Another year, another Oscars ceremony. Yet, even with the 91st Academy Awards days behind us, we’re still debating which movie should’ve won Best Picture, which actor or actress was more deserving of a trophy, and which red carpet looks were hits – and which were misses.
If we opted to do your typical roundup, we’d focus on the elaborate – or, in many cases, minimal – dresses many female stars sported. But, at Kipper, we’re after those menswear and menswear-leaning combinations, which, frankly, keep on getting better with the year.
Black suits and tuxes? Yes, we’ve seen them, but 2019 had some serious standouts:
A Suit of a Different Color
Like we just mentioned, black is perfectly fine, but men these days don’t have just two or three hues to choose from. It was a rainbow of possibilities out there, with Aquaman star Jason Momoa fortifying the notion that, yes, real men – even the burly dudes with tattoos – can sport pink. He did so quite effectively in a blush Fendi tuxedo designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld.
On the other end, X-Men’s Nicholas Hoult kept it traditional – until you take a closer look. An all-back, seemingly unassuming ensemble featured a double-breast, shawl-collar jacket with subtle asymmetrical elements.
Then, showing us that color-blocking’s the key to getting noticed, Stephan James stood out in a red velvet three-piece Etro suit, complemented by a white shirt and matching pointed shoes. Approaching holiday-themed territory was a bold choice – one that could’ve gone poorly with the wrong accessories – but it definitely got the If Beale Street Could Talk actor noticed.
Pantsuits on the Red Carpet
They say “pantsuit,” we say “menswear for women.” Whatever you want to call it, Blake Lively’s not your only modern-day inspiration, and it’s not just for political candidates anymore.
Crazy Rich Asians’ Awkwafina played around with color, texture, and accessories, delivering a light lavender Dsquared2 number accented with a pussy bow. Plenty of other actresses, though, kept it neutral – Amy Poehler in a black Alberta Ferretti suit, Sarah Silverman in Moschino, Taylor Hill in a Ralph Lauren tuxedo, and Elsie Fisher in a three-piece Thom Browne ensemble – yet showed that, even when you stay traditional, you still buck the norms.
Dressed to Impress
If you’ve spotted Pose’s Billy Porter on the red carpet before, you know his tuxedo dress getup – itself an homage to ballroom icon Hector Xtravaganza – is fairly routine. The actor known for role “Pray Tell” stepped out at the A.F.I. Awards in a yellow-gold dress and blazer set, and has previously made appearances in a bejeweled cape.
Yet, while the Christian Siriano-designed piece has been on plenty of “miss” lists, we’d have to call it a perfectly gender-blending hit. The top portion – a velvet tuxedo – pulls no punches in terms of structure, while the lower half reflects that Victorian-era juxtaposition of modesty and grandiosity.
More subtle, Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman stepped away from the typical suit-and-tie combination, instead appearing in wide-legged pants, pointed shoes, and a jeweled train, courtesy of Givenchy and Bvlgari.
Off the red carpet, Brian Tyree Henry, who, with Melissa McCarthy, presented the award for Best Costume Design, stepped out in a grand, allusion-full dress. Based on Slate.com’s report, his ensemble references The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns, and Black Panther.
While it’s far easier for male stars to pull this off, not everyone opted for a formal ensemble. Chris Evans, for instance, gussied up the office-ready three-piece by combining skinny black pants with a blue-grey velvet blazer. Spike Lee, similarly, played up the contrasts through a casual purple Jaeger-LeCoultre suit paired with custom gold-colored Nikes.
Finishing off our roundup, only Pharrell Williams could appear in a camouflage short suit. A step in the subdued direction compared to his oversized hat days, it manages to be minimalist yet distinctive and low key yet mention worthy, and emphasizes the fact that Williams – known in fashion for Billionaire Boys Club and plenty of brand collaborations – always stays a few steps ahead. Next year, get ready for the camouflage tux.