The big fashion for men news for men out of the Emmy red carpet: the way to rock right now in television land is don’t rock the boat. Just rock a classic, perfectly tailored tux, white shirt, black bow tie, and have it be cut within an inch of its life—or yours. But then, not everyone can be Tom Hiddleston. The man is so naturally elegant he can make a t shirt worthy of Fred Astaire. You had to wonder how he was breathing in that Gucci tux, it was so … fitted. Maybe it was one of those break up revenge looks? Who says men don’t pull that looking-good-is-the-best-revenge move? “And we didn’t even do his fitting till Friday,” confides his stylist Ilaria Urbinati to The Daily Beast. “Gucci has the most magnificent tailors—and the most magnificent tailoring. The little fun bits of whimsy were in the details—a bee on the bow tie and rose gold cufflinks.”
Urbinati herself might be the story of the night. The much-in-demand stylist for both men and women dressed eight people all told: Nikolai Coster-Waldau (in custom Isaia), Hiddleston, Rami Malek (in Dior), Joel Kinnaman, Ty Burrell, Will Forte, Shiri Appleby, and Game of Thrones’ Hannah Murray. At the same time, she did seven clients for Toronto. “Yeah, it was a pretty intense week,” she admitted. “Ty Burrell (in Strong Suit) decided to go to the Rams game before the Emmy’s, so he changed in the car. Nikolai Coster-Waldau flew in so last minute, he flew in his suit.”
While the Golden Globes and SAG Awards often bring out the flamboyant dark red velvets (Idris Elba), gold brocade tux jackets (Matthew McConaughey), and Jared Leto in all manner of embellished Gucci’s—and the MTV Awards and Grammy’s bring out the leather and bad boy blingy-bling—the Emmy’s guys kept close to the classics Sunday night and were happy to blend in—with a few fun exceptions. Let’s face it, the Emmy’s are not about fun. They used to be, when nobody cared and nobody watched them. Because working in television today is pretty much a bigger deal than working in film—just ask Rami Malek—so the reverent classicism of the male portion of the Emmy’s red carpet is about just that—reverence. Which basically means, “Please hire me again. I clean up well and I’ll get on a lot of best dressed lists. And women want to have sex with me. And probably a lot of guys do, too.” After all, awards show dressing all boils down to one simple thing: clothes as career move. As dollars and cents are on the line for the designers and brands, so too are press, jobs, covers, and Instagram numbers on the line for the stars and wearers.
While we didn’t see a ton of the kind of big luxe designer names as one might at the Oscar and Golden Globe red carpets, Jon Snow proved once again he’s King of the North—and the red carpet: Kit Harington scored a classic Givenchy tux. And with that wavy Harington hair, the classic cut and tight fit were an interesting combo. Liev Schreiber and James Cordon were the only men present to score Tom Ford tuxes—and as the early raves for the Ford-helmed Nocturnal Animals already pile up in advance of its November release, Ford’s the king of the red carpet in every way possible. Corden’s Ford proves that millions of hits for Carpool Karaoke count for more than just late night charm. They now count for suit sales!
Hugh Laurie also got a big name label: Brunello Cucinelli. His single breasted peak label tux was done in charcoal. Some of the classicists who broke up it up a little bit were Bryan Cranston in navy Burberry, Coster-Waldau in his custom blue with blue lapels (Isaia), and Kevin Spacey in navy Armani. Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon (the late Ramsay Bolton) was in a midnight blue Dunhill tux. Styled by Warren Alfie Baker, it had what Baker called “a little edge: grosgrain peak and shawl lapel. Midnight blue is the perfect step up from black,” says Baker. “When you look at pictures from Hollywood’s elite from the ’50s, they look superb. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Just keep it timeless and you can’t go wrong.”
Those guys who added a little “somethin’ somethin’” on the carpet did it in quiet ways, for the most part: winner Sterling K. Brown donned gold rim sunglasses in the 90 degree L.A. heat at 3 p.m. PST. William H. Macy donned the little round hippie version of sunglass styles with his long hippie hair. And Matt LeBlanc did aviators. Andy Samberg did the nerd thing and wore thick glasses when he presented—and John Oliver does nerd better than anybody by never taking his off.
The white tux jacket is always a statement. Jimmy Kimmel started the show in traditional black, then changed, mid-show, to a white tux jacket. Rami Malek’s white Dior jacket had a shirt with rose gold studs over the buttons, and with his hair slicked back, the newly minted Emmy winner was the most stylish man of the night. The Incredible Kimmy Schmidt’s Titus Burgess donned a white tux jacket on a white shirt with bow tie. All the white jackets reflected light in a way that made you wonder why more men don’t wear them. Nerve, perhaps? A desire to stay in the background?
Most of the men who did mashups were those who could afford to take risks. E! Entertainment’s Ross Matthews wore a gold and black brocade tux jacket with a nipped waist. Terence Howard, on one of TV’s hottest shows (Empire), donned an Isaia black and white black tux jacket, contrasting it with a black dotted bowtie. Trevor Jackson of the Syfy show Eureka and American Crime, picked up the McConaughey/Leto/Elba mantel and wore burgundy velvet.
William H. Macy did the black-on-black look with a black shirt, as did Anthony Anderson. And Zac Posen manned his tux in a deep grey shirt, which showed how cool and modern working dark tones can be in black tie.
Ryan Murphy, arguably the most in demand show creator in all of television, wore a light blue moiré textured tux jacket. And Jill Solloway, winner and creator of Transparent, rocked maybe the coolest suit of the night: a Gucci gray tweed with piping, with a red and white print shirt, and a bolo tie. Who says only men get to wear the best menswear?
Some men just bagged the ties altogether—bow, long or otherwise. Aziz Ansari wore his tux jacket flung open and his shirt open. Comedians can get away with a lot more than drama actors. Game Of Thrones’ winning director Miguel Sapochnick (“Battle of the Bastards”) wore no tie at all (and hip white sneakers), but being the most in-demand director on television now, he doesn’t need to.
As for grooming, there appeared to be more shiney hair gel than usual, and Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch admitted he’d flat-ironed his hair: “I’m trying to act like a gentleman” was his reasoning. Tailored scruff was the look of the night for many male carpetbaggers. And if you thought some of the male nominees looked particularly bronze—as opposed to orange—well, they did. A number of them actually did full body tans, despite no limbs showing whatsoever. “It makes them feel more confident and cut,” Crystal Fagley, one of Hollywood’s most popular spray tanners, told The Daily Beast. “I did house calls all last week. Full body.”
When it comes to shoes, most guys just wear the shoes the brands/designers give them, but Malek, Andy Samberg, Aziz Ansari, and Ty Burrell were cool enough to opt for black tie evening shoes by the one and only Christian Louboutin. Yes, even men love a bright red bottom.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was John Travolta wearing hair! Who knows, now that everyone wants to work in TV, maybe the Gucci floral suits will turn up at the Oscars?