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NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Museum of Art was filled with a bunch of rule-breakers on Monday night. “I’m a rebel,” A$AP Rocky shrugged, his mouth full of silver gleaming, before heading into the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition at the annual Costume Institute gala.

It was a sentiment echoed, sartorially, by most male guests — Prabal Gurung, Andrew Rosen, Joseph Altuzarra, Michael Kors, Olivier Theyskens, to name a few — who eschewed the dress code specifications of “white tie and decorations” in favor of the standard tux. “Someone stepped on them and they fell off,” Derek Lam cracked when asked where his coattails were. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez said the tails have a “shortening” effect — they tried them on and didn’t like it. “We called Anna [Wintour] and she gave us her blessing,” Hernandez said.

This story first appeared in the May 6, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Though only a small portion of the men followed the dictum, they garnered the most attention. “Men, we don’t get a lot of variation,” John Legend said while snailing up the receiving line in his vintage Ralph Lauren look. “It’s nice to get to do something outside the norm. It’s different, I like it.” Further into cocktails, Johnny Depp thought a new dressing mandate was in order. “This dress code should be mandatory for most events,” he said of his Ralph Lauren tailcoat, which he wore complete with spats and cane. Tom Ford is already onto the trend. “Actually, we do live in London,” said the designer. “And in June we sometimes dress in white tie.”

Gisele Bündchen surveyed the room. “I’ve never seen a man in a tailcoat before, but it’s very interesting,” the model said as her husband, Tom Brady, stood nearby in a standard tuxedo. “Very chic.”

Just as dinner was about to be seated, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian blew in. “I don’t have much to say,” the predictably terse West growled when asked about his dress-code-heeding ensemble. “It’s Lanvin. That’s all I’ll say.”

Oscar de la Renta’s decorations included his Légion d’Honneur as well as a special honor he received from the King of Spain. “My wife said I look like a Latin American dictator,” said de la Renta. “I said, ‘That’s what I am.’”

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