Blue is the common color for little boys’ bedrooms and has always been associated with masculinity (they don’t call The Navy “the Navy” for nothing.) Of course, lately it’s taken on progressive, left-wing connotations– and all the better. While the Oscars’ red carpet for men has definitely gotten more colorful over the last few years – lots of burgundy, gold lame’, and even dark green – 2017 will go down as the year the red carpet turned blue. Black and blue. Ouch? Not really. It was hardly a bruise for the eyes.
Was the blue intentional as a blue state statement? Most actors and their stylists tend to be aware of these things. But it’s also the color of denim, one of the most masculine of fabrics – and it tends to look good on all guys. Seeing a sea of varied shades of blue all night – from royal to navy to midnight – made us realize: blue tuxes are really more flattering than black ones. Black is traditional, and of course, formal – but blue is cooler, sexier, more modern – and actually, more flattering. Which is the bottom line. It photographs really well, and stood out on camera – it “popped,” as they say. And then again, there’s that convenient political affiliation . . .
The army of blue tuxes was rolled out by Chris Evans in a royal blue Ferragamo and Damien Chazelle in a nearly-navy slim cut tux that was so slim it almost had a waistline. These were the bluest of the blues. Some of the Armani loyalists like Leo DiCaprio went for midnight, while Mel Gibson and Keith Urban stuck with classic black. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson donned deep blue velvet – and got away with it. Riz Ahmed also wore blue, as did Jimmy Kimmel in his Tom Ford three piece with black satin lapels. Will Arnett and Ben Affleck’s Brunellos were also navy. And when Armie Hammer showed up at the Vanity Fair party, his Tom Ford was navy, too.
The big labels of the night were Armani, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Brunello Cucinelli, with a few standouts like Hermes, Saint Laurent, Zegna – and even La Perla, a label known for female lingerie. The best black and blue of the night was Terence Howard’s almost kimono-style La Perla dinner jacket, of black and blue brocade. There’s a man who isn’t afraid to go for it, fashion-wise.
And then there’s Pharrell – always the best dressed guy wherever he shows up – even the Oscars. As the new face of Chanel menswear, he wore a Chanel jacket with tails, and tie made of chain, almost necklace like. The man has style. Let’s face it – the man drips style.
And then there was another man who made the traditional black tux more fashionable – Mahershala Ali. His Zegna look featured a black tuxedo on black shirt with black tie – both formal and hipster at the same time.
Three men went for the white dinner jacket, not an easy thing to wear, as white can look a little shiny on camera – but Jamie Dornan in his Hermes’ white dinner jacket and black pants, Dev Patel in his Burberry white jacket over a white shirt, and David Oyelowo’s Dolce & Gabbana white brocade three piece tux (with black lapels) pulled it off with grace and even subtlety.
But it was all about the blue, the blues, the state of blue – and look out for blue suits of all hues on men and coming soon to a retail outlet near you.