Fashion: Peer group pressure: The at-a-glance guide to this year's autumn / winter collection of young male Hollywood stars. Coming to a cinema near you

IF THERE are fashions in men, I suppose Brad Pitt is it: the state-of-the-art, raunchy, sulky, sexually electric, method male. In the last couple of years, with a judicious bit of product placement, he's spread himself across three major sections of the movie market. He got the hustler slot in a big commercial hit (Thelma & Louise), the weirdo lead in a low-budget cult movie (Johnny Suede), and the maximum exposure only a Levi's ad can give in the one where the guy gets out of some Mexican-looking jail with only his boxer shorts, to be met by his girlfriend with the convertible and his

Levi's, then photographs her posing to the envy of the warders.

Brad is flavour of the month in the men's magazines, acting as a model and giving Brat Pack-style answers to questions like this: 'Do have a life philosophy? Can you trace it back to your childhood?' (Jeff Giles in Details)

Brad: 'Oh, yeah, completely.'

Still, it's probably time for another crop of Hollywood men now that River Phoenix has grown up, Tom Cruise has got married, Rob Lowe's gone respectable, and Mickey Rourke's starring in a biking and boxing movie that looks set to last for the rest of his life. Brad is 28, was born in Missouri and is set to appear in two big films this autumn: Cool World with Kim Basinger and Gabriel Byrne, and A River Runs Through It, directed by Robert Redford. He's in the middle of making Kalifornia, partnered by his current girlfriend, Juliette Lewis, in which he's landed another must-role for every up-and-

coming male star - the serial killer.

Unlike some of his male peers, who moved up through the Hollywood apprentice system from pre-teen sweetie to juvenile delinquent to bedroom-scene material (via a body-building course), Brad dropped out of university, drove to Los Angeles and moved from odd jobs to bit parts through television movies to the real thing.

Every generation of young male stars breaks down into bad boys, innocents, smoothies and wackos. Last time round, for example, we had Matt Dillon (bad), Michael J Fox (innocent), Tom Cruise (smooth), and Nicolas Cage (wacko). This time, among those jostling with Brad for the various slots (or desperate to avoid them) are the four young actors photographed here: Stephen Baldwin, Billy McNamara, Stephen Dorff and Ethan Kane. Between them they have a string of new movies coming up through the summer and into next year, a sure sign that, in their respective cases, the career

dial's set fair for a few years to come. But

for every one of them, there are a thousand waiters and shop-assistants, valet-parking attendants and personal trainers, hanging round Hollywood signed to some low-profile talent agency, waiting to be discovered as the next James Dean.

That's one refreshing thing about Brad. He's a real Nineties boy. None of the only- the-good-die-young stuff for him. To the many and uninspired comparisons critics have made between himself and the Fifties Wunderkind, he wonders: 'Why would you want to pattern your life after someone who wasn't a survivor?'Suzie Bucks

'Johnny Suede' is at the Camden Plaza, NW1, and selected cinemas round the country.

(Photograph omitted)