Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy

This past Monday was the first Monday in May, which means the Met Gala, Anna Wintour’s annual costume carnival. It’s Fashion’s Super Bowl, its Oscars, its Drag Race Season Finale. And the competition for the most attention for the most outrageous drag is a virtual bloodsport. 

I’ll not get into the who and the what of the evening’s biggest spectacles. One can turn to Instagram and TikTok for that recap. What I will say is that it is a great time for men who’ve longed to paint outside the traditional confines of men’s dress. The lines have blurred and the colors have bled into a pageant of the unexpected. And it’s a genuinely good thing. Though part of me misses the downtown of it all when the real colorful characters could be found in the club scenes below 14th Street and in the pages of the original Details, Paper Magazine and Andy Warhol’s Interview. Nowadays, it’s become so much more mainstreamed and luxurified. Once upon a time, the truly creative did amazing things (largely by themselves) with very limited resources. Nowadays, as the legendary Dorian Corey reminded us in Paris Is Burning, “Anyone with money can get a label,” which makes this extravaganza a little too polished and a little less interesting. 

In the eye of the the hurricane of celebutarians sartorially screaming for camera clicks, Tom Ford whispered onto the scene, quietly taking all of us to school with perfect, timeless, bulletproof tailoring in an exquisite single-breasted dinner jacket in scarlet velvet, keeping the bar for handsome, understated glamour, elegance, and sophistication at an appropriate altitude.

The big news about the fashion icon is that he was not wearing his eponymous label. Instead, he wore a custom suit from Saint Laurent, topped off with killer eyewear from Jacques Marie Mage. The fuck-off energy was next level.

Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy

An important thing to remember about Tom Ford is that he isn’t interested in the circus spectacle. His aesthetic and his success have always hinged on his innate understanding of human interest, sexual attraction, commercial appeal, and the intersection where they all meet. It’s about looking hot, exuding power, and preserving some mystery. You want to take a picture, admire it, get closer, and maybe even take it to bed. With the others, you just want to take the picture and admire it. Tom Ford gets it. He always has. It’s his superpower. 

Let all the other fashionistas make their respective splashes, all being delightful or at least semi-interesting in their own ways, all with the expensive help of teams of people. As far as my take goes, people will have their opinions and disagree with me, and I won’t even pretend to care. For my money, at the end of the day, at the end of the decade, and at the end of the century, the photos of Tom Ford at this year’s Met Gala will stand the test of time and still look handsome as hell. 

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  1. David Gebel

    Agreed. Tom Ford is classic cool sexy and a notch above it all

  2. Co-sign. Understated elegance and masculinity done right. Timeless. Classic. Tom Ford’s runway photos will look fantastic 100 years from now and THAT is something to admire.