More shirtless men on the red carpet please

Timothée Chalamet's 'nipples-out-at-the-Oscars' moment sticks the finger up at conservative formal dress codes.

by Douglas Greenwood
28 March 2022, 11:16am

Photo by Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic, Inc via Getty Images. 

In the Timothée Chalamet stanosphere, five months can feel like five years. The last time the Oscar nominee walked a red carpet was in October 2021, and despite the excellent Dune sweeping the boards at many awards ceremonies since -- including last night’s Academy Awards -- Timmy himself has been too wrapped up in Wonka filming to make it to any ceremonies thus far. But with that project now under his belt, he made a low profile journey from New York to Los Angeles (DeuxMoi’s Sunday stories suggested he was spotted at JFK and politely declined any pictures), it was only natural that he’d make a splash with his red carpet return. Little did we know, though, that he’d turn up shirtless, sending tabloids, teenage fans and, well, us, into a spiral.

It’s not a new move, rockstars have been going tops off for decades now. Heck, not long ago G-Eazy turned up to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2016 wearing leather pants and an open, velour cowboy shirt, arm-in-arm with our queen Britney Spears. At the very same ceremony, Ty Dolla $ign opted for the same look, albeit his shirt was black lace.

Still, six years have passed, and the dress code for the Oscars is far more uptight and tux-ey than that of the VMAs, so to see a stray Chalamet strut down a red carpet bearing his midriff in a Nicolas Ghesquiere-designed Louis Vuitton womenswear lace jacket and monogrammed trousers -- paired with silver Cartier jewellery -- feels like a little bit of a moment. No we’re not claiming that this is the start of a binary-less, gender-pushing fashion revolution. We’re simply saying that more men should be shirtless on the red carpet!

It’s hot! Men in straightforward tuxedos at awards ceremonies are immensely boring to look at (Elliot Page in Gucci innocent), so any attempt to zhuzh it up should be respected. For so long, the severe lack of skin in that space has been an issue we’ve failed to address. While the tabloids continue to berate famous women on the red carpet for failing to show off skin, reporting on covered up looks as frumpy, they’ve accepted men in polo necks and ill-fitting suit jackets as being classic and stylish! It’s time to turn the table and get flashes of male nipples making their mark in newsprint on the Monday morning fashion pages instead.

Men it seems – for the most part anyway – simply cannot be arsed when it comes to fashion at these things. Many couldn’t even look “camp” in the eye when it was the literal theme of the 2019 Met Gala. There’s a deep-rooted (and incorrect) understanding that expressing an interest in fashion and flamboyance means you don’t take your real work seriously. Style peacocking in Hollywood is practically non-existent for men, so good on Timothée for proving you can get nominated for an Oscar, make good movies, and care about sending the internet into a spiral with what you wear. Maybe, if we’re lucky, one of his two upcoming movies will lead Harry Styles to the Oscars in 2023, and we’ll get him, alongside swathes of other men on the red carpet, bearing their midriffs and picking up statues to boot.

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Timothée Chalamet