“This is my usual, my classic,” Golding says, hitting the pose in the fitting room. Golding has leading-man looks and one of those rare smiles that makes everyone around him goofily grin back. Like the rest of us, though, he worries about how to carry himself in front of cameras. This stance, he says, just made sense. “It’s just natural, ’cause you’re always like, what do you do with your hands?” he explains.
But the Met Gala red carpet is famously long and intense. All 154 feet of the walk up the Met steps are crammed with photographers, and with this year’s ultra-formal “Gilded Glamour” theme and white-tie dress code, Golding knows he has to cut a particularly debonair figure. As his wife, Liv Lo Golding, and their bubbly 13-month old daughter Layla look on, Golding slips into a pair of jet-black, high-waisted trousers, a crisp white dress shirt, and a rakish tailcoat. Looking at the mirror, he tests out a few other poses: hands at his side with a straight-on gaze, a full-on wrist grab. “You don’t want to bend the suit so much,” Golding says, shaking off the wrist-grab idea. He learned that tip from Mr. Ford himself, who once told Golding to never put his hands in his pockets when wearing a beautiful suit. “It just ruins the cut, ruins the shape, you get creases in your arms,” Golding explains.
“This time around, I think the boys have more trouble putting their clothes on than the girls!” says a Tom Ford tailor as he fusses with a button loop at the base of Golding’s white waistcoat. White tie, the rarest and most formal dress code still in use these days, is all about looking as clean as possible, and at Tom Ford, nothing is left to chance: hidden buttons in the high-waisted trousers hold down the shirt tails, and help the waistcoat sit perfectly flat. Liv asks Henry how the trousers feel. “Supportive,” he says with a wink.