Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Roger Federer Mr. GQ at the Met Gala
A black tie fit worthy of the tennis ace's GOAT status.
"I've never worn anything close to this," Roger Federer says of his Gucci tuxedo at a fitting this Sunday. The tennis star is putting the final touches on his outfit before this year's Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, the annual fundraiser that brings together the biggest names in fashion, film, politics, sports, art, and, more recently, social media entrepreneurship.
For a guy like Federer, suiting up for a black tie gala is no sweat. (If there's one thing the tennis star knows, it's how to wear a suit and wear it well). But this year Federer has a reputation to uphold, a title as illustrious as any of the 18 Grand Slam he's taken home in his storied career. Right now, Roger Federer is the Most Stylish Man alive, voted into power by the readers of GQ.
So what does a man who excels at understated, elegant tailored menswear wear to an event steeped in capital 'F' fashion—the kind you rarely see in real life—and in a year where the event celebrates Rei Kawakubo, the most avant garde designer of them all? Gucci, of course.
The white-hot Italian label dominates the sartorial swerve market right now, with designer Alessandro Michele injecting even the most staid menswear staples with unexpected flourishes (peeping snake ties, anyone?). Michele's more-is-best approach to tailoring has yielded suits in retro eye-popping plaids, wallpaper florals, piped school boy blazers, and embroidered with motifs as varied as Donald Duck and dragon heads. You think a tux is just going to be simple and black in Michele's hands? No. It's going to have a twist. It's going to have...a cobra.
An embroidered crystal king cobra, to be exact. Designed with Michele and the help of GQ's own creative director Jim Moore and made through Gucci's DIY custom program, the one-button, shawl lapel tux (Signoria is the model name, if you want to order your own) is equal parts classic and brash. In other words, it's the Roger Federer of tuxedo jackets. As Federer describes it, it's "business in the front, party in the back."
"I appreciate craftsmanship and details—and here, we have a lot of details," says Federer. "I think it's beautiful, especially inside with the floral lining. The cobra, I think, is going to be quite unexpected." (The Swiss have always been big on understatement.) Federer knows the reptilian vibes aren't a game-set-match guaranteed victory. "Either you're going to like it or not," he says. "We just have to appreciate taking risks at the Met Gala." Even in matters of sartorial swerves, Federer is still the ultimate sportsman.