The Man Who Might Be the Next Bond Looked Cool at the 2019 Met Gala. But He Didn't Look Very Camp.
To kinda, sorta paraphrase Mark Antony in Julius Ceasar: I come here to evaluate Richard Madden's 2019 Met Gala look, not drag it. I'm not interested in tearing the guy down, because, really, it's not a bad fit. But I am interested in pointing out that Madden—a rumored contender for Next James Bond—seemed to completely and utterly ignore the theme of this evening's festivities.
See, the powers that be deemed this year's Met Gala a celebration of "camp," that peskily tough-to-define cultural force that can most basically be boiled down to "exaggerated exaggeration" or "such bad taste it's actually good." If you're looking for an in-depth explainer, we've got one for you. But you only need the basics to understand that Madden's look isn't quite delivering large quantities of campiness.
Instead of camp, it seems like Madden went for "cool." Which, okay, neat! It's hard to look bad in a blacked-out tux from Dior Men, after all. But when we've got guys going all-in with sheer pussybow tops and gloriously shiny jacquard suits, all-black tailoring of a more traditional bent—even thought it's not really traditional, just check the jacket closure and the trouser hems—seems a little out of place.
Where would one more reasonably wear something like this? Well, pretty much anywhere else. Remember: It's cool. Most of the time, that is a very noble vibe to aspire to. But when the whole idea is to just plain go for it, taste and restraint be damned, opting for a black tux feels just a little too safe.
That said, Madden has one thing going for him: Bond, never one for sartorial overstatement himself, would almost certainly approve.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.