As diverse and inclusive as the awards ceremonies could muster when it comes to awarding the winners this year, there is no shortage of diversity and inclusion on the red carpet, not only for the women – who have all these years stolen the limelight with their head-turning designer wear, but for the men as well.
Over the years, we have seen the men branching out from traditional tuxedos: from the careful prudence of velvet blazers in deep tones, and star studded footwear and accessories, to monochromatic all-blacks and all-whites, and the modern day overhaul that is nothing like the olden day’s dress code for the men – from red carpet staple designer brands that are out to redefine menswear in this day and age, especially at the wake of some fashion maisons that have recently secured new creative directors to pioneer their respective brands towards the future of menswear fashion.
STAPLE BLACK REMIXED
We cannot proceed with the year’s awards season best dressed, especially the one that went down the 91st Academy Awards red carpet in Los Angeles, without mentioning entertainer Billy Porter’s gender-defying ensemble tuxedo gown.
The custom made Christian Siriano outfit is a mix of masculine and feminine all rolled into one, in the most direct and general sense, featuring a tailored tuxedo jacket that represents who the FX’s Pose actor was born as (a black, gay male), whereas the velvet gown on the bottom half is a reflection of Porter’s self-acceptance of his queer identity at a time when the true meaning of masculinity is up for debate.
Throwing the traditional formal dress code out the window at the year’s Oscars, Chadwick Boseman breathe new life for menswear at the red carpet, (much like how Black Panther did for the superhero movie franchise with a first all-black cast), with the Clare Waight Keller-designed sequin-embellished long coat off the Givenchy Haute Couture fall 2018 collection.
On the other hand, the multi-award-winning Green Book actor Mahershala Ali was decked out in Alessandro Sartori’s relatively new couture streetwear collection, the Ermenegildo Zegna XXX black pattern brocade and 1½ breasted, shawl collar jacket, with a guru collar dress shirt and silk evening scarf.
Kim Jones cooked up reimagined tailor made suits for The Favourite actors Joe Alwyn and Nicholas Hoult, at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) and the Oscars respectively: Hoult was dressed in a black wool shawl collar «Tailleur Oblique» Tuxedo from the Dior winter 19/20 men’s collection.
A Star is Born actor Bradley Cooper may have attended the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards in a typical yet sartorial three-piece suit by Gucci; and Chris Pine, fresh from the premiere of his latest limited TV series project I Am The Night at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards) donned a single-button double-breasted Ermenegildo Zegna XXX suit paired with Christian Louboutin tassel loafers – much like how the black ensembles are given different modernisation through time, the timeless all-white suits have not been missing out on its own latest style revisions.
Playing it safe, the multi-award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek simply inverted a common tuxedo with a custom made white suit by Louis Vuitton to match his black shirt and bowtie, whereas his co-star Ben Hardy opted for a white suit with black jazz lapel accents at the Oscars.
Chadwick Boseman, however, shone bright at the Golden Globes with a custom made, Atelier Versace light silver tuxedo, fully encrusted with Swarovski crystal beadwork and subtle Medusa accents. DNCE lead singer Joe Jonas showed up at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party when the buzz from the night’s festivities was still at a high, an all-white Armani suit with a buttoned high neck shirt on, with fiancée and X-Men film franchise actress Sophie Turner in his arms.
BLAZERS OF GLORY
Blazers are a two-edged sword: if the design is downright appalling to begin with for a statement piece as strong as this fashion item, it may come off as tacky instead of fashionably ground breaking.
During the Oscars, we saw the likes of Can You Ever Forgive Me? supporting actor Richard E Grant, and Chris Evans from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, (who has perhaps won more hearts that night when he was seen assisting Regina King onstage amidst the tangle of her gown to accept her Best Supporting Actress award), play on the traditional side of things: Grant wore a three-piece Brunello Cucinelli burgundy suit with a grey jazz collar lapel, and Evans a deep velvet blue Salvatore Ferragamo blazer.
At the SAG Awards in Los Angeles, Malaysia’s current pride and joy Henry Golding immersed himself in every minute his Crazy Rich Asians fame has brought him, donned a Tom Ford Atticus jacquard cocktail jacket in the colour of his namesake. Meanwhile, Chadwick Boseman was a sight for sore eyes when he went onstage alongside his Black Panther counterparts to receive the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture in a custom Ermenegildo Zegna XXX jacket topped with a Tiffany & Co lapel brooch.
Timothée Chalamet pulled off a vibrant look at the BAFTAs in a Haider Ackermann do: featuring a jacket and shirting of the same design from the French designer’s autumn/winter 2019/2020 collection, and trousers with red and black checker pattern on the sides.
TOUCH OF SHINE
The menswear adornment that turned heads this awards season is that of the harness, a.k.a embroidered bib, brought to the forefront with much class by Beautiful Boy star Timothée Chalamet during his attendance at the Golden Globes in January.
The American/French actor, who shot to fame two years ago in his award-nominated role in Call Me By Your Name, made headlines once again this year despite his lack of award nominations, when he stepped onto the red carpet with a custom fitted suit by Louis Vuitton, accessorised with a black embellished bib first seen at Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton debut at the men’s spring 2019 fashion show.
Louis Vuitton’s embroidered bib trend is carried forth into the SAG Awards, when Black Panther star Michael B Jordan showcased another version of the embroidered mid-layer upon a custom tuxedo.
Modern menswear accessories aside, one can never go wrong with the traditional choices of an impressive timepiece, delicate cufflinks, as well as statement lapel brooches. Jordan, who is also the International Brand Ambassador for Piaget, showed up at the Oscars to match his Tom Ford suit, a white gold Piaget Polo Tourbillion timepiece set with diamonds, two full paved diamond white gold Possession rings, and two Limelight Couture Précieuse Brooches.
Film director Barry Jenkins and actor Stephan James from If Beale Street Could Talk stay true to the textbook menswear dapperness as old as time itself: Jenkins was fitted with a white gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon timepiece at the BAFTAs, whereas James wore a Chopard L.U.C Regulator timepiece with a silvered dial and 18k rose gold case, to pair with the Chopard onyx .99-ct cufflinks in 18k rose gold and a Swarovski brooch upon the lapel of his Ralph Lauren suit.