The Professional: A 90’s Fashion Flashback

Luc Besson’s movie Léon (The Professional) gave us an intense story in 1994, with an absolutely first-class cast. Jean Reno plays a character named Léon who has learned to repress his emotions in order to perform his job as a “cleaner”, or hit-man. His secluded world is shattered by the young girl named Mathilda when she turns to him for help. He learns about living a normal life, even if the circumstances which unite them are far from normal…

The performance delivered by then twelve-year old Natalie Portman as Mathilda is nothing short of brilliant. Her ability to relate to others with body movement and facial gestures is matched by few, she really brings raw emotion and believability to a difficult role. Mathilda and Léon are unexpectedly thrown together, but learn to value life from their chance encounter, and how valuable a friendship can be.

Jean Reno as Léon gives us a solemn and calculated character who sets all of his energy on his assignments until he is given something else to care about. Mathilda gives him the daughter that he never had, while Léon serves as a father and friend to her.

This film has been haunting my thoughts lately. It is a great flashback to the 90’s style and mannerism that has been referenced so much in fashion for the last few years, only here its portrayed by 12-year old Portman and could not be more believable and bad-ass. In honor of these re-occurring thoughts of mine I would like to share some of the images and style that have occupied my mind.