Between Jason Mamoa’s nicely braided hair and and Chris Rock getting belted in the face by Will Smith, this has turned out to be quite the red carpet return for the 94th Academy Awards. Colours – from acid green detailing to rich plums and purples – were all a feature as this year’s nominees and it was a welcome shift away from the usual black and navy.
It’s been 84 years* since we last had a fully fledged red carpet Oscars. During this time, depending on your viewpoint, fashion has either taken a nose dive into disregard for rules and regulations or it’s shaken off the shackles of preconceived ideas of what constitutes formal menswear.
Personally, I’m of the latter opinion. The idea that suits were the hallmark of formal attire needs to be let go. They’re lovely to look at, sure, but when there’s 100+ men all wearing, they tend to all look the same. Enter the new additions to this generation’s style leaders…
Whether you loved it or hated it, Timothée Chalamet’s bare-chested Louis Vuitton borrowed from the women’s collection was a breath of fresh air in a sea of tuxes. The cropped sequin jacket, the stovepipe trousers and Cartier jewellery gave the kind of demon twink aesthetic that we’d normally see at the MTV Awards or a bar opening in WeHo.
Similarly, Wesley Snipes’ purple number with matching shorts and leggings. In my mind, Snipes will always be one of two characters – the black-clad, leather-wearing vampire hunter Blade and the vivacious drag queen Noxeema Jackson from To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. Glad to see he has embraced the pageantry of this iconic character in his own fashion.
Riz Ahmed, who took home the Oscar for his film The Long Goodbye, turned up in layered plum toned Zegna that encapsulates the brand’s new direction of tailoring, one that’s both formal yet casual. Ditching the usual tie, as did fellow actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Ahmed instead used the shirt as the mid layer or underpinning for the jacket. An interesting trick that takes some suave to pull off.
Special shout out however goes to Aquaman Jason Mamoa’s sensible French braid. The man has great hair and knows how to wear it.
*It’s been two years. But it feels like 84, admit it.