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July 26 2014

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1 posts tagged "White Tie"

White Tie: A Very Serious Matter



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Marlene Dietrich Remember last year’s Met ball, when guests took some fairly questionable liberties with their punk ensembles? A few, like Kate Upton, just ignored the subject altogether. (“I don’t think I fully understood the theme,” she told us while standing on the red carpet in an emerald DVF column gown.) Well, there will be no sartorial messing around during Monday’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion gala—at least not where the men are concerned—because the Anna Wintour-imposed “white tie and decorations” dress code is a deeply serious one. “There is no leeway,” men’s fashion expert G. Bruce Boyer told WWD when asked about white tie. “If you say full evening dress, there isn’t any interpretation.” Apparently, this all-important outfit is causing quite a stir among the male guests.

The look, reserved for only the most formal of occasions, comprises a black or midnight blue tailcoat; matching trousers with a strip of satin or a braid down the side seams; a stiff, white pique wing collared shirt; a white vest; white cuff links and studs; white or gray gloves; black stockings; and black patent shoes. A top hat is technically optional (but let’s be serious, it’s not really). Unsurprisingly, these duds don’t come cheap, and will run Gala-goers up to $10,000 for a custom Savile Row iteration.

While some feel the style is overly elaborate and dated, it actually seems pretty straightforward to me. And personally, I’m more concerned with what the women will be wearing. I sincerely hope we won’t see too many starlets in ill-conceived plays on James’ masterful ball gowns. My secret dream, though, is that some brave femme will upstage the gents in her own white-tie suit—à la Marlene Dietrich. Does anyone know if Madonna’s coming this year?

Photo: Getty Images