Three Tuxedos Of The Future
Mr Zayn Malik at the Met Ball, New York, 2 May 2016. Photograph by Mr John Shearer/Getty Images
Messrs Aziz Ansari, Zayn Malik and Jack Huston reveal the tuxedos of tomorrow, plus black-tie style advise from Mr Kayne West.
It’s that time of year again: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is launching a new fashion exhibition; celebrities are invited to a ball; photographers come and take pictures; various users of 4Chan Photoshop their outfits to make Instagram memes. It’s the circle of life alright, or something mechanically like it. The theme of this year’s exhibition and ball was “Manus x Machina”, which in Latin means “Hand x Machine”, which in plain speak means a meeting of fashion and technology. Most of the interpretive artistry in this respect came from the womenswear department, with Ms Beyoncé Knowles sporting a latex Givenchy number, Ms Kim Kardashian choosing an armorial Balmain dress and Madonna and Lady Gaga battling it out to see who could show the most skin while being fully dressed (Madonna won). But there were some nice touches on the men’s side, too. In fact, the Met Gala is one of the few occasions in the calendar when male attendees are given license to have a little bit of fun with their evening wear. Here’s how those that did it well pulled it off (arranged in order of ascending futuristic conceptualism).
MR AZIZ ANSARI
Photograph by Mr Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Mr Aziz Ansari seems like those guys we all knew at college who would interpret a “really wild!” dress code by nervously concealing a leopard print hanky in their pocket. He’s a little bit “adorkable” (his words), a little bit conservative, and simply wants to concentrate on looking good without ruffling any feathers. In a business where hysteria is king and taste is often forgotten, we respect this approach. His nod to the dress code – a silver yet subtle bow tie – therefore gets our stamp of approval. No funny business from the funnyman of the moment? Bravo, Mr Ansari.
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MR ZAYN MALIK
Photograph by Mr John Shearer/Getty Images
When we went to see Captain America: Civil War this weekend, one of the thoughts that didn’t occur was: “Wow, that winter soldier fella sure has great style.” It’s testimony, therefore, to Mr Zayn Malik’s current pop cultural pre-eminence that he manages to take that character’s brand of mechanised-arm-chic, combine it with a tuxedo jacket, and make it surprisingly appealing. Key to the success of this is both the commitment to the concept and the simplicity of the rest of his outfit (note the white shirt, worn without tie, and minimal colour palette). Of course an added bonus of it all is that, presumably, he was absolutely unassailable when it came to elbowing his way to the front of the bar queue. See, style can be practical after all.
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Mr Jack Huston
Photograph by Mr David Fisher/REX Shutterstock
No, this is not the most out-there, thematically appropriate outfit of the evening. Where Will.i.am sported a visor, or Mr Jaden Smith a Star Trek-worthy blazer with piped shoulders and buttonless lapels, Mr Jack Huston went for a more modest spin on the classic tuxedo by opting for a style in midnight blue. But doesn’t it look good? There’s a crisp coolness to a black and blue palette that very much suits Mr Huston’s clean-cut style and dark colouring. The neat, but not-too-tailored fit, is flattering, but not too skinny in the trousers or fashionably nipped in at the waist. Which makes it rather timeless and therefore, to be honest, a little more future-proof than all the silver-studded stuff that was going on elsewhere.
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AND FINALLY… AN ALTERNATIVE
Mr Kanye West
Photograph by Mr Andrew H Walker/REX Shutterstock
Mr Kanye West’s approach to eveningwear for this year’s Met Gala? Ripped denim, rhinestones, contact lenses. Presumably he knows something we don’t know about the future of eveningwear. Maybe, by the time 2100 swings around, everyone will turn up to suave cocktail parties in similar ensembles. Or maybe they won’t. In any case, it takes a lot of guts to turn up to a rarefied event in such a rule-flouting get-up, for which we can only admire him. We would, however, recommend adhering that touch more to the dress code, however conceptually on-point you are, for your next black tie event.
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