In the wake of the 2020 Oscars, Finlay Renwick, my colleague (and truest brother), pointed out the boomerang return of the classic Oscars tux. He was right. Where ceremonies past saw draped origami Dior suits and floaty Givenchy sequins and Adam Lambert curb-stomping the long and winding legacy of Freddie Mercury, 2020 was much quieter. The big menswear wave retreated. What goes up must come down.
Not that the best-dressed men of the Oscars had phoned it in, per se. Nor was there a drop in the gushing praise from E! presenters and Twitter at large. But things were undeniably muted: lots of black, lots of penguin suits, very few sartorial missteps. Such is the power of proper black tie. In that way, it was a reflection of the runway, were last season saw an emphasis of the traditional. Even the two-piece suit saw a return to the menswear conversation in Paris, London and Milan. Chaps in suits, fancy that.
The only problem here is that you'll look very similar to every other man at the Oscars. comrades. Which is why, for those thirsty for Page Six features, the afterparty is where your wardrobe lights up. At the famed Vanity Fair post-ceremony drinking contest, men, unshackled from the etiquette that comes with the award for Best Sound Mixing, really let loose. Suits sparkled. They got bright. Colours, fabrics and cuts went experimental. And Billy Porter, somewhere among the throng of party guests, no longer felt like he'd dressed up for the Inland Revenue's Christmas party.
Of course, not every Big Name feels comfortable in open shirts and metres of bare, rippling chest. Adam Driver does classic very well from head-to-toe. As does Leonardo DiCaprio. It helped that the Vanity Fair guestlist was rather broader than the ceremonies and included lots of folks from the less traditional entertainment sectors. Rappers and pop stars have a rather looser definition of what 'formalwear' encompasses.
The procession of monochrome earlier in the night didn't make me want to down tequila with a TV producer in the Hollywood Hills. Considering the ceremony largely went as expected (bar the surprise and well-earned recognition of Parasite), it was the afterparty that looked like the most fun – and the better-dressed.
I know where I'd rather be.
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