The Problem with Elvis Style


Elvis, was the King, of course, but for most of his later career he looked like hammered dog shit.  I was thinking about Elvis (I was in Memphis, so it is impossible not to think of him there) because I was shopping in Lansky’s and was looking at their “Clothier to the King” collection.  It’s actually interesting, since they have taken a lot of the old “Lansky Elvis” clothing and some movie pieces and reintroduced them.  Kind of neat.  Read up on the Lansky/Elvis connection, it’s a nice story and to this day, I have never shopped at a friendlier store than Lansky’s.  Doesn’t matter who you are, known or unknown, they treat everyone the same. Really nice people….Early in his career, with the help of Mr. Lansky, Elvis does have some stylish moments.  Lansky’s black and pink creations are really a work of genius in my mind. Later of course, Elvis slowly slipped into the WTF style of men’s wear which sadly, is how he is mostly remembered.  Really? What genius came up with those fucking jumpsuits?

The thing is, Elvis was not really stylish, he had a unique personal style.  One which only he could rock. It was so unique and wholly his, that when imitated, is a total disaster for anyone stupid enough to try it. I mean, come on, EP was a sandwich short of a picnic (I think you have to be, to some extent, to be a great performer), but he was also a virtuoso performer who was good looking and blessed with the charm and charisma to basically to whatever the fuck he wanted and get away with it. Oh, and he without doubt had the best voice of all time, bar none.

But style? Not, I think, in the way we speak of a Cary Grant or Fred Astaire.  Elvis’ style was unique to him and could not be imitated. None of us can rock Elvis’ outfits and get Priscilla (or any other woman, for that matter) to get to know us in a biblical sense. We’d just be laughed at, and fucking deserve it.  Mainly because were not fucking Elvis, and also because we don’t have the looks, charm, charisma or voice to make it happen.  We can emulate the Grant’s or the Astaire’s of the world, but not Elvis.  And this is actually part of his genius (the other part was that he got laid like carpet even while wearing those god awful outfits).  He was unique.  Admire the man’s unique talent, enjoy his beautiful voice, but for God’s sake, please don’t wear his clothes….




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