Style Trials 2019: Michael B. Jordan vs. Henry Golding

Stars on the ascendance are headed for a crash collision.

Last week, Tom Holland bested Héctor Bellerín, and it's onto round three: Michael B. Jordan vs. Henry Golding.

2019: a very loud year. Suits have morphed into ballgown hybrids. The Met Gala saw menswear camp out on that very thing. As such, all the signs point to a shift in which traditional pointers transform into flashing, neon-lit showstoppers straight from the Vegas strip. Two men, in particular, have shone the brightest: Michael B. Jordan and Henry Golding.

Both prefer their volume at max. Both have collected a slew of endorsements from the greatest, most golden of brands. What differs, however, is their genre of preferred listening: for Golding, remixed orchestral classics versus MBJ's contemporary playlist of light experimentalism. 

Allow us to explain. On the back of Black Panther's box office-breaking success, Michael B. Jordan ignored the confines of the traditional red carpet wardrobe. That meant fewer monotone two-pieces, more big and lovely swishy overcoats, and graphic knits, and punchy tailoring. Good news, then, that the theme has continued for 2019.



The Toronto International Film Festival, for instance, saw the 32-year-old take the bog-standard blazer to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon: a brocade, ankle-length shimmering wonder weaved from your finest, nine-hour sleep abetted dreams (and those of Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller). Similar too was Jordan's outfit change to the Met Gala after-party: a tonal tip atop New York's Standard hotel that was prepared for a quick abseiling exit with a carabiner bandolier. And lest we forget Louis Vuitton's Internet-breaking harness. The nod to queer culture was a welcome change of pace in menswear, a playing field once marked by strict guidelines, and MBJ was an early scorer. 

The same goal for Golding. then, just another trajectory across the pitch. Where Jordan goes to the left-field, the Crazy Rich Asians star digs into the archive (and pairs the history books with the strongest booze this side of the northern hemisphere). For Ralph Lauren's most recent New York show, there was the sweetest shade of Cadbury's purple coated in a rich velvet finish: a Jay Gatbsy that'd amassed a fortune on confectionary instead of contraband moonshine.

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The Golden Age Golding loves so much met the future too at the Met Gala (this year was especially raucous), as the actor took to the role of an Eighties gameshow host catapulted to Jupiter's second moon by way of a particularly potent LSD trip. It was a bold move for Golding. Granted, not just into another dimension, but into the wardrobe too: a successful interpretation of the dress code that distilled his own taste into the Susan Sontag-inspired theme. This was showmanship proper, and the sort that was on full display in the 32-year-old's Esquire profile. 


So, who wins? The actor with a taste for the new, or the actor amping up on the greatest hits?

Photo by ANA DAVILA.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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