If you want to see menswear’s future look no further than Harry Styles. The “Fine Line” singer regularly tests out the runway’s boldest ideas, reinventing himself and bringing flair to the red carpet in the process. A frequent collaborator of Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, he often takes the spirit of Michele’s shows onto the streets. And tonight at the Brit Awards Styles he arrived wearing one of the most exciting pieces from the designer’s fall/winter 2020 men’s collection. At first glance, Styles’s chocolate brown double-breasted suit and lavender sweater combo may have seemed straightforward—even when accented by a pearl necklace and lace collar—but his footwear elevated the entire look. The strappy, flat Mary Janes reminiscent of children’s school uniforms added another layer to Styles’s retro-minded fashions.
Styles and Michele’s ongoing partnership has resulted in numerous moments that challenge old ideas about how men should dress. Whether it was the dandyish transparent blouse Styles wore to the Met Gala or the array of brocade suits he chose while promoting his debut album, each look that they’ve collaborated on goes beyond the standard suit and tie. Mary Janes might not be the next big thing (though recent trends like crocs, heeled flip-flops, and dad sneakers have been equally off-kilter), but they represent something new and daring. The grown-up version of shoes that were once reserved for schoolgirls, they deserve a full-blown moment.