Stylist: Taylor Okata
Outfit: Head of State by Taofeek Abijako
Groomer: Amy Komorowski assisted by Magdalena Major
Colorist: Jackson Heller x Beauty Supply Hair Salon
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Articles regarding the MET Gala require a lot of time, research and effort, but in the end, they are always worth it. That’s why today we wanted to direct your attention toward Evan Mock and his incredible ensemble for last year’s event.
For the biggest fashion event of the year, Mock honored the theme and wore a cream yellow custom corset and pantsuit by Head of State, paired with a pearl muslin neck ruffle.
Cartier was his jewelry brand of choice, indeed he wore a Reflection de Cartier earring on his left ear, an Etincelle de Cartier ear cuff in 18k white gold on his right ear, Cartier Maillon Panthère rings, a Love ring in white gold and diamonds and a Cartier Creative Collection necklace.
The astonishing neckpiece was made out of 18K white gold, fluted emerald and chalcedony beads, cabochon-and princess-cut sapphires, square-shaped emerald, onyx, turquoise, all set with 324 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 4.17 carats.
He completed the look with a pair of Christian Louboutin Vatik patent Oxford shoes and a Cartier retro platinum Fountain brooch.
There is a lot to say about his ensemble and it is what drew me to write about it. It may have seemed like an appropriate outfit for this specific occasion but it was also soaked in history and lust for reinvention and freedom.
Head of State‘s Creative Director Taofeek Abijako explained his inspiration masterfully in an interview for Office Magazine: “[…] When I knew I was making a piece for Evan, I thought about Evan as a character and where he fits within this theme of Gilded Glamour, which is 18th Century Fashion. And in all these images I could find of men during that time period, they were all dressed like butlers. They were all dressed in the traditional black suit and a white shirt. And in a way Evan doesn’t fit that, just him being Evan, a kid from Hawaii—you can’t really find any reference of someone like that during the 18th century that fit the theme of the Gilded Glamour.
So, in a way, we started talking about how we could incorporate his youthful energy. The way you think about youth, you think about counterculture, you think about someone who wasn’t doing whatever it is that’s traditional to what’s happening during that time period. So in a way, Taylor [writer’s note: Okata, Evan‘s stylist] and I started talking and he sent me a bunch of references and stuff with the corsets and a lot of beautiful images that sparked my imagination, and we were able to put a little twist and make it suit what the 18th century Gilded Glamour theme was and make something way more counterculture, I would say. And something that doesn’t fit within what you would expect a man to wear during that time period. That’s how we gave birth to Evan‘s look.”
The designer and Okata ended up working together after a suggestion from Evan‘s manager who connected them, the stylist was already introduced to the brand by Lindsey Okubo though.
The creative pair decided to take a twist on the feminine pieces and garments created by Taofeek, trying to stay true to Evan‘s nature, who is the kind of person “who can really carry the genderless definition of what somebody has to wear, even in today’s society”.
The fittings were smooth, because Mock trusted his stylist’s vision completely. Taofeek sent out six variations of the look, but Evan‘s stylist already made his choice and the actor agreed to take the risk. Another favorable factor was Evan‘s body type: it is easy to dress when it comes to existing garments, samples and patterns.
What was important was also the resonance this outfit could have for future generations, especially for Brown and Black creatives, as mentioned by Okata: “I also think it’s important to highlight that Taofeek is a young designer, let alone a young, Black designer. Evan and I are both from Hawaii. The Gilded Age was really a time that made sure that Brown kids like us and Black kids like Taofeek didn’t progress during this time, so for us to really come through and rep like this is so sick and so full circle.”
Even more interesting was the fact that Mock‘s custom ensemble featured little details that were visible and not visible to the naked eye. Like the cutout above the butt, a sort of reminder of the time in which the stylist enjoyed his days on the beach as a child, always in the water.
Okata also mentioned the cutouts that served as an architecture for the look: “There are some hidden, thoughtful, things just to keep the look really clean. Taofeek had a brilliant idea because of that cut out in the back to have almost a built-in underwear, if you will, and same with the jacket to hold the shirt in place, there’s going to be these interior little secrets, that’s how we are keeping the garments in place versus just using double stick tape or something like that that we would typically use on an editorial shoot. There are some really nice little details on the inside as well that are keeping this look really structured and complete, really.”
Abijako went on: “There’s a secret underwear in the pants, it’s a two-in-one piece, and the little hidden buttons on the inside. We know that. No one else gets to see that.”
*The article was slightly edited for better comprehension*
His groomer for the event, Amy Komorowski used the Circa 1970 Luxury Face Oil to give the model turned actor a pre red-carpet facial massage, leaving his skin hydrated and bright.
She also used products by Hawthorne:
– Hair: Water-Based Pomade;
– Skin: Forever Young Eye Elixir;
– Body: Ultra Rich Hand Cream + Stain Free Deodorant.
Evan‘s nails were painted with a black nail polish, but at the moment we do not have any information regarding a possible manicurist. We will update this space if we’ll eventually find out.
I observe Evan Mock‘s style religiously, since there are not as many personalities as his. He is not your average actor, as well as his style collaborator Taylor Okata. They are both Hawaiians and that’s something that you almost never see in the fashion system. I like what they are doing for their people and if this website can amplify it, I am more than happy.