The Met Special

Link Copied


The Met Special

Words by Mr Adam Welch

6 May 2015

Our round-up of the best-dressed men at the annual red carpet gala.

Some men view formal attire as a uniform. But it can be a canvas. And who better to lead the way in this respect than the famous faces orbiting around the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit ball on Monday night?

Ever ready and willing to show the On the Town set our rabid appreciation, we at MR PORTER felt it our responsibility to devote this month’s entire edition of OTT to the brave attendees of the star-studded event, ostensibly mounted to celebrate the new exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, but really about the outfits, from which we’ve selected the following eight favourites. All those looking to pep up their dinner jackets and tuxedos for this summer’s festivities, read on – if there’s one thing these guys know, it’s how to party.

For all those who haven’t been following Mr Riccardo Tisci’s moody, dramatic collections at Givenchy in the past decade, let’s just keep it simple – avoiding the burning question of what exactly you have been doing in that time – and say that the Italian-born designer is keen on black. Which is why, when it comes to tuxedo-wearing, he’s a natural. There’s something wonderfully unfussy about this particular example, with its romantic, slightly oversized bow tie, tapered (but not too slim) trousers and gently sloping shoulders. He looks at home in it. Which, presumably, is the benefit of designing your own tux, rather than renting one.

Thanks to his white dinner jacket and impeccably styled hair, it’s easy to imagine Mr Jason Sudeikis (shown here on his way out of The Carlyle hotel) as a Gatsby-esque 1920s socialite in this outfit, perhaps the sort you might have found swanning around The Bund area during Shanghai’s Paris of the East phase. It’s an outfit that works, thanks to its boldness and simplicity – both things that are important to keep in mind when pulling a fancy sartorial move like this.

You get the impression that Mr Dane DeHaan has always taken the left-hand path. While other actors have their breakout roles in high-school rom-coms, he had the indie Chronicle in 2012. While his contemporaries spend hours with personal trainers and nutritionists in an eternal quest to become physically larger than the billboards they feature on, he has maintained his boyish figure and, as a consequence, starred in a Prada campaign. Presumably in school when everyone was going crazy playing Pogs, he was off doing a jigsaw somewhere, or reading Schopenhauer. Anyway, true to form, he threw everyone a Met curveball by going for this midnight-blue tuxedo with a baby-blue shirt, rather than the standard black and white that predominates at this kind of thing. His suit not only fits well but has a slightly retro, prom-night feel that sets off Mr DeHaan’s youthful looks nicely.

We want to know the backstory behind this outfit. Who had to harangue Mr Larry David into wearing it? How many people got upset in the process? What hilarious disasters ensued? Unfortunately, this is the red carpet, not an extra episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, so all we’ve got is how it looks – rather good, all things told. The black-on-black tuxedo is a younger man’s look, but it works here because of Mr David’s height and admirably slim frame. The shoes, meanwhile, have a sneaker-like contrast sole, which helps him communicate a little bit of the rebellious (or do we mean curmudgeonly?) attitude for which he is known.

Not every man at the Met Ball made a conspicuous attempt to align themselves with the Chinese theme of the evening. But Mr Mark Ronson, of course, is not every man. Though the basic template of this look – a teddy boy-ish double-breasted jacket, cropped trousers, fun socks – is not a million miles away from Mr Ronson’s workaday get-up, he added some Oriental flavour to it with a pair of embroidered velvet slippers, a mandarin-collared shirt and a dragon brooch at the neckline. Kudos to him for reading the invitation. Maybe it’s the well blow-dried hair, but is there a touch of Spandau Ballet there too? If so, we like it.

What’s blacker than black? Midnight blue, and the night shade was something of a micro-trend among the men of the Met Ball this year. Few did it better than Mr Joshua Jackson, pictured here with girlfriend Ms Diane Kruger. The cut is right, the bow tie is well matched and the wide satin lapels on the jacket add a particular richness to the colour of the suit.  It needs nothing else, and Mr Jackson knows it. Look at that smile – it says “I’m killing it here”.

To many Met Ball-goers, the word “China” seems to have translated roughly to “embroidery”. Yes, there were some missteps in this department, but also some triumphs – an honourable mention goes to actor Mr Michael B Jordan, who not only turned up in a fully embroidered tuxedo but had his footwear stitched to match. Mr Adrien Brody went for a more classic, lounge-ready look, in a silk double-breasted jacket with velvet lapel. It’s decadent, nostalgic, and just embroidered enough, thank you very much.

At every star-studded event in the US there’s one particular rapper in a tuxedo (closely followed by a certain world-straddling singer in something see-through) who everyone likes to talk about. So let’s talk about someone else, namely Mr Lonnie Lynn, aka Common. He turned up to the Met Ball in a well-tailored tuxedo with a sharp shawl collar. This is a decidedly old-school touch but here it feels sleek and modern, thanks to the wasp-waisted tailoring of the jacket. Perhaps, having won his first Academy Award this year for penning Selma soundtrack hit “Glory”, Mr Lynn has developed a knack for the black-tie thing. One thing’s for certain – accessorising with a brooch, and getting it right, spells confidence.