Costume Design

Predicting the Future: Blade Runner

It’s November 2019. Are we wearing what Blade Runner thought we would be wearing?

Blade Runner, the movie version of Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” came to theaters in June of 1982. Blade Runner is neo-noir, and takes inspiration from both 1940s and 1980s fashion.

So–how close did Blade Runner get in its vision of 2019? Could any of these fashions be worn on the street, today, without everyone knowing you’re a replicant? Let’s take a look.

Roy Batty

Roy Batty sports a slick, industrial look coat. It almost looks like machinery itself!

Tears in the Rain Score: 2 out of 5.

Roy could walk down the street in this, but he’d likely draw some stares, particularly in daytime.


The iconic dress Rachel wears when introduced to Deckard. This costume is heavy with 1940s style, including Rachel’s hairdo!

Tears in the Rain Score: 1 out of 5.

The extreme shoulder pad look gives this away. If you wore this on the street, people would think you were wearing vintage. Or cosplaying as Rachel!


Pris’s costuming is very 80s, and very punk.

Tears in the Rain Score: 4 out of 5

It is nearly a 5, as there are quite a few rooms you could wear this in, and not stand out. It’s the eye makeup that keeps this from truly being a 5. Take away the make-up and you could wear this to dinner.


Inspired by the classic 1940s PI costume, the lapel nearly screams Humphrey Bogart. This updated version features a punched up color and print for the shirt and tie.

Tears in the Rain Score: 4.5 out of 5.

While you might not be able to wear this to your government job, you could probably get away with it for work wear in more relaxed environments.

So our final results: Blade Runner got some things very right and other items not so much. Overall, not a bad guess at the future. And really, maybe it’s our fault for being a far more boring future fashion wise than Blade Runner imagined.