Finally, finally. I can dish about men’s fashion on the red carpet in a tone that isn’t jaded or severely disappointed. I’ve always felt that men’s red carpet fashion recaps were pointless. In fact, I’ve expressed that point of view here, here, and here. So it’s with great elation that I say ‘Thank you Zayn Malik’. This is how you latch onto a theme and take it to the next level. I honestly felt like I was going to vomit if I saw another guy stomp down the red carpet in a basic ass tuxedo. But thanks to Zayn, there was one man at The Met Gala who showed up to work.
This year’s Met Gala theme was Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology. And while there were many futuristic fashion missteps or a complete disregard for the theme, Zayn was easily the best dressed man based on risk-taking alone. Sorry Kanye. Your wolf eyes were cool, but the red carpet is no place for ripped denim. And yeah, Idris Elba, you looked pretty fucking dapper in your tux, but the ¾ length jacket felt more like a tribute to The Great Gatsby than the future. And Remi Malek, I’m a big fan of navy blue tuxes amongst a sea of black, but you have to do a lot more than wear a slightly different color to stand out at the biggest night in fashion.
With girlfriend Gigi Hadid saddled on his arm, Zayn introduced photographers and fashion fans to the biggest male fashion statement of the night. His Versace suit was a perfect fit, but those metal arms made him a 22nd century knight in shining armor. I mean, what a risk! It could easily be perceived as parody. So bold, so crazy, so weird that it looks more like a Halloween costume than an attempt at couture. But it worked. It worked because just about every other guy in attendance plainly followed the formal guy dress code. It worked because we’ve all been aching for a guy to take some big chances on the red carpet. It worked because it was just plain awesome.
His look wasn’t subtle in any way. And for once, there’s a men’s look that we can all ogle over instead seething at the women with jealousy. The Met Gala has always been, and for the most part still is, a ladies’ game. But for a moment last night, one guy managed to hog some of the spotlight. And hopefully, this is one trend that catches on. (Not the robotic arms-the risk-taking.)