The dust has started to settle on the crazy week that was. A huge thanks once again to Haig Club for inviting to the GQ Men of The Year Awards 2018. As I sauntered around the red carpet, making my way through the woods of immaculate cut dinner jackets and picture-perfect people, it occurred to me that there is nothing quite like Black Tie.
It's really the Champions League for all men’s attire. I've compiled a list of the GQ Style Awards (Men of The Year) Best Dressed. I'd like to caveat the fact that none of the candidates slipped me a tenner or bought me a round of drinks on the night. They don't call me Carl 'the incorruptible' Thompson for nothing you know.
In no discernible order. Toby Huntington-Whitely went for an incredible elegant single breasted, one button, peak lapel dinner suit. The jacket follows the line of his upper body with extreme finesse and he had a fantastic leonine strut on the red carpet.
The jetted pockets on the skirt ensured the clean lines. The jacket has soft shoulders, Toby has gone for a single fold pocket square which emphasises the chest. His shirt has black stud fastens on the placket which really ameliorate the classic look.
Darren is always keen to distinguish himself, no matter if it's black tie or gym wear. Here he has laid down a marker in a beautiful red wine tuxedo, I'm guessing has a dusting of mohair in as it drapes so well and has that hint of sheen. The peak lapels are black silk facing, this is consistent with the black trimmings over the barchetta breast pocket and jetted pockets on the skirt. Notice how Darren has opted for a little more sleeve length so as his shirt collar is not exposed. This is typical of Darren’s tastes when it comes to Black tie tailoring.
It looks like his black shirt are adorned with white buttons, but they are just iridescent mother of pearl black buttons catching the light. The look is perfectly bookended with some stunning black patented leather Oxfords.
Sasha Baron Cohen
In this Paul Smith Tuxedo suit, Sasha Baron Cohen is offering tutelage to all naysayers that putatively dismiss the idea of a velvet jacket-velvet trousers combo.
Sasha is able to pull this off with consummate ease. The velvet suit emboldens his posture, the two tone blue-black shimmer along with the pleated shirt brings out a real regal quality in Sasha's look.
Any of you youngsters out there wanting to know how to conduct themselves out in the spotlight, look how straight Sasha stands. It's like every cartilage in his spine has been fused for the purpose of the event.
The Chester Barrie guys had a strong show this year at the GQ MOTY Awards. David opted for this refined double breasted Chester Barrie 4 x 6 Navy Blue jacket with black peak lapels.
The pleated blue shirt and jumbo butterfly bowtie are a real standout. David is also wearing a silk navy and white polka dot pocket square. A deft finish.
You can't leave out GQ's most stylish man of the year from this listicle right? Like Sasha, John opted for an all velvet suit. This one is an ink blue, slimmer cut, with a suppressed waist. John has paired this with some Velvet Hugo Boss slippers.
Notice how John has gone for a completely covered placket on his shirt so as not to interrupt the chest.
The effect is a crystalline look that looks as effortless as his piano playing.
Bluey looked a knockout in his long dark green, double breasted 2 x 4 jacket with incredibly broad shawl lapels. The buttons were covered as all double breasted should be for black tie. The roped sleeves gave the jacket a musculature finish and he added a little flavour to the evening with his shoes; patented leather uppers with a tan mid-sole ensured he wasn't going to be overlooked.
Presenting the Haig Club Icon of the Year award to Jeff Goldblum was Tom Hiddlestone. Tom also has a penchant for velvet and deep shawl lapels. The jacket is cut to a 4 x 6 construction with padded shoulders, a high arm hole and a little flare on the skirt.
He's arrived looking more roguish than we're used to seeing him with the beard and swept back locks. Perhaps he's trying to distance himself from the luvvie-label he's been inarticulately labelled with by some corners of the press.
Chris Hemsworth and I point to each other when I come down the escalator at Heathrow terminal 5. It's the Tag Hauer promotional poster that has been there for nearly a year. Alas, when we point, I feel like we're great buddies about to embrace.
A very simple yet powerful clean classical look. One of the few gentlemen that opted for a tie. His dinner suit is a Navy Blue, with shawl lapels self-facing in black silk. These are also continued on the trimming of his straight flap pockets on the skirt and across the breast pocket. His jacket is a cut short enough to expose the cuff a quarter inch.
His tie is also paired with the Navy Suit fabric of his dinner jacket and flat fronted low-rise trousers. Chris is not one for flamboyance when it comes to dinner jackets, but does the simple things well which I admire greatly.
My good man Richard, never letting us down. A very polished and double breasted 4 x 6 in the key stone configuration with modest width peak lapels. He has embellished this look with a 3 step pocket square fold.
It's not a look that hit the headlines like say my friend Oli Proudlock had going for the jacquard gold and black Joshua Kane suit, but there is a refined elegance in Richards look that is emblematic of his character.
Richard can articulate his look from classic 20's-30's inspired Edward Sexton and New & Lingwood dandyism, to classic and restrained like you see here.
Oliver plumped for a Marks and Spencer Ivory dinner jacket with a red rose boutonniere. This christened a black deep rounded U-neck 4 button waistcoat and black flat front trousers.
The shawl lapel has hand edged finishing and the white shirt has black studs along the placket, spaced with deliberate minimalism.
He has a fantastic symmetry to his face does Oli. Out of all my contemporaries his features are the most enviable.
Well what am I chopped liver? I'm reticent to say that I saved the best 'til last, but I will. I couldn't resist, but hopefully you'll agree that my AW18 grey Ebury velvet blazer from the Chester Barrie ready to wear collection was a decent enough choice.
The peak lapels are grosgrain facing, ostentatious and I paired it with a double breasted 6 x 6 shawl collar waistcoat. All the buttons were covered including the sleeve. Covered buttons are perfectly fine for black tie as you'll not wear it as frequently as a normal day to day business suit, hence the wear and tear will be minimal.
Thus completing the list. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being a part of this event on behalf of Haig Club and who knows, maybe if I start lobbying now I could usurp Mr Legend next year.