Week In Fashion: Bad Bunny Is The Present And Future Of Red Carpets
By Vanity Fair
After his music and his politics, it’s probably Bad Bunny’s style that’s made the most waves. With his tiny sunglasses, ecstatic patterns, rainbow-spanning nails, and shaved-head designs—not to mention an occasional third eye—he imbues his inventive taste with some winking glee. On red carpets, he’s an event appearance: the deep, shimmering purple jacquard suit and lavender sunglasses at the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards, the Stone Cold Steve Austin tie at the Latin Grammys later that year, and back at those Billboard awards in 2019 with a lavender suit, long white nails, and slime-green hair.
His look may be pointedly outré, but it hardly reads as self-conscious. This is just the way he’d like to dress, and he was setting himself apart on that front before his independent music career in Puerto Rico snowballed into a No. 3 global spot on YouTube’s most-watched artists in 2018. “When I arrived, at first a lot of people were like, ‘This kid is different,’” he told GQ in March. “I’d go to the studio with short shorts and flip-flops, and they‘d say, ‘Cabrón, what's wrong with you?!’ It was always a point of discussion.”
At the VMAs on Monday, though, he tried to tone it down. Really, he did. Big awards night (sort of), big red carpet, big performance with fellow megastar J Balvin that followed the collaborative album they released in June. He’d have to go with formalwear, and he wore a subdued palette of all black with white shoes. But being Bad Bunny, there was a twist: the black face mask, the orange safety glasses. And if you looked a bit closer, there were his purple fingernails. Cybergoth Bane was the closest he could bear to come to a penguin suit.
In the age of increasingly mainstreamed harnesses (or are they bibs?) and crossbody bags, maybe a face mask is a natural accessory choice. Bape, Off-White, and Supreme all sell or have sold them. As Billboard has pointed out, Future, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and Young Thug were wearing them in 2017. To some streetwear enthusiasts, tactical gear is a style toolbox.
And in a time when the notion of menswear rules sounds quaint, a plain old suit won’t do it anymore on the red carpet. Shawn Mendes cut an impressive figure in a green one at the VMAs, but by Bad Bunny standards, it looked pedestrian. Jake Gyllenhaal no longer leaves the house without wearing at least a thin gold chain. Lil Uzi Vert fit pics on Instagram are landmarks not only for their uplift, but for his painstaking documentation of the details. There will always be holdouts, but by now even self-styled no-nonsense types have tried out “fun socks,” for better or for worse.
Still, the face mask remains a big step for most people; on Bad Bunny, it looks unaffected to the point of unremarkable. But he had to start somewhere too, in short shorts and flip-flops in the early days, and now he’s in a position to exert his intrepid influence on other famous men. So if the Grammys red carpet next year is a sea of subtle crossbody bags, no one should be too surprised. By then, you might not think to register them.
More Great Stories from Vanity Fair
— Why Ivanka Trump is uniquely unqualified to condemn her father’s racism
— Miley and Liam’s strikingly different post-breakup optics
— The private-jet controversy plaguing the British royal family
— Helena Bonham Carter’s “scary” encounter with Princess Margaret
— Trump’s bizarre handwritten notes to Justin Trudeau
— From the archive: the trouble with Prince Andrew
Reference of this News is " Week In Fashion: Bad Bunny Is The Present And Future Of Red Carpets "