May 21, 2014 via Pepsi
The Style Evolution of Daft Punk
There are few duos as instantly recognizable as French electronic music dynamos Daft Punk. Clad head to toe in chic, post-apocalyptic ensembles, their getups make them look like Sith Lords headed to a rave. Of course their style is important, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are better known in costume than they are without them. Seen as integral tools that ensure that the music is put first in a world that is overly obsessed with the notion of celebrity, Daft Punk remains at the forefront of fashion without abandoning key pieces that have become synonymous with the duo. This is the style evolution of Daft Punk.
1. Homework - 1997
When Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter entered pop culture relevance it was clear that they were no strangers to eccentric behavior and clothing that would match their spirit. Donning a variety of masks - from that of bugs to traditional Kabuki affairs to clowns with protuberant red noses - Thomas would say at the time, “I think dance music is too cold, y’know? We don’t really take it very seriously.”
2. Discovery - 2001
Daft Punk's now signature aesthetic was heavily inspired by the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still and can be credited to Tony Gardner of Alterian Inc. - who happened to also create the Jumbotron. He was tasked with creating something that could hide their identities but also show off their “personalities.” Initially, Thomas sported a helmet with a horizontal display unit that showcased text while Guy-Manuel had one with a vertical display that was more a home to a quasi-light show of yellows and reds. Both men also sported yellow-tinted, spandex gloves. Thomas Bangalter once said, "We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 am on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots.” Additional differences included Guy-Manuel having an appearing and disappearing detachable rear half on his helmet.
3. Human After All - 2005
When Daft Punk emerged after a four-year hiatus, the world saw them in more subdued masks and costumes - forgoing all LEDs except for ones that appeared on Guy-Manuel’s ears. One can’t discuss this period without mentioning their “Encore” helmets as well, which came slightly later, and featured glowing red outlines around stark, black ensembles. Additionally, the 2006 film Daft Punk’s Electroma saw the group break out new silver and gold helmets for a project Bangalter said that he wanted to “create without any rules or standards.”
4. Tron: Legacy - 2010
For the band's appearance in Tron Legacy, they recruited the film's special-effects maestros Ironhead Studios to handle helmet duties. Guy-Manuel’s helmet showed the most noticeable differences from past iterations - with both helmets now coming equipped with light-blue LEDs.
5. Random Access Memories - 2013
For his Saint Laurent Music Project series, Hedi Slimane recruited and photographed Daft Punk for a series of black-and-white ads, as well as styled their new Random Access Memories album artwork that saw the duo in sequined-dipped Le Smoking tuxedo suits. Additionally, the French musicians pulled off capes, leather pants, and even fur for a spread in L’Uomo Vogue during this period.