For his Fall 2018 show, designer Tom Ford, who can make anything, literally anything look sexy, made a menswear collection that was so offset from the ordinary, it almost looked futuristic. There was a lot of pink and the collection was predominantly python skin pants, that could moonlight as leggings, paired with chic jackets that were gender-fluid enough to be an essential part of women’s wardrobes, too. Too forward for menswear. These clothes were never going to make an appearance anywhere except the runway. And although many celebrities did call upon the sartorial genius of Tom Ford to dress them for the red carpets, they always wore the archetype masculine suits that one couldn’t complain about but didn’t do anything to shake things out of predictability either. Like I said, it’s a good thing he can make anything look sexy.
2018 was only three calendar years away, but the weather, both on the red carpet and off it, was different than what it is today (#MeToo, Harvey Weinstein, Armie Hammer, the list is practically endless). It was stifling with masculinity of a particularly toxic kind that could be traced back to years of patriarchy, only fuelled further by Trump’s rampant brandishing of it.
Lewis Hamilton In Kenneth Nicholson
Maybe we have the lockdown to thank (and Billy Ray Porter, definitely Billy for wearing a skirt to the Oscars). The countless hours spent sequestering at home in comfortable tumble-washed T-shirts, just as the next woman, perhaps made men more accepting of wearing clothes that are appealing to them. Whatever the reason, when men stepped back on to the red carpet for this year’s Met after 18 months, the agenda was to be yourself. Clothes no longer have gender, only an ostentatious personality.
Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One driver and seven-time world champion, who was styled by Law Roach, wore a custom Kenneth Nicholson blazer but not without injecting the look with femininity. The undershirt was a pure white long-sleeve lace shirt with a side insert.
Pete Davidson In Thom Browne
When it came to gender-ambiguous dressing, the bad boy of American television, Pete Davidson, cleaned up nicely in a custom-made black Thom Browne column dress (yes, a dress!) with a beige overcoat, courtesy of his stylist, Britt Theodora. He also stacked his necklaces, a garnets-studded choker and a diamond chain from Fred Leighton, wore a brooch and stacked some bracelets.
Talking about dresses, Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan’s genderful slip dress with cut-out details from Altu by Joseph Altuzarra was the highlight of the night. Styled by Mel Ottenberg of Interview mag, the look was powerful in dismantling binary gender norms and stylish. The futuristic Rick Owens boots added gravitas to the whole look, but nothing compared to the Cartier diamond necklace.
Troye Sivan In Altu By Joseph Altuzarra
Model of the moment, Alton Mason, didn’t seem to need any additional jewellery considering his stunning pearl-embellished suit from the label Theophilo. The raised collar and the tassel detailing on the sleeves supplanted all accessories. The best part about his look, though, were the pearl boots that even women could borrow to wear with their wedding dresses.
Model Alton Mason Wearing Theophilo
United Nude X Shaun Ross boots
While speaking about bedazzled outfits that are a direct threat to toxic masculinity, we cannot ignore Lil Nas X’s golden Versace bodysuit, the last sheath in his three-part outfit that the American rapper wore to the Met. It was symbolic of a black, LGBTQIA+ musician making his mark in the music industry, and how men can dress the way they want. And since we’re on the subject, can we also take a minute to appreciate his lilac Versace gown that he wore to the VMA?
Lil Nas X In Versace
A special shoutout to Lil Nas X’s subtle eye makeup that’s going to soon become a mainstay in our going out looks.
Also giving us eye makeup inspiration, and some major shoe-spiration, was Eugene Lee Yang, who was unafraid to shroud his eyes in tastefully applied eyeshadow and wore matching heels.
Eugene Lee Yang
Elsewhere on the red carpet, singers Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber quietly did their bits in upending the norms of heteronormative dressing by deterring from tuxedos and choosing softer female-inspired silhouettes instead.
Shawn Mendes In Custom Michael Kors
In this sartorial reckoning, we’re glad that these pretty powerful men decided to use their clothes and slalom their way into a world of judgement-free dressing.
Do we have favourites, yet?
Also Read: The Best Dresses on This Year’s Met Gala Red Carpet