Doctor Who - Dalek fashions through time

Punk, New Romantic, Swinging Sixties - the Daleks have been there. Fashion expert Anna Fielding gives her verdict on some key moments in Dalek couture

Comments
Doctor Who - Dalek fashions through time
Written By
Paul Jones

The Daleks: Inter-galactic megalomaniacs. Ruthless killing machines. Fashion icons.

Yes, over the years the Doctor's deadliest enemies have showcased a variety of striking looks, reflecting the styles of each era or, in many cases, establishing new trends themselves. Now, as Asylum of the Daleks offers a glimpse of every design ever created, Stylist's Anna Fielding gives her verdict on some key moments in the history of Dalek couture... 

Story: The Daleks

Year: 1963

Anna says: "The first sighting of the Daleks and they look very Mod; lots of clean lines and a muted colour palate. These are Daleks that would yearn for sleek Italian tailoring. The Dalek race has always considered itself superior to the human one and here they're showing it. In 1964 André Courrèges showed a collection full of silver and white with lots of circular embellishment and in 1966 Paco Rabanne made his couture debut featuring clothing made of metal and Perspex disks. The Daleks had both of these trends working for them back in '63."


Story: Dr Who and the Daleks

Year: 1965

Anna says: "Now we can see the Daleks in colour and, whilst their lines are still restrained and minimal, the natty blue-and-gold this one is sporting is very Swinging London and hints at the coming trend for psychedelia. Skaro was clearly starting to swing too."


Story: Day of the Daleks

Year: 1972

Anna says: "Firstly, these Daleks are more flared at the bottom than the previous ones, mirroring the human trend for wider flared trousers. A bit of a disco influence is starting to creep in here too, with this chap venturing into an all-gold ensemble. This is classy disco though - more high-end designer wear at Studio 54 than Saturday Night Fever. This Dalek is clearly a fan of Yves Saint Laurent: there are lots of beige safari tones in that gold which were popular with the French designer."


Story: Planet of the Daleks

Year: 1973

Anna says: "The Supreme Dalek has abandoned his/its designer-led look for a bit of pop culture. I can't imagine Daleks being fans of anything, but it is possible this one picked up a copy of David Bowie's 1972 album Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on a previous trip and decided to take a more glam rock approach. ('WE WILL MEET MR BOWIE. WE HAVE ALL HIS ALBUMS!')"


Story: Death to the Daleks

Year: 1974

Anna says: "Did the Daleks invent punk? This stripped back, silver-and-black studded look might suggest so. They're ahead of us again though, as punk only hit the mainstream in 1976. I can imagine the Daleks seeing common ground with punk's more nihilistic strands. There's only a fine line between the Sex Pistols howling 'We want to destroy!' and the Dalek cry of 'EXTERMINATE!'."


Story: Resurrection of the Daleks

Year: 1984

Anna says: "This 1984 Supreme Dalek could well have been trying to make it through the door at popular New Romantic club The Blitz - it's not too far off the Pierrot look some were dressing in then. The heavy use of black also looks towards the post-punk scene, encapsulated by bands like Joy Division, and the emerging goth movement."


Story: Revelation of the Daleks

Year: 1985

Anna says: "The Daleks have headed uptown again. The white and gold these Imperial Daleks are rocking was a popular 1980s combination: think of the heavily embellished white gowns on the super-rich characters from Dynasty or Dallas or a pair of flashy gold cufflinks glinting against a Big Bang city boy's white shirt. There's also a very interesting detail here. Look closely at the neck area: this is the frilliest it's ever been and is reminiscent of the pie crust collars worn by 80's posh-girl tribe the Sloanes."


Story: The Stolen Earth

Year: 2008

Anna says: "A classic fashion pose from the Daleks here - they look like a trio of supermodels on the cover of a magazine. They've taken a deconstructionist approach and revealed more of their nuts and bolts, a trend that continues to this day with exposed zips and deliberately frayed seems. They look thinner here too, but we're wise to you Daleks, airbrushing had been in regular use for at well over a decade by this point."


Story: Victory of the Daleks

Year: 2010

Anna says: "The New Paradigm Daleks seem to be taking their cues from Apple. They're noticeably rounder and look rather like iMacs. Their choice of colours is interesting too; in 2010 the fashion house Cerruti showed a collection with near-identical shades of blue and red."

Anna Fielding is the editor of Stylist.co.uk and Emerald Street.

Click here to take Stylist's quiz about the women of Doctor Who

For more Doctor Who news, features and photos visit our dedicated Facebook page Doctor Who Times

Add new comment

Ads by Google