The Oscars Special

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The Oscars Special

Words by Mr Adam Welch

3 March 2016

From Mr Jon Hamm to Mr Colin Firth, we present the men who wore it best at this year’s Academy Awards.

We’re not sure if you were aware, but there was this thing called the Academy Awards that happened over the weekend. Apparently, a few people were talking about it on Twitter or something? Anyway, from what we can tell it’s a sort of ritual in which a selection of famous people walk up and down on a piece of scarlet upholstery for a few minutes, then go into a room where they sit down, then stand up and clap, then sit down again. It lasts for several hours. There’s a party afterwards, too. Of course, this sounds like exactly the kind of thing that MR PORTER likes to get involved in. So please accept our version of events, featuring the very best outfits of the night, below. Spoiler: tuxedos feature heavily.

There were a lot of velvet jackets at this year’s Academy Awards: Messrs Jake Gyllenhaal, Will Poulter and Henry Cavill were among the many that went for this particularly lounge-y variant on the tuxedo. But Mr Eddie Redmayne, of course, was the one who wore it best, opting for a wide peak lapel and matching velvet slippers, for an outfit that was just as ready for the smoking lounge (do they have a smoking lounge at the Academy Awards?) as it was for the red carpet.

Unfortunately, there is no Oscar for best wearing of a wonky bow tie, or biggest smile at the afterparty, but this is what columns like On The Town are for – we would like to bestow both accolades, somehow, upon Mr Jon Hamm, who well and truly delivered on the night in these crucial departments. Of course, you’re probably familiar with the benefits of smiling, but might be wondering what exactly is the benefit of having a wonky bow tie? And here’s your answer: worn with a tux as crisp and streamlined as this, it has a similar effect to a roughly stuffed pocket square in a blazer’s front pocket, or a dimple on a tie – that is, it looks artless, carefree and fun. It’s an effect only compounded by Mr Hamm’s stubble, which adds a controlled air of rakishness to the whole look. He’s clearly prepared to have a good time, we just hope it all lived up to his expectations.

Messy hair, sharp suit. It’s a good combination, and one that Mr Dev Patel has been refining for the past 12 months or so, presumably so that he was finally able to pull this look out the bag when it came to the Academy Awards. The tuxedo fits perfectly, is in an attractive shade of midnight blue, and has neat, slim lapels that nicely offset Mr Patel’s trademark tousled locks. It’s nice to see a little sartorial perseverance paying off.

In addition to artfully engaging with the controversy that surrounded this year’s Academy Awards (he called them “The White People’s Choice Awards”), Mr Chris Rock also tamed a somewhat unpredictable piece of clothing – the white dinner jacket – in his appearance as the 2016 Oscars host. White tuxedos can sometimes come off as a little bit too suave and ritzy, but Mr Rock has offset that effect here by going for jet-black trousers in an extremely sharp, slim cut, and opting for a style with square padded shoulders and slim shawl lapels that sit flatly on his torso. The lack of additional frills – especially in the bow-tie department – is largely to thank for the whole outfit’s success. Take note, would-be imitators!

Smaller men can sometimes look a little bit like they’ve been rifling through their dad’s wardrobe when they step out in a tuxedo, but Mr John Legend (who is 5ft 7in-ish) clearly knows how to match his (somewhat compact) body shape with appropriate eveningwear. The slim cut of the jacket makes the most of his neat figure, without hugging too much at the waist (which might have made him look a little delicate), while the trousers are cut to rest perfectly at shoe height without a crease, which has a lengthening effect on his overall silhouette. The oversized bow tie adds a dash of charm and wit to contrast with all the neat lines – any smaller and it would have all come across a bit dinky.

It’s been a year and a bit since Mr Colin Firth starred in Kingsman: The Secret Service, (inspiration for MR PORTER’s exclusive brand Kingsman), but it seems that he has not forgotten how to wear a suit, nor, indeed, a tuxedo. This one works particularly well on the shoulders of this much beloved British national treasure thanks to its wide peaked lapels – they give breadth to the shoulders ensuring that Mr Firth (who is rather tall) looks more Bond than beanpole.

When you’re a big-shot producer (and your wife is Ms Julianne Moore), you can get away with wearing Derbies with your tuxedo. In fact, it actually looks quite good, giving off a mildly rebellious feel without the theatrics that are sometimes employed by the ill-advised mavericks that sometimes haunt red carpets. But we don’t need to tell Mr Bart Freundlich this, obviously. He’s got it down.

The downside to being tall, pale and rather skinny: you get picked on at school. The upside? When you become a darling of independent cinema, and transition inexorably into mainstream movies, you can wear a suit to the Oscars that looks like it’s been drawn on with a very nice, midnight-blue pen. And the overall effect is very striking. Kudos to Mr Paul Dano, who can evidently relate to the above scenario.