Words by Tshego “Red” Mosiane

Red carpets aren’t just about what the women wore anymore. There’s been an increase in the style risks taken by male celebrities with stylists creating looks dispelling the limitations placed on men’s formal wear. Historically, the biggest night on the award show season calendar is the Academy Awards and thus would be the worst time to take a style risk with their strict dress code but the recent 2017 ceremony saw more risks that resulted in some hits and misses.

Justin Timberlake

The iconic singer must have missed the memo as he showed up in a boring as watching paint dry traditional Tom Ford suit. Not that a great fitting suit is a bad way to go, but with the opportunity to switch things up, he should haven’t opted for such an obvious choice.

Aldis Hodge

The man with a more conservative style has to mix it up. Exhibit A being Aldis Hodge. The Hidden Figures actor’s look shows the difference a cleverly placed accessory can make. He paired a traditional Armani suit with a M. Cohen Designs lapel pin to take it from drab to a whole new level of subtle sophistication. He definitely could have taken it further but did just enough to make sure it wasn’t a bore.

Mahershala Ali

The heartthrob’s look is another example of how to take the initial baby steps to playing with the black tie dress code limitations. The Moonlight actor donned an all-black Ermenegildo Zegna tuxedo with a matching black shirt but brought in an almost unnoticeable printed pocket square to liven it up.

Ryan Gosling

The La La Land actor brought back a classic ruffled dress shirt in head to toe Gucci. As much as it is refreshing to see a look with such an unusual element, the silhouette of the midnight blue suit does not do anything for it. Instead, a double breasted waist coat and blazer could have done more for the ensemble.

Dev Patel

People need to stop classifying switching out a black suit jacket for a white one as some kind of style risk as it’s slowly becoming a norm lately. As much as Dev looks as awkwardly attractive as usual in his Burberry, it is the safest version of stepping out possible. His stylist let us all down here.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

It must be hard for someone the size of The Rock to find a good tailor but whatever happened to the fit of his suit? The Moana voice actor tried to take a risk but the attempt fell flat on its face; sadly, it wasn’t perfectly tailored. The right coloured blazer could elevate any look, with the right tailor of course.

Moonlight Cast

What was even more sad was how the three actors who played Chiron’s character in the Best Picture winner “Moonlight” showed up in suits which were not tailored. The trio’s looks ddin’t only look boring, they also looked like they were store bought the night before? Frankly, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbit deserved better from Calvin Klein.

Riz Ahmed

Colourful suits aren’t anything new but remain a great option when one wants to step out of the box but not way too far. Riz did this in a blue Ermenegildo Zegna couture suit which perfectly complimented his skin. Unfortunately the fit was questionable especially since this is supposedly a couture piece.

Terrence Howard

The Empire actor wasn’t afraid to step out of the box. He showed up in a blue silk smoking jacket which is right on trend. The look itself is fantastic as it is all about effortless elegance, à la Hugh Hefner, but on Terrence it is just not quite landing. Either the colour, fit or both are not working on him in real life as well as it does when he’s a Lyon.

Pharrell Williams

The fashion icon came out to remind everyone that he still cannot be put in a box. His Chanel ambassador perks served him well as he wore a black wool tail coat, trousers and beads by the French brand. Pharrell hit a couple marks here: firstly, the silhouette of the suit not being today’s expected suit served him quite well even making him look taller. Secondly, the beads are such unconventional accessories for men  but they still work and show that there’s more than one way to implement androgynous looks.