When Elvis burst onto the scene in the 1950s, he revolutionised not just the sound of America, but also the style. Zoey Goto, author of the new book ‘Elvis Style: From Zoot Suits to Jumpsuits’ – out now – looks at The King’s key style moments – from his youthful hand-embroidered rockabilly wear, to his diamond encrusted Caddy.
By the mid 1960s, Elvis was having a major image crisis. By starring in a string of predictable musical comedies, Elvis had become alienated from the youth culture that he had previously had such a hand in creating. Yet just as others were writing him off, Elvis set the record straight with the ’68 Comeback Special concert – donning this white, plantation suit for his legendary career resurrection.
Elvis sporting his famous pompadour hairstyle. The timeless style continues to influence contemporary performers, with Bruno Mars (who, incidentally started his show business career as an Elvis impersonator), Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Gwen Stefani adopting variations of Elvis’ rebel ‘do.
Elvis’ taste for bling stage-wear was exhibited in 1957 when he sported a sensational gold suit worn for the album cover of ‘50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong’. What the outfit lacked in subtlety, it made up for in impact – as Elvis showed the world that the poor boy from Tupelo was ready to take his throne as the golden boy of entertainment.