Fashion for men at the Palais remains old-fashioned

The official screenings here are in a knotty situation about ties.

When, oh when, will this horrible oppression of men end?

For decades, men had one choice for a “black-tie” occasion: A tux with bow tie. Though male fashions have changed radically in the past years, the official policy at the Palais remains firm: Men must wear bow ties.

The tickets specify “tuxedo, dress suit,” meaning there is some flexibility in terms of the overall look. But the ever-vigilant fashion police, who monitor the entrances to the Palais, will stop men if they’re wearing some newfangled item like a standard tie — which have only been in fashion for, oh, three to five years. Men are told they must buy and wear a “papillion” if they want to see the film.

Women have an easier time. What is “fashion” for femmes? There’s no consensus, so the fest accommodates everything from elegant to outre.

Of course, the Palais, like every other thing in life, has certain other standards for celebs. The French cry for liberty was liberte, egalite, fraternite. Maybe at Cannes, it’s time for liber-tie, egali-tie, fraterni-tie. Because some people are fit to be tied.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more