The Best Menswear: Venice Film Festival 2019
There aren't a huge number of Red Carpet events at this time of year so I eagerly await Venice. It signals the start of a new season and is therefore, usually, a wonderful display of future trends.
Dior reigned supreme (just as in Winter's awards season) but there were a few interesting garments floating around.
Rami Malek proved himself in the style stakes a while ago and the past few days have done nothing to dissuade me of this.
There are those who think a tux is a tux but actually when the dress code is this prescriptive it is even more important to get the little details spot on.
Starting with the jacket: a simple 2-button single-breasted barathea. The lapels could stand to be a fraction wider in my opinion but given how slight his frame is, they don't look out of proportion. There is just a hint of white cuff showing and the trousers are breaking lightly on his shoe.
But the thing I really love about it is the wide satin waistband on the trousers, giving the effect of a cummerbund. My biggest bugbear of men's formalwear is people wearing their trousers too low and this extra wide band means they finish on his waist without appearing Erkle-esque.
I haven't been able to locate the designer but it is from a Miu Miu event so I am assuming Prada.
Similarly Brad Pitt, by now an old hat at this, has opted for the leg lengthening cummerbund and slick single-breasted jacket. Clean and classic. If I was going to nit-pick, I would like both his sleeves and trousers to be just a fraction shorter. But I really like that, as he is broader than Rami, he has chosen a wider lapel.
Despite what Esquire says, I'm not sure I'll ever see a plain black shirt as anything more than a bouncer's uniform. If you have an inescapable affinity for gloomy glamour then keep the shirt patterned (polka dots, prints, animals, anything!) or like Nick Hoult and Ben Mendelsohn, you run the risk of being asked for a martini all night.
Venice isn't all black tie though. There are plenty of events during the day which give us a series of different (often more exciting) looks. My favourite both came from stars of The Young Pope. Jude Law and John Malkovich seem so have been swapping tips on soft tailoring. It isn't enough to just take the shoulder pads out of your jacket- soft, unstructured coats take a special kind of cutting to avoid looking like you've just thrown on your dad's old jacket. Note John's gently rounded shoulders. Normally I would say balance is key to this kind of look, baggy jacket-fitted trousers, baggy trousers - fitted jacket. However I love the overall silhouette of John's look, he looks youthful, chic and totally on trend. Note: high lapels and some kind of neckwear seem to be de rigour.
Looking for something more unusual? The music industry is here for you:
Achille Lauro in Gucci
Ghali in Dior
If you think monochrome is more mundane than magical, don't fear. Timothy Chalamet is galloping in like "a 19th-century women’s horse racing superstar" (according to Louis Virtel). Let's unpack this banger from Haider Ackermann.
The light silver cloth runs the risk of appearing overly shiny, but the addition of the silk collar & belt temper the sheen perfectly. The crew necked silver undershirt could be overly feminine (no bad thing) but the strong shoulder, classic lapels and out-breast pocket balance it beautifully. Black ankle boots and rolled up hems add to the spaceman effect, an ode to fellow glam king David Bowie perhaps?
Definitely not a look for everyday or even everyman, but why not add one element of it to your next black tie look? The ankle boots perhaps? Or if you're feeling bold maybe the silver belts in the form of a cummerbund? A little jazz can go a long way.