Every year before the start of spring, we lowly high street and thrift shoppers get to become the harshest fashion critics of one of Hollywood’s largest events: The Academy Awards.
The Oscars present the best (and worst) of Hollywood glamour and luxury. With established classic brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior getting the best out of their celebrity ambassadors, other more modern fashion houses such as Iris Van Herpen or Coperni hope to bank on a fashion-conscious icon to demand a piece that wows. Through all of this, one thing remains clear: the women rule the red carpet, and the men are mere bystanders to their brilliance.
Since its inception in 1929, the male attendees of the most prestigious event in Hollywood have collaborated with the biggest names in fashion to show us 40 variations of the same black tuxedo or suit. If they feel truly individualistic, they may opt for a deep blue, green or even red jacket– a real feast for the eyes. Thankfully, throughout the past few years, there have been those men who can appreciate the art of a stand-out outfit with various levels of commitment. Although, some attendees do tend to miss the mark by not fully veering away from the tired trend of a black tux.
Here are some of our favourite looks that broke tradition from this year’s 95th Academy Awards:
The outfit of the recent TV and film breakout star Brian Tyree Henry, known for his captivating roles on recent releases such as Atlanta and Causeway, wows in a crisp white tuxedo befitting his new star status. Wearing Dolce & Gabanna, his shirt and collar remind us of the classic gentleman figure of the past. However, the intricate embroidery of lace flowers and stoning over his shirt and collar reimagines the image in a much-welcome refreshing way.
Also wowing in white, Harry Shum Jr deserves a shoutout for his fresh twist on the classic in this eye-catching cross-cultural experimentation. The sharp silhouette of the tuxedo bordered by bold blue seams keeps the look clean, classic, and easily recognisable. However, the added accessories and details really catch the eye. Inspired by his Chinese background, his Adeam tux seamlessly works in Eastern-inspired details with an overlapping jacket collar and a wide blue silky sash-like belt. The sharp silhouette of the tuxedo bordered by bold blue seams keeps the look clean and classic.
To little surprise, Oscar nominee Austin Butler graced the once not-red carpet before the show in a gorgeous but admittedly standard black tuxedo. However, at the ever-beloved Vanity Fair Oscar’s Afterparty, Butler attended wearing a stunning indigo Yves Saint Laurent silk shirt. Keeping the other standard facets of his earlier tux including trousers and jacket, the low neck shirt nods to the flowing tunics of the Renaissance era but the shiny purple pulls it into a funky 70s vibe. Overall, a fabulous departure from his safe, and yawn-inducing, black tuxedo.
In another stylish embroidered piece, up-and-coming Belgian director Lukas Dhont made a mark in Prada. Although still following the crowd with the template black tux, the added splash of a red turtleneck certainly turned our heads. The shirt embroidered with black gems and matching embellished black silk gloves elevates the look to an “alluring yet evil Hunger Games character”.
Bringing much-needed edge, Lenny Kravitz gains praise for his all-black YSL ensemble. A riskily low-cut wraparound black silk shirt was paired with matching trousers. The layers of thick silver chains and the large hanging cross necklace reminded the crowd that once a Rockstar, always a Rockstar.
Finally, a brief consideration for the multi-franchise leading man, Pedro Pascal. Whilst not wearing the most eye-catching outfit, he made the list for breaking the regular collared shirt mould. In a custom-made Vegna tuxedo, the white stand-collar (aka the mandarin collar) shirt added a more innovative interpretation to the black suit/white shirt we have come to know as Oscars’ standard.