4YE Celebrates Darren Criss’ 32nd Birthday With A Look At Some Of His Iconic looks On And Off Screen

The earth has circled the sun 365 days and it is once again Darren Criss’ birthday. As has become tradition here at 4YE, we cannot pass February 5 without honouring one of our favourite humans. We’ve had our favourite original songs, the best things about entering your 30s, our hopes and dreams for his coming year, and songs we’d like to see him cover, just to name a few.

As well as being up there at the top of his singing, acting and songwriting game, Darren is also known for his iconic looks. Be it on screen or off, Darren has gifted us with his numerous looks that show off his own sense of style and confidence that fans cannot help but think of Darren when seeing. For his 32nd birthday, 4YE wants to take you on a journey of just a few of these looks.

His You-Tube Days

Before you could tune in each week to hear him cover songs on Glee, Darren was taking full advantage of a new video-sharing platform and uploading songs he had recorded in his bedroom. This is raw, bushy haired Darren and so much fun to look back on. Check out his Glee audition below.

I’m Harry-freaking-Potter

Darren’s work in Starkid’s A Very Potter Musical and its two subsequent sequels is where Darren got his first break and was introduced to an international audience after the videos were uploaded to YouTube and went viral among millions of Harry Potter fans. The songs, the humour, the camaraderie between the cast and the catchy, pop songs made these musicals fan favourites.  It’s no wonder that the first part of the first musical having currently amassed more than 15 million views. It also didn’t hurt that Darren looked an awfully like Harry Potter himself and so provided us really with the first iconic Darren look.

Credit: Team Starkid

Our Teenage Dream – Blaine “Warbler” Anderson

It’s hard to believe that it was only just over eight years ago that Blaine Anderson burst onto our screens and into both Kurt Hummel and our hearts. With his preppy Dalton Academy uniform, his oh-so-smooth and flirty vocals on his hit cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and his wise and put-together bravado, it’s no surprise that his small guest spot turned into a series regular position and a coveted spot as one half of the iconic Klaine. You can’t think of early Blaine Anderson without the Dalton uniform, though there was some momentous occasions when we did see him out of the suit and tie.

1950s Dreamboat Blaine Anderson

We are not exactly sure what started it as it certainly wasn’t that evident in season 2, but from Blaine’s transfer to McKinley High, we were presented with 1950s Dreamboat, Dapper Darren. The ever-present bowtie, the polo shirts, a cardigan or sweater vest depending on the season, these aren’t exactly elements that would bring guys and girls to their knees. Yet somehow Darren rocked it and we were ever so grateful.

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Taking The Dapper Look To Broadway In How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Channeling Blaine Anderson’s dapperness, Darren lit up Broadway’s stage in his debut playing the ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch in a three week run of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

 

Credit: Bruce Glikas/Broadway.com

Putting On Some Make-Up And Pulling The Wig Down From The Shelf For Hedwig

Over the years a number of people have put on Hedwig’s wig taking to the stage as the eponymous character in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Over its 18 month Broadway run in 2014-15, Darren was just one of the draw-crowd stars to bring her to life. And he was the youngest actor to tackle the part. A hit with fans and dream-come-true character to play for Darren, he reprised the role for the San Francisco and LA legs of the tour production in 2016.

Credit: Joan Marcus

Killing Versace In American Crime Story

While there were definitely some notable looks from his award-winning turn as Andrew Cunanan in the latest season of American Crime StoryThe Assassination of Gianni Versace, there were two in particular that have had a lasting impression on viewers and regularly pop up on the socials. That is of course THAT speedo and the red pantsuit. Both of these images will no doubt be doing the rounds for many years to come.

The Photo Shoot That Broke The Internet

For those in the fandom for a while, you know exactly what photo shoot I’m referring to here. It started out like any other weekend and then suddenly manna from Heaven was dropped to us all with the release of approximately 100 photos from People magazine recent beach photo shoot with Darren to celebrate his Sexiest Man award. Did anyone get anything done at all for the next few days?

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The Pink Sunnies

A staple since his early days, Darren is known for his love of bright, bold colours and incorporating this into his look. This is none-so-evident as in his choice of sunglasses. While he has been known to rock shades with yellow, blue, white and the traditional black elements, it’s his signature pink sunnies that have left a lasting impression. Not to mention their way into many a fan’s collection.

Painted Nails

While Darren has been called upon to paint his nails for roles from time to time (such as Hedwig), Darren has been known to add more colour to his life by painting his nails. Be it  all one colour to perfectly accessorise an outfit/award ceremony, or a mixture of colours because… well why not, Darren always looks good with a touch of colour.

Socks

Darren loves his accessories as we’ve seen and the quirkier/more fun the better. Life is never boring for Darren so why should his clothes be any different. Over the years we’ve seen glimpses of his fun style with socks… and who doesn’t love interesting socks?

Or you know… go without

Another common footwear choice by both Darren and Blaine is to go sockless. Those Victorians were right about the appeal in showing a little ankle.

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University of Michigan Pride

It’s pretty hard to miss that Darren is an alum from UMich. If his tweets and pics don’t give it away, his shout out to his alma mater at the end of his Emmy’s acceptance speech last year kinda sealed the deal. But it’s not only the “Go Blue” shoutouts and hashtags, Darren can regularly be seen sporting UMich apparel.

Sweaty Darren Performance Mode

Anyone that has ever seen Darren perform live knows that the man gives it his all for every show. That means he rarely leave the stage not dripping… a look that becomes him well.

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Wear A Suit And Tie And Make It Your Own

Over the past decade, Darren has graced a number of red carpets. From premieres to award shows, to galas and special events, Darren knows how to work a red carpet. He’s also never afraid to play around with what he wears… and hardly ever makes a wrong step. He takes the traditional tux/suit and tie and makes it his own.

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Darren Criss Award Winner

This is the most recent look he has been rocking, and this is certainly one of our favourites. He has swept the field for his portrayal of Andrew Cunanan, taking home the Emmy, the Golden Globe, the Critics’ Choice and the Screen Actors Guild awards. While hardly an overnight success (we’ve been following him for almost a decade now), this role and the recognition it has garnered him has elevated him in the public’s notice and no doubt many in Hollywood and beyond are taking notice. We can’t wait for what’s next and many more examples of this look.

Happy 32nd birthday Darren. We hope you have a totally awesome day!

Clare Sidoti
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Clare Sidoti

Clare Sidoti is 4 Your Excitement's Editor-at-Large. In addition to 4YE, she has previously worked at PopWrapped as a Managing Editor and the UK's Kennel Gazette as an Editorial Assistant. Clare has a BA (Theatre and Film Studies) from the University of New South Wales, Australia and an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex, UK. She currently works promoting and advocating for the Arts, Social Science and Humanities sector in Australia and New Zealand. You can find her on twitter with her eclectic musings on the arts, entertainment and human rights. Some of her favourite topics to cover include Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Glee and Star Wars.
Clare Sidoti
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