LIFE

A Brief History of Jared Leto’s Love Affair with Ponchos and Capes, from the VMAs To Ischgl, Austria

Though they’re hardly the most fashion-forward items, given that they’re some of the easiest garments to hide under, it’s hard to blame any celebrity for wearing a poncho or a cape if they’re looking to simply stay cozy or escape the public eye. Jared Leto, however, is fond of neither of those activities—and yet, never one to miss out on racking up the eccentricities, has somehow has become the music and Hollywood industry’s biggest proponent of the glorified body bags.

Take, for example, the sequined-cover poncho-cape Leto showed up to the VMAs red carpet in on Sunday night: There was no missing his glittery, bright blue number, which definitely served the actor in reminding the public that, lest you’ve forgotten in between his expertly method-acted and neon green roles as the Joker, he’s also been the frontman of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars since 1998—a full two decades in which they may not have gained so much of the industry’s respect, but have sold more than 10 million copies of their records worldwide. (A swath of Gucci is definitely a more efficient way to promote an album than playing so many shows for one album that you win a Guinness World Record.)

Of course, Leto is hardly the only celebrity lately to sparkle in Gucci—exhibit A: Kim Kardashian and her butt—but having recently become Alessandro Michele‘s right-hand man in fact seems to have little to do in Leto’s latest red carpet outfit of choice. For the last six years now, Leto has been consistently rocking ponchos and capes everywhere from the the VMAs to Ischgl, Austria—and sometimes even dared to repeat the same one within the space of a week. Take a look back at his most glorious garbs—some presciently Game of Thrones-themed, some covered in bunny rabbits, and some even Kanye West-approved—here.

1
August 2017
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

A floral blouse, sparkly sneakers, ripped jeans, dark sunglasses, and man bun would have been enough to attract attention on their own, but Leto turned even more eyes when he topped all that off at the 2017 VMAs with a glittery Gucci cape that no doubt made his bud Alessandro Michele proud.

2
June 2017
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

True fans of Leto would have seen his VMAs look coming: After all, it was only a couple of months ago, in June, that Leto turned up to the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware to perform with Thirty Seconds to Mars in not just a full-length green floral dress, but also a fringed cape that came complete with embroidered Gucci bunny rabbits.

3
October 2015
Robert Kamau/Getty Images

A week after stepping out in this Burning Man-appropriate number in Paris, Leto wore the poncho once again in New York in October of 2015, this time pairing it with graphic jogging pants that, with his fading pink hair, served to paint quite the rainbow.

4
May 2015
Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

Even while in Ischgl, Austria, which is exactly where Leto found himself with his band in May of 2015, Leto repped his garment of choice, this time accessorizing it with not just a guitar, but what appears to be a stuffed gazelle hat, too.

5
September 2013
Annabel Staff/Getty Images

Leto, just like Jon Snow, knows the allure of a fur cape, though given that he was performing in London in September, rather than weathering a never-ending winter, he could afford to pair his version with jeans when he performed at the iTunes Festival back in 2013.

6
May 2011
Christopher Peterson/Getty Images

Okay, this may appear to simply be a cotton-y take on a classic leather biker jacket. But give it a closer look, and it transpires that even when Leto was in his relatively natural hair days back in 2011, he was in fact rocking an early, baggy predecessor of the poncho, unzipped to reveal a white tank top whose jarring normality he balanced with a pair of velcro sneaks.

7
February 2011
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

His newfound relationship with Michele may make Leto appear to be a fashion newbie, but he was in fact attending the New York shows all the way back in 2011, when they were still held at Lincoln Center. And while we were at that point past the tents at Bryant Park, it was still chilly enough that February for Leto to wear not just a jean jacket and a baggy pair of knit mittens, but of course a poncho on top of all that, too.

8
February 2011
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

His attentiveness to the weather, something even rarer than a poncho in the industry, hardly stopped Leto from being a star that season: He wore the look not once, but twice that season, with one of the occasions apparently eliciting Kanye’s rare seal of approval.