loading...

Were Rupert Murdoch’s Wedding Sneakers the Ultimate Power Move? – The New York Times

2 minutes, 30 seconds Read

Rupert Murdoch’s fifth marriage, this time to Elena Zhukova, seemed a casual affair, though some disapproved of the suit-sneaker combination.

As a rule of thumb, sneakers with suits are a terrible idea. Unless, perhaps, you are Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire media mogul who — seeming to chase Elizabeth Taylor’s lifetime tally of eight marriages — married his fifth wife on Saturday in a ceremony at his Tuscan-style vineyard in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Mr. Murdoch’s new bride, Elena Zhukova, 67, is a retired molecular biologist who was previously married to Alexander Zhukov, the billionaire Russian energy investor. She was dressed for the occasion in an ankle-length off-white cocktail dress with a squared-off portrait neck and matching pumps.

Age appropriate (whatever that means anymore), class appropriate and suitable in length for a daytime wedding, Ms. Zhukova’s outfit was demure and conventional. Mr. Murdoch’s C.E.O. suit was equally uncontroversial.

It was his footwear selection, however, that raised eyebrows in certain corners of the internet, where critics predictably carped about how the requisite footwear with a formal suit is a hard-soled leather shoe. Not only does an Oxford or even a Derby “finish” a formal look, it is a coded social signifier “of courtesy and good manners,” as Jim Moore, the creative director of GQ, once pointed out in the context of sneaker-shoes worn by various politicians to meet with President Biden in the Oval Office.

How we dress is always a compromise of some sort. Even if you happen to be a star on the Met Gala red carpet, where extreme fits are routine, mobility is routinely sacrificed for optics: Female celebrities are occasionally hobbled, corseted and, in cases like that of the South African singer Tyla, all but immobilized. (Her dress for the gala was so tight at the hem that she had to be lifted up the museum stairs by so called bustle-butlers.)

Men seldom have to put up with the kinds of discomfort in dress women have historically been obliged to endure. Still, Mr. Murdoch’s decision to wear sneakers — although unconfirmed, the shoes appear to be Hokas, not far from the sustainably designed “Transports” model Mr. Biden wore for a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border — to his own wedding may have been a don’t-care play by a master of the universe.

“Sure, it could raise eyebrows in some conservative circles, and I personally think sneakers with suits are hideous,” said Eugene Rabkin, editor of the magazine StyleZeitgeist. “But casualization has penetrated so far up the chain of formality that it would almost be punk for him to wear leather shoes.”

Or else it may equally have been a nod to the exigencies of age and the terrain. “He was fully corporately dressed up with a pocket square and tie, so there was nothing halfway about that,” said Nick Sullivan, the creative director of Esquire. Most likely the addition of sneakers for a lawn wedding, he added, was just common sense.

This post was originally published on this site

Similar Posts