From a style perspective, awards shows like the Oscars can be both truly exciting and inspirational as well as depressing.
Depressing how? Well, most men turn up to these shows in classic black or white tie, with very few variations on that theme. Women, on the other hand, are both far more able and willing to experiment with their red carpet attire, showing off dramatic designer couture.
The 93rd Academy Awards, which played out over the weekend, was particularly dire as far as men’s fashion is concerned, as the lasting impact of The Spicy Cough means we saw a significantly reduced ceremony in Los Angeles, with many attendees tuning in from screenings abroad. Fewer people meant less variety in outfits, and it was all a bit ho-hum.
Except for Sacha Baron Cohen. Tuning in from Sydney alongside wife Isla Fisher, the 49-year-old British comedian – known for his satirical characters such as Ali G, Erran Morad and most famously, Borat Sagdiyev – was easily the best-dressed man of the Oscars, who debuted a fun twist on the tux whilst still staying rather dapper.
Cohen contrasted a dark brown jacket and bowtie with some light beige trousers, opting to skip the socks and brogues and go for some sleek heeled loafers. It’s a summery yet still appropriately formal look that stood him out from all the boring numbers other male nominees opted for. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, people.
The colour palette is also a fun little callback to some of the intentionally terrible suits he’s worn in character as Borat: the fictional Kazakh journalist has a passion for grey and brown suits – as well as bright green mankinis, of course. The outfit is a masterclass in how to wear brown properly – we’re looking at you, Joe Jonas…
Cohen was nominated for two awards: Best Supporting Actor for his role as Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The much-anticipated Borat sequel was the subject of a third nomination, too – Maria Bakalova, who played Borat’s daughter Tutar, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
The big piece of Oscars news was Nomadland securing Best Picture along with Best Director for Chloé Zhao. Zhao, who is Chinese, became the first woman of colour to be awarded Best Director, and only the second woman to win the award since Kathryn Bigelow’s win in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.