be ripped individually and thus uniquely), but they cuts and styles are definitely similar enough to warrant that being a possibility. However...the damn thing is also over $2,000. So what kind of alternative can we come up with for such a unique item?
If you’re looking for a noragi, the kind of kimono that Gerard wears, that John Mayer frequently wears, and that is generally a more wearable kind than the long, flowing type you might initially picture, then Aesthetic Homage is definitely the online shop for you. They’ve got a selection of different colors, fabrics, and styles, and the one pictured above is the closest I can find to Gerard’s. It’s a plaid, patchwork design, and features similar denim detailing to the Greg Lauren, but instead of $2k, it comes in at $155. Much better, if you ask me.
The Watches of Gerard Way:
Alright, so something I’ve been suspecting for a long time but could never prove is that Gerard Way is also a watch geek, and if you know me, you know I’m kinda into watches. I’m gonna go through three of them right now, along with their potential alternatives. Cool?
During the Parade era, towards the end, Gerard could be spotted on some occasions wearing a Swatch. You can tell by the buckle, and also by the unique lug design. There are some better shots, but those came from Tumblr blogs that no longer exist because of Tumblr’s recent overreactio - I mean, response to some concerns among their community regarding what they considered adult content. Either way, definitely a Swatch, though the exact model will likely remain a mystery.
Gerard, right around the time Danger Days came out, found himself desiring to own what he called “a nice watch,” which amounted to him purchasing a Tag Heuer Monaco. His variant comes on a rubber strap, and features a black dial and white/silver subdials, along with the iconic red seconds hand for the chronograph. The Geckota pictured above comes on a leather strap, but finding a rubber strap with the same kind of vibe isn’t terribly difficult (see: this example from Zuludiver, another WatchGecko brand). Otherwise, the parallels between the two pieces are obvious, but the price difference is substantial (the Tag comes in around $3500, and the Geckota comes in under $400).
His newest addition to his collection is this Bell & Ross BRV123, a vintage field style watch that comes in at 41mm in diameter. Its beige/cream dial acts as the perfect backdrop for its black painted numerals/indices. To match it, in keeping with the more “affordable” vibe we’re going for, we have the Seiko SRPB63J1, a Presage line field watch with a similar dial color and configuration. It features a 41.6mm case, and a sapphire crystal. Unfortunately, the Seiko is discontinued, but they can be found on occasion for around $300 online. The Bell & Ross, on the other hand, goes for around $2100.
Alright gents - that does it for this deep dive into the style evolution (and watch collection) of the one and only Gerard Way. Hopefully you’ve dug it, found some new things you might be able to try in your own wardrobes. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for some more of the sounds of style.
Other Articles in the “Sound of Style Series” by Logan Hannen