The last time Harry Styles was in town, in September at Radio City Music Hall, he was in Gucci — a slim-fitting metallic red brocade suit that, coincidentally or not, matched the venue's scarlet interior and Deco grandeur. Styles was back in "the Big Apple," as he called it more than once, again on Thursday, this time tasked with entertaining a crowd of 20,000 at Madison Square Garden, as opposed to Radio City's 6,000. The space is as enormous as it is iconic, and he sold out the entire thing — twice! — including the back section behind the stage.
So far, Styles's relationship with Gucci has resulted in an uniquely diverse range of suiting that is as much a testament to the house's craftsmanship as it is to Styles's own versatility (and, of course, to the work of stylist Harry Lambert). And on Thursday, Styles played to the venue once again, clothes-wise, just as he did at Radio City in the fall: He went big — way big — in a very special Gucci for a very special night.
Madison Square Garden, which has hosted everything from three Democratic National Conventions to John Lennon's final concert appearance (to exactly one One Direction show), is a good place to go all out. As the curtain lifted to reveal Styles and his band, the first thing I saw were bell bottoms. No, definitely not flares, bell bottoms — tapered at the thigh and ballooning out into a foot-long fan below the knee. They swished as he pranced and grooved and ran, and were presumably large enough to provide a nice breeze to those lucky ones splayed out in the general admission pit at the front and to be visible from the standing room seats up top, 150 feet above the stage.
I learned later, after the show, that the suit itself — a white silk with small black floral embroidery, paired with a black pussy-bow blouse — came with a secret message of sorts: in fine print, Gucci had embroidered jardin d'hiver ("winter garden" in French) around certain bouquets. An intentional Madison Square Garden Easter egg, or just a coincidence? I'll let you, or Styles's new number-one fan Anna Wintour, be the judge.
So much has been made about Styles's sartorial eccentricities over the years — bell bottoms included — but as the show went on and the music got louder and Styles's rapport with the audience got cheekier, the suit didn't speak for him or pose as a distraction. It was a beautifully made piece of clothing that fit him like a glove, but it was also just another extension of him, part of his performance for the 20,000 of us in the room.