It's A Valet! It's A Mechanic! No, It's Timothée Chalamet At The 2020 Oscars
In the world, there are some famous people that, for whatever reason, regular humans like to exert a sense of ownership over. They are the type of famous people who, merely by showing up (to the Oscars, to brunch in Brooklyn), have the ability to send Twitter into a maelstrom.
They’re wearing a Knicks jersey? Cue the hot takes. They’re eating eggs? Cue the diet plan stalking. They’re wearing a navy suit? Cue the yawns. They’re wearing a... nylon tracksuit? Cue the weird analogies!
Timothée Chalamet is one of these famous people, if not the pinnacle of this particular kind of famous person in 2020. If it wasn’t already, this became glaringly apparent at the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles this weekend, where Mr Chalamet strode (if you’ve analysed his gait closely enough you’ll know it’s a stride, not a mere walk) onto the red carpet in a midnight blue two-piece ensemble by Prada.
With a crisp white shirt buttoned to his Adams apple beneath what might be described as a chic bomber jacket, and his usually floppy mane slicked back into a James Dean-style quiff, Chalamet looked sharp.
A brooch dotted with pink and white diamonds, which the Internet has since identified as being vintage Cartier, finished the look like a shiny wax stamp on an envelope.
The look was young and cool, just like Chalamet. When compared to his recent red carpet looks, such as the sparkly Louis Vuitton harness he wore at last year’s Golden Globes and the champagne-coloured satin suit (complete with sash-belt) by Haider Ackermann he wore at Venice, it was possibly even a little safe.
Yet it was not safe. Least not from the majority of people that still watch the Oscars, for whom categorising Chalamet’s outfit has become something of a competitive sport. Was it a tracksuit? Did he look like the valet attendee? No, he’s a janitor. Or, as the Ringer pointed out, has the actor merely been promoted from apprentice mechanic to gas station manager?
So, why do we project this process of classifying onto Chalamet and not Rami Malek or Anthony Ramos (for argument’s sake)? What about Mr Chalamet do we feel like we need to put into a box, and why?
Is it because the unprecedented brand of masculinity Chalamet is bringing to Hollywood still confounds some of us? (For the record, I am not confounded). Are we so quick to find labels for his outfits, because they’re not outfits we’re accustomed to seeing?
For what it’s worth, I hope more leading men take Chalamet’s lead and mess with our preconceived notions of what a man on a red carpet should or shouldn’t look like – whether that be a janitor or one of Miuccia Prada’s dashing boys.
After all, that’s what keeps red carpets spicy! And with the predictability of the winners this awards season, the more room for spontaneity on the rouge carpet, the better.