Cassie (L) and Sean Combs Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
The Costume Institute’s annual gala, held last night at the Metropolitan Museum to celebrate the opening of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, on view through May 4 – September 4, 2017, brought together the usual bevy of spectacular red carpet dressing, mostly on women. In her men’s line Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Kawakubo has often played with the traditions of tailored suiting by offering jackets and coats with pleated layers, and unfinished hems, threads dangling like tendrils, or by rendering their silhouette in diaphanous or sheer fabrics. Like the exhibition title suggests, Kawakubo’s genius lays in constructing and designing looks that are inchoate or in an indeterminate state of being or becoming. And as far as the men’s looks on the red carpet go, the only one that came close to embodying this idea of transformation was Sean “Puffy” Combs. His black tuxedo and matching rounded shoulder cape both embedded with white and silver luminous striations echoed the brightly colored tendrils of a pulsating sea anemone. At one point on the red carpet, he reclined on the Met’s stairs. It was a brilliant act of self-staging, a transition from upright to supine, splayed out in a costume that looked terrestrial and heavenly.
Sean Combs Photo: Getty Images
Ever since the end of 1999 when Sean Combs came out with his own menswear under the Sean John label to the surprise of many in the fashion industry, he has cultivated the fortunate knack of appearing in the right place at exactly the right time. He was upstart and interloper, a rap, hip-hop artist and impresario who could rival the likes of Tommy Hillfiger and Ralph Lauren in defining what modern American style could be. Now no longer the bad boy child, he wears a man about town crown with aplomb. Friends with everyone who counts in every new cycle of the ‘in-crowd’ and a secret favorite of Anna Wintour, ‘Puffy’ has easily smoothed a path to the top of the fashion hierarchy. His own aesthetic and personal style of tailored suits with fur collars or coats worn with incredibly lush fur details (lots of fur) reflected his own style and dovetailed nicely with the dawning of the post-grunge, new-glam age. Tom Ford’s reign at Gucci perfectly summed up that moment in fashion too, in fact. While no longer a fashion surprise, Sean Combs is still a wild card and the epitome of what we look for in a gentleman of style.
Kylie Jenner’s insta selfie L to R: Kylie, Asap Ferg, Kendall, Paris, Kim K, Lily Aldridge, Puffy Selfie courtesy of Kylie Jenner