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Black-Tie Rebellion

Photography by David Roemer. Styling by Christopher Campbell.

Formal attire once meant strictly black tailcoats—no exceptions—until one memorable evening in October 1886, when a few rebels attending a social event at the haughty Tuxedo Park country club caused quite a sensation by arriving in shortened black coats. This jacket without tails was christened the tuxedo, and 125 years later, it is clear that the nonconformists are still winning over the traditionalists, and that designers have taken up the charge, creating subtly subversive formal wear that is once again turning heads.

Just a shade of difference, in navy blue.

Photos 1 and 2: Cesare Attolini wool tuxedo, $7,000, shirt, $695, and bow tie, $195 (212.246.0085, www.cesareattolini.com); Tom Ford leather shoes, $1,210 (212.359.0300, www.tomford.com); Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Extra-Plate 18-karat white-gold watch, $43,900 (877.826.2533, www.vancleef-arpels.com).

The 2011 recut: slim and trim.

Photo 3: Dior Homme wool-and-satin tuxedo, $3,900, shirt, $800, and satin bow tie, $180 (800.929.3467, www.diorhomme.com).

Formal tailoring gets a sporty makeover with a corduroy jacket trimmed with black satin lapels.

Photo 4: Kiton corduroy tuxedo, $7,800, shirt, $745, silk tie, $250, and silk pocket square on wrist, $160 (212.813.0272, www.kiton.it).

“The brown tuxedo,” says Gianluca Isaia, “whispers an unmistakable unfeigned elegance that sets it apart in the sea of black, navy, and gray.”


Photo 5: Isaia wool tuxedo, $4,395, shirt, $375, and cashmere-and-silk cummerbund, $295 (212.245.3733, www.isaia.it); Bulgari silk bow tie, $145 (800.285.4274, www.bulgari.com); Van Cleef & Arpels gold watch, $48,000 (877.826.2533, www.vancleef-arpels.com).

A luxurious blue velvet dinner jacket gives black tie a sexy twist.

Photo 6: Tom Ford velvet jacket, $3,590, wool pants, $1,200, shirt, $510, silk scarf, $460, satin bow tie, $235, and satin cummerbund, $435 (212.359.0300, www.tomford.com); Baade II cuff links, $525 (609.340.8650, www.baadecufflinks.com).

The classic shawl-collar tux goes renegade in denim lightly sprayed with black resin.

Photos 7 and 8: Ralph Lauren Black Label Denim jacket, $1,295, and velvet pants, $395; Ralph Lauren Black Label shirt, $275, tie, $135, and pocket square, $40; Ralph Lauren leather boots, $750, and steel watch, $5,900 (888.475.7674, www.ralphlauren.com); Baade II cuff links, $525 (609.340.8650, www.baadecufflinks.com).

All in the details: A navy tuxedo appointed with grosgrain trim.

Photo 9: Dunhill tuxedo with grosgrain detail, $2,195, and shirt, $270 (212.753.9292, www.dunhill.com); Bulgari silk bow tie, $149 (800.285.4274, www.bulgari.com).

Short, trim, and edgy—this is “tailoring with an urban attitude,” says Stefano Pilati, creative director of Yves Saint Laurent.

Photos 10 and 11: Yves Saint Laurent wool-and-silk jacket, $2,395, pants, $1,295, shirt, $750, and rubber loafers, $295 (212.980.2970, www.ysl.com).

Model, Mark Cox at DNA; Stylist’s assistant, Anthony Baez; Photographer’s assistant, Arian Camilleri;

Groomer, Anthony Nader at Atelier Management

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