Why is menswear so boring on the red carpet?

Joe Alwyn at the 77th Cannes film festival on 17 May in France (Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)
Joe Alwyn at the 77th Cannes film festival on 17 May in France (Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)


The 2024 Cannes Film Festival saw several women in edgy outfits, while many men stuck to same-old traditional formalwear

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival saw several female celebrities taking an adventurous route when it came dressing. The males, on the other hand, stuck to the same-old formal black-tie and white-tie suits, and dinner jackets. 

Why can't the red carpet be more experimental when it comes to menswear? Even a pair of shoes with inventive detailing or a nifty brooch on the suit lapel can help one to stand out. In other words, you can be a rebel while following the rules as well. 

Designer Dhruv Kapoor, who's gearing up for his Milan Fashion Week showcase next month, too, is waiting for a male celebrity to make a splash on the red carpet. 

Also read: What should men wear for a summer wedding?


“For me, it (the red carpet) is a space to be extravagant. It's a place to flaunt drama, craftsmanship and a combination of ideologies. It need not be embellished; one can achieve this with shape alone," Kapoor says.

One of the reasons for lesser experimentation, he says, is lack of research. "Sticking to traditional names is another issue. There is a world full of talented designers building exceptional red-carpet looks. Maybe up-close or in person the pieces were way nicer than what they appear to be on camera. But the main point is that most people are going to see these looks digitally, so one should keep that in mind while preparing (in terms of colour, print, embroidery or silhouette)," adds Kapoor.

Stylist Akshay Tyagi, who styled entrepreneur-social media personality Diipa Buller-Khosla for Cannes 2024, believes dressing for the red carpet is complex: There’s a dress code that needs to be followed, and "usually the moment is meant for cast and key crew and it’s about the event that the carpet leads to. With the rising sartorial knowledge and PR and media engagement, many have started to explore fashion as a language for making a bigger statement. But generally that’s been limited to women’s dressing. Perhaps men feel emasculated by playing too frivolously or maybe they do it out of respect for the event and let the moment stay for those that have it for that day," says Tyagi.

Experimenting with fashion, however, doesn't always have to mean donning something outlandish or avant-garde. A subtle twist in just one element could do the trick as well, says designer Kunal Anil Tanna. “I'm in complete awe of Loewe looks worn by Jonathan Bailey and Josh O'Connor," Tanna says. “A mild exaggeration of a delicate detail adds all the needed drama."


Josh O’Connor in pair of floral Loewe boots at the 2024 Met Gala
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Josh O’Connor in pair of floral Loewe boots at the 2024 Met Gala (Getty )

Kapoor shares that there have been instances where a celebrity is extremely adamant and ignores all the suggestions of their stylist. “There might be a way to change, when they listen to their trusted stylist and push their bounds. I personally need to push myself to go beyond my otherwise basic approach, but I enjoy the thrill of it," he says “I think the last few carpets are going to push us (designers) to perform better. The boredom will bring forth a new system, resulting in a new direction. I mean let’s at least wear exciting shoes to cover for a boring tuxedo."

Manish Mishra is a Delhi-based writer and content creator.

Also read: Cannes 2024: Celebrities who made a strong fashion statement



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