The Best Men's Fashion @ Met Gala 2016
Watching celebrities strut in their custom designer clothing at the Met Gala is a favorite annual pastime of mine. Some play it safe and elegant, some take bold risks and wow the audience; others fumble with fit, color schemes, and accessories. There is much to learn from their outfits—what went right, what could've been fine without. Here are some choice looks of the night that hopefully will give you pointers on how you could develop your own style, especially for formal occasions.
Alexander Skarsgard demonstrates how a classic formal look is done right: perfectly form-fitting tuxedo with an all-black ensemble of shoes and bow-tie. So simple, so elegant. His use of accessories is sparing in comparison to his peers, but he proves that a single, well-placed lapel pin is better than a dozen jewelries.
What to learn: Before diverging from traditional formalwear, learn to master formalwear first. Make your suit at any price-point look impeccable by taking it to a tailor. It is a good idea to have your measurements in handy, not just for suits but for clothing in general for shopping and tailoring purposes. Remember: you can never go wrong with all black. Have one or two accessories that really shine while not taking away the spotlight from the outfit.
Nick Jonas is wearing Topman, an affordable mid-tier brand, and he looks absolutely stunning in it, challenging the stalwart dominance of major fashion houses in red carpet fashion. What he is nailing here is the inclusion of one statement piece - his double-breasted blue tuxedo jacket - that pops in color. The other aspects of the look are complementary to the jacket. The result: breaking the mold, but not overwhelming.
What to learn: Spice up your outfit with an interesting statement piece, whether it contrasts with the style of your overall look, or has a distinct pattern/color.
White suits are notoriously difficult to master, yet Jared Leto manages to not only pull it off, but outdo the competition while at it. The key to a killer all-white look is choosing the right hue of white, and tasteful contrast between the white tones. The snowy-white ivory Gucci smoking jacket is both regal in form and color, and fits well with the pure white of his time-old rendition of the band collar shirt. Every detail, from the cane to the collar pin to the covered placket of the shirt, is deliberate and exacting. Sure, he does resemble a duke from the Victorian era, but the modern twist on it is undeniably refreshing.
What to learn: Avoid wearing all white unless you can devise a cohesive and thoughtful outfit. For formalwear, be as close to form-fitting as possible. ABSOLUTELY NO BRIGHT SILK TIES OR VESTS. Wearing white well requires subdued elegance.
Love him or hate him, Jaden Smith is new the face of millennial, avant-garde fashion. Whether he pulls out his white Batman suit or a Louis Vuitton dress, he challenges the status quo of men's fashion, which can be rigid and inflexible compared to its female counterpart. There is an interesting element at play here: Jaden's look is reminiscent of the 90s Prada reinvention of the suit for women, now integrated back into men's fashion. The Rad Hourani-esque silhouette and the lines on his jacket say enough: he is on the top of his game. Will formalwear evolve in this direction? I wouldn't mind if it does.
What to learn: Incorporate traditionally feminine elements of apparel into your style to give a twist to your look. Experiment with silhouettes and fit - check out his pants, for example.
What exactly is Zayn wearing? He looks like he's filming for a superhero movie featuring a celebrity who discovers his secret identity as Thor. Having said that, I would be lying if I said I didn't want that arm brace in my life. His tailoring is perfect, and I see the increasing trend of the air-tie replacing neckwear as a chic alternative.
What to learn: When you question your bold style move, remember: if it's cool, just do it.
It seems that Kanye has slightly departed from his street style dominated look of 2015. That's okay, because I believe that after years of experimentation, the self-proclaimed god is finally finding his own stylistic voice. His look is similar to what Lucky Blue Smith, GQ's Best Dressed finalist who lost to Kanye, would tend to wear: slightly Bohemian, faded but classic tones, exuding swagger. The gaudiness of the Fear of God (the name befits the wearer) jacket and the classic white shirt and jeans combination sends a layered message of Kanye the everyman and Kanye the outspoken music icon.
What to learn: Don't be a "hypebeast" who blindly follows the latest fashion trends and fads. Of course, pay attention to them, but at the same time construct your own distinct look from the bits and pieces of each style.
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