Applied fashion psychology.
The right to wear whatever you want in court is part of the right to a fair trial. And since clothing can greatly affect perception in a negative way, it can also work the other way around. That is to the advantage. If following the ongoing show trial in Virginia between the ex-spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard leaves a lot of bitterness in the mouth, feasting on the look seems to be the only possible way to play down.
The word “perfomance” in the Depp-Heard case now reverberates in the collective imagination. Recognizing the role an outfit can play in human prejudice when justice is at stake means recognizing all the ways each party is trying to assert their arguments. But there is the official court and the court of public opinion. And they both play an important role in the future of those involved. Although comedians and wannabes have come to our aid to laugh it off with TikTok clips, memes and even a skit from the Saturday Night Live, the only speculation we feel we can do now is that relating to the outfits flaunted in court. Pure applied fashion psychology.
The looks of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
“Camouflage of trust.” She called it Vanessa Friedman in the pages of New York Times. That is to say, to counter the preconceptions relating to becoming hysterical and quarrelsome celebrities, with distorted systems of values and morals, the two had to adapt their style. Camouflage, in fact. So here’s a green light in court of clothes that we associate, by collective imagination, with adulthoodresponsibility and reliability.
Suits in navy blue, gray and black, waistcoats always buttoned, tie on. These the Johnny Depp’s style choices for the trial. The jewels with skulls and anchors are almost gone. The sashes and desert boots eliminated entirely. For heaven’s sake, he never gives “the idea of being a Wall Street official,” Friedman jokes. The dark shirts and ties with abstract prints speak of a different stereotype, closer to the middle class than to the Pirates of the Caribbean. His hair is also pulled back into a ponytail, as if to underline the fact that he has nothing to hide.
Amber Heard’s new look
In the other corner, you, Mrs. Heard. Safe clothes and a lost look, she comes in a “readjusted” version, like him. He had also done so at the previous London trial, adapting his style to a more sober and British mood. She now she abandons ultra feminine colors and combinations in the name of classic and soft tones. And pulls out a series of men’s suits with fitted double-breasted jackets. Strict blazers in total black or pinstripe fabric. Accompanied by white or black boyfriend-style shirts, or alternatively the very chaste fluid striped blouses with tie neckline. Her makeup is light, her jewels tiny. Her hairstyles are a riot of 1930s braids and buns. The air of her is more innocent. For the series: let’s break all the beliefs behind the ancient saying the dress does not make the monk. It does!
Who copied who’s look?
After realizing that the two have nailed the old style, in the name of a new more neutral look, however, another curiosity emerges. There are many who argue that Mrs. Heard is imitating Mr. Depp, day after day, wearing virtually identical clothes. Yes, because what strikes the international audience that does not always speak English is above all the so-called “Court style” of the two Hollywood stars. Last but not least, for some wild fans on social media and for Shannon Curry (the psychologist of the actor’s legal team), Amber would be knowingly copying the looks sported by her ex-husband during the depositions. And indeed, so it seems. If he wore a tie, she wears the tie the next day. If he wore a gray suit, she then appears in a gray suit. The mystery deepens, on social media it is unleashed in ruminations. And everything takes on the colors of the paradoxical.
The dress does not make the priest
“Defense lawyers try to use appearances to their advantage.” So, as Friedman recalls, Laurie L. Levenson wrote in a 2008 article in the Missouri Law Review. «They regulate language, dress and style in the courtroom to satisfy the jury. And they also try to change the look of their customers. The criminal defense encourages the change of look of its clients: every defendant needs the right dress, a perfect hairstyle and lessons on appropriate behavior to be held in the courtroom ». This process has thus taught us many things. First, that love should go beyond good and evil. Secondly, that the habit (not) makes the monk. Third, that there is a variation of the profession of stylist that re-elaborates the “court style”. Of course, it’s still weird to think that you can go to court as if you were going to ride a red carpet.
Browse the gallery: Amber Heard’s style: the evolution from 2005 to today, in court.
Amica © RESERVED REPRODUCTION