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What in the Bonnet Is This?

My brain is blowing in the wind. Photo:

When Timothée Chalamet goes to his closet and considers what to drape on his angular body, I imagine he wonders: Hmm, what will really make people THINK? What does he want us to think about? Anything, really — male cleavage; gas prices; societal collapse; New York City, baby. But even against that rich philosophical tapestry, this week’s denim-heavy getup feels ripe for dissection.

While parading through Manhattan on Tuesday, our beautiful boy looked like a cross between 2001 Justin Timberlake and the weird British friend in a rom-com, thanks mostly to his quirky hat. When you look at this outfit, you can really feel the gears turning in your own brain, no?

My guess, to judge from his 1995 vintage Bob Dylan tee, is that Timmy wants us to remember his long-awaited biopic, where he will play the grainy-throated singer in the early days of his career. (Also, he was joined by his “movement coach” and dialect coach, both of whom are helping him hone his Dylan-ness for the film; is this scabbing?) Timmy dressed up his guerrilla-movie promo with the typical trademarks of a wacky celebrity fit: faded boot-cut jeans and a jacket in the exact same wash, plus his beloved jeweled Saint Lauren shades.

But the most mind-bending facet of this look is whatever is going on atop Tim Tim’s head. It looks like a flowered bonnet from the front but is in fact so much more. As with all conceptually challenging ideas, a new perspective sheds more light:

I am begging you to zoom in. Photo:

What is going on here? Is that a little tuft of hair peeking out the top, gasping for air under multiple layers of knits? Why would Timmy force his gorgeous tendrils into such a restrictive and unnatural shape? Is New York not experiencing a withering heat wave right now? Exactly how damp is it under that cap?

Frustrating and sweaty though it may be, this contraption functions like a sartorial Rorschach test. To me, it resembles the foam netting fruit suppliers put around apples to protect them from bruising. To you, it may evoke any number of things, such as:

  • an upside-down bouquet
  • a Hershey’s Kiss
  • Smurfette’s cap
  • a vacuum-cleaner filter
  • a tulle ballet skirt
  • a school librarian’s crocheting project

Apparently, it is actually from Dior Homme’s spring 2024 collection, so do with that what you will. Another mystery for us to turn over while sewing mesh cones onto all our favorite beanies.

What in the Bonnet Is This?