July 11, 2011

Prince William Goes Formal in Hollywood

It’s hardly news that the worlds latest power couple — the newlywed Prince William and his wife Catherine — spent their weekend on an official tour of California from its glitz and glamor to its inner cities. All news outlets were abuzz with royal interest, and never with more fervor than when the pair attended Saturday night’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (or BAFTA, for the less long-winded among us) formal reception.

After all, we’re a society that finds itself raring and willing to scrutinize both royal and celebrity fashion, and no black tie event should ever be allowed to pass without some commentary on the rule makers and breakers.

True to the “Brits to Watch” theme of the affair, two of the most noteworthy formal looks belonged to William and the young actor Ed Westwick, though each caught our eyes for distinctly different reasons.

Cutting a delightfully dapper image in a double breasted tuxedo that he accessorized with a classic black bow tie and crisp, white pocket square, the prince charmed his audience with a look that was a perfect display of confident and understated regality, proving that sometimes dressing to impress is about making the right subtle choices.

Following his lead were actors Tom Hanks and Chris Evans, and British producer Nigel Lythgoe, each of whom wore classic tuxedos with standard formal neckties. Actor Don Cheadle went a little untraditional with a grayscale plaid tie, while Jack Black erred on the side of a navy tie tucked beneath a one button tuxedo.

On the other side of the style spectrum stood Westwick, who wore a fairly nice notch lapel tuxedo only to, ah, take it down a few notches style-wise by wearing what can best be described as an abomination of a necktie. I suppose we can’t blame the poor lad for wanting to stand out in a crowd that included the Duke of Cambridge himself, but we can certainly fault him for making such a questionable formal wear decision at such a highly-publicized event.

Joining him in the fashion faux-pas corner was director Quentin Tarantino, who for reasons beyond our comprehension thought it was a good idea to wear his tie loose and his dress shirt unbuttoned enough to reveal the collar of a black t-shirt. We hear that he was even wearing, of all things, sneakers.

Then again, we are talking Hollywood here, and it is the land of few fashion surprises.

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