If you follow the blog over on Instagram you may have seen on my story that I recently re-read (for the fifth time no less) the stunning masterpiece that is Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ ‘Watchmen’.
The writing is, of course, absolutely stellar and takes a beautifully dark and gritty look at a world where superheroes exist, yet come with all the murkier parts of their humanity still in tact. Dave Gibbons’ artwork is breathtaking to say the least with a genius use of golden-age line work with some truly inspired colour palettes which really help to breath life into every panel on the page.
Of the two favourite characters I have, Rorschach is perhaps the most simply designed character, but as a result, I feel he’s most effective and most believable character in the book. A dark vigilante with no powers or gadgets (save for his grappling gun, built by former partner Nite Owl) Rorschach has a black and white world view where wrong is wrong and, as a result, must be punished with extreme prejudice.
Rorschach’s now iconic look was, in turn, inspired by a no less iconic comic book character; Steve Ditko’s ‘The Question’. The outfit worn by Rorschach throughout the book is a simple one; pinstripe suit, white scarf, Chelsea boots, trench coat, stingy brim fedora and his eponymous inkblot mask.
For this more wearable take on this classic look, I chose to forgo the hat (and of course, the mask!) and instead focus on the use of vintage inspired fabrics and cuts. The look, while heavily influenced by Rorschach, also has a heavy 1960’s London twist which you can see in the use of polka-dots and boots with Airwair soles.
The black and white polka-dot shirt clearly draws inspiration from the black and white of his mask, while the pinstripe trousers is an obvious reference to the suit usually favoured by the vigilante. Both of these are available through Relco.
Instead of a full suit, I’ve substituted the jacket in place of a simple navy cardigan – it seems impractical for a casual everyday outfit to wear a full suit, especially when wearing a trench coat over the top. Any navy cardigan will do, alternatively, brown would work just as well.
The scarf is a particularly cool find and features a really clever Rorschach inkblot design. I feel that a plain white scarf is a difficult accessory for any man to pull off, so the combined use of black and white makes this a much more wearable and subtly appropriate scarf to have. I found it on Redbubble.
The trench coat seen here is a beautiful example by Mango, but in truth any cropped double-breasted trench would work just as well. The trench used in the much maligned film adaptation was, I believe, leather but I think the original intention was a standard cotton trench coat often worn by film noir detectives.
Lastly, the boots are a pair of Chelsea boots by Solovair. I feel these really suit both this outfit and the character, especially as Dave Gibbons had a tendency throughout the book to draw very slim and sleek Chelsea boots on most of the main characters. I selected a pair with thick Airwair soles in order to reference the shorter stature of Rorschach which is specifically called out in the story by the fact that he apparently wears lifts in his boots.