The big events of the annual awards season are now complete (big sigh). Epic Best Picture mix up at the Oscars aside, there was a lot to be excited about when watching the stars this year (sartorially speaking!).
I always get a little over-excited when I see a splash of colour from the boys at the Oscars. Black is always chic, but I do like mixing it up. The ladies use so much colour, it is nice to see when the men do the same for a change.
I love a wine-coloured velvet jacket, as worn to perfection by Tom Ford at the BAFTAs. This shade looks especially wonderful on those with dark or olive skin. If you have super pale skin it can look a little much. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s black velvet jacket also deserves a mention.
I love blue dinner suits. But personally, I feel vibrant blues, such as Riz Ahmed’s Zegna ensemble at the Oscars, can look a little young. These brighter hues say “Ooh let’s do something different,” and yet it’s too much. On the other hand, navy blue dinner suits get a big “Yes” from me as they add a subtle edge to a formal occasion. Jamie Dornan, Dev Patel and Luke Evans all wore sophisticated variations to the BAFTAs, incorporating black trim for an extra touch. David Chazelle’s choice to pair a navy suit with white and ivory underpinnings at the Oscars veered perilously close to wedding attire, however.
The classic white tux was the suit of choice for many, including Eddie Redmayne and Andrew Garfield at the BAFTAs. However, you do need to be very careful about the shade of white or ivory you choose. If it’s not right for your skin tone you may end up looking a tad unwell.
When it came to personalising their look with embellishments, some men sadly missed the target entirely. Pharrell Williams’ embellishments were more spaghetti western than Oscar red carpet. A shame, as he could really rock it in some sumptuous colours and slim fit attire.
Furthermore, Ryan Gosling has such a calm, elegant look that his choice of ruffles at the Oscars was, for me, a car crash. Too much fuss. I would love to have seen a quirky shade of green as a smoking jacket, mixed with black, flannel smoking trousers with a snug fitting white dinner shirt and an open neck. Who needs a bow tie and an overly done look, anyway? Ryan’s got the suave sophistication that says “I know the rules, yet I’ll still do it my own way…”
Watching the awards, I noticed that a lot of the fabrics used for these suits are lacking in structure, and almost wrinkling. Heavier fabrics like Barathea wools (a thicker style fabric) and velvets are best for a suit that packs a real punch – a must when wanting to make a serious impression at a big event.
Mixing it up: The AW way of red carpet dressing
What would I suggest if I were dressing a star for a major awards ceremony? It’s all about challenging convention without compromising on elegance or quality. I love Marcella dinner shirts and would go so far as to throw the rules to wild abandon and suggest forgoing ties for an open neck.
Mixing and matching items, like substituting a tuxedo jacket for a smoking jacket a lá Terrence Howard at the Oscars or slippers in the style of Prince William, is a great way to make a statement. I also advise adding stylish accessories such as pocket squares (Marershala Ali and John Hamm did this well).
If you have a black-tie or formal event in your calendar, I’m always on hand to advise you on the most flattering styles and offer a wealth of bespoke or made-to-measure options.