May 26, 2022
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One evening final fall, J Balvin, the reggaeton rapper, shared a photograph of the again of his naked neck. Deep purple imprints fashioned a form of collar as if somebody had tried to choke the Colombian superstar with scalding sizzling chains.

In actuality, Mr. Balvin had simply come from his first Met Gala, at which he’d worn a cartoonishly massive stack of brightly coloured bejeweled necklaces for a number of hours.

“It actually damage,” Mr. Balvin stated. “This time, I don’t even have one chain.”

This time, Mr. Balvin is attempting one thing new. As an alternative of a tuxedo lined in a fantastical kaleidoscope of floral gildings, he wore a couldn’t-be-more-classic tux by Ralph Lauren: black, with tails, over a white shirt and bow tie.

This time, he additionally didn’t cowl half of his face with a stylish balaclava (a glance that Mr. Balvin stated made him really feel as if he “was there however not there, like a ninja”). Quite, he walked the carpet with a cane from Ralph Lauren’s fall 2012 assortment. His lapels had been adorned with classic brooches, complementing his classic watch chain, classic studs and classic cuff hyperlinks.

“It’s a complete completely different look than how I usually gown,” Mr. Balvin stated, including it was a “extra critical and chic” model of the playful fashion he has turn into recognized for, whether or not attending an awards present (sporting a monochromatic radioactive-yellow swimsuit); performing onstage (in silky orange shorts, with an identical bomber jacket and bucket hat); or sitting entrance row at a trend present (in a maxi puffer skirt).

A couple of days earlier than the Met Gala, in a becoming for his formal Ralph Lauren look, Mr. Balvin stated he realized, “I’ve by no means seen myself like that.”

On this approach, Mr. Balvin displays a bigger development on this yr’s “gilded glamour” carpet: Celebrities who’d usually be anticipated to go huge and daring — for an occasion that has basically turn into the world’s most extravagant, and unique, costume celebration — are paring again. The rapper stated he welcomed the chance to point out his “versatility.”

But Mr. Balvin remains to be Mr. Balvin. For the Met Gala, his buzzed head was dyed neon inexperienced. (It was cut with shades of pink for Coachella; earlier than that, he’d dyed it blue and added a KAWS-esque purple coronary heart for the Grammys.)

Mr. Balvin needed some distinction, he stated — to convey a bit of the long run into the Gilded Age, “with some particulars which can be extra in my DNA.”

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