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Forget The Matrix! I’m Still Obsessed With Underworld’s Sleek Style

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I was only 11 when Underworld came out in 2003, but I remember being instantly transfixed by Kate Beckinsale’s sleek wardrobe on the big screen. In the horror-action flick, the actor stars as Selene, a vampire-warrior who is caught in the middle of a battle between the vampires and werewolves. We first meet her perched on a high-up balcony in the rain, wearing a leather trench and skin-tight bodysuit: looking like a take-no-prisoners superhero through and through. She then casually jumps off the ledge and nonchalantly lands on her feet, which are naturally clad in tough, cool combat boots.

Originally costume-designed by Wendy Partridge, Selene’s leather outfits in the film serve as a nod to her resilient spirit. For much of the movie, she sports a leather catsuit with a built-in corset, sometimes punctuated with her long leather trench coat. I remember thinking her whole look was just so cool—and 20 years later, that opinion hasn’t changed much. Her aesthetic still feels very fresh, and that may have to do with the fact that this season’s runways are totally taking style cues from Selene. In New York, Khaite, Mowalola, and Luar all showed edgy leather designs for spring 2024—whether it be strapless gowns or boxy moto jackets. One could easily imagine Selene wearing them in a modern-day reboot. 

Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection

Mowalola spring 2024

Photo: Filippo Fior /

Luar spring 2024

Photo: Filippo Fior /

And sure, head-to-toe leather ensembles is something The Matrix did first (everyone attributes that action franchise to popularizing the leathery look). But there’s something more underrated about Selene’s vampy (and vampiric) wardrobe—almost like it’s for a cooler, younger sibling—that she’s continued to sport over the course of six films. Though the plotlines have evolved from film to film, Selene’s devotion to a leather catsuit and trench coat has remained consistent. 

She’s one of the best-dressed action characters in Hollywood. And judging the multiple nods to her personal style on the catwalks, whether intentional or not, it’s clear that fashion agrees. The question is: Are you ready to rock a leather trench and catsuit for fall? If you are, be prepared to slay some werewolves while you’re at it. 


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