Timothée Chalamet, quickly cementing his status as leading man à la Leonardo DiCaprio, has been shaking up the red-carpet fashion game for men—even if it’s somewhat accidental. The 23-year-old actor, who recently starred in Beautiful Boy with Steve Carrell, wore a BDSM-inspired harness to this year’s Golden Globes. Apparently, however, he didn’t know it had a kinky connotation.
On The Ellen Show, Ellen DeGeneres mentioned the harness, designed by Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton. Chalamet was quick to say that he “thought it was a bib” and that a friend explained its sexual significance. “I had a friend send me a thing, that uh, like, ‘sex dungeon culture’ is a thing, where you wear harnesses?” he said. (Chalamet technically wasn’t wrong about his look, as a press release from Louis Vuitton labeled the harness an “embellished bib.”)
Image via Getty
Though that red-carpet-meets-kink outfit may have been unintentional, Chalamet has been undeniably making red carpet style a little more exciting for Hollywood’s leading men. The patterned suit, as Vogue pointed out, has become a signature of his, with the floral Alexander McQueen suit he wore for the Beautiful Boy premiere in October. He also wore another crystal-blue, bird-embroidered McQueen suit in September. The pièce de résistance of bold suits, though, was the one he wore at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday.
Chalamet chose another McQueen suit with what looked like an interstellar painting swirling around the coat and pant legs. It’s a noted departure from traditional red carpet fashion for men, which is typically a sea of black and gray suits. He certainly isn’t alone in this change—Ezra Miller has also been wearing looks like puffer-coat Moncler ball gowns that are transcending style entirely. But what’s interesting about Chalamet is that he’s doing it, as Garage’s Rachel Tashjian points out, with traditional luxury names.
Image via Getty
Instead of departing entirely from names like Vuitton or McQueen, he’s simply wearing the more avant-garde pieces. Chalamet’s presentation offers a softened masculinity—a less traditional, gendered version of menswear. “His fashion appeal spans beyond his own gender—men and women alike follow what he wears obsessively—and his clothing does something more than gesture at the ideal state of masculinity,” Tashjian writes.
And Chalamet’s suits do have an appeal almost totally outside menswear—I identify as female and have a fairly femme aesthetic, and I’d wear the hell out of that planetary suit. Red carpet fashion, in general, tends to be relatively unexciting, and Chalamet’s giving us a reason to look again. Or, in the words of his new BFF Glenn Close, “Timothée is as adorable as he is talented! Timothée always looks very glam & cool.”