Monday, November 16, 2009

Guest Post: LAS On Elvis Presley

Here is the second post in my guest post series (aka, my attempt to make this blog interesting).

This post is by LAS, relative newcomer to the menswear blog scene. He might be newer to the scene than some people (like me), but that hasn't stopped him from killing it from the very start (unlike me). Check him out over at Sartorially Inclined. Here is his post.

When Conor approached me to do a guest post I was admittedly flattered. I follow Conor's blog and one of the reasons I don't do more posts on myself and my own gear is due to the fact that guy's like him have that kind of stuff on lock (not to mention my point and shoot sucks). Being given full reign to talk about anything and everything was a little intimidating at first, and much like a guest who was invited to a classy dinner party, I knew I had to bring something seriously proper.

Luckily for me as I was waiting in the airport late on a Sunday night watching the Colts battle the Patriots when a commercial for Sirius satellite radio came on. While I don't quite remember the pitch, I do remember the Elvis Presley video clip that kicked it off. Evils was, and always will be, a complete and utter stud in my eyes. His talents, while never questioned, become all the more apparent by the day as white R&B singers become more scarce than white rappers. With some fresh inspiration I hit the interwebs to dig up some pictures of The King. All jumpsuits and Vegas bafoon-ery aside, Elvis had style in spades. Before long it became clear to me that my guest post would be the perfect opportunity to do a style retrospective featuring, the one, the only, Elvis.

No discussion of Elvis' style can begin without talking about that head of hair. The stuff of a greasers wet-dream, The King's iconic do was something he picked up while driving trucks and hanging out with truckers in Memphis. While southern truckers had been wearing their hair in this style for sometime, It was Elvis who made the greasy, jet-black, sideburn clad, ducktail famous.

Elvis' style, much liked his music, was fascinating. His ability to blur the lines between race was equally spellbinding and frightening for the 1950's. It could be argued that America was never truly ready for Elvis. Case and point: above you'll see mid to late 1950's era Elvis channeling both down south, good ol' boy country and badboy, rhythm and blues lady killer.

The guy cleaned up nice too. Check out Elvis here with Ann Margret from their 1964 film Viva Las Vegas. The expertly tailored, skinny lapel suit and tie bar are ubiquitous these days and here Elvis put on a clinic (sorry Mr. Draper). I'm fairly certain this is a sharkskin suit as well, and was hoping to find some color pics, but black and white will have to do for the time being.

It takes a lot of balls to rock all black leather during your 1968 comeback special on NBC. Facing the nation with his career steadily in decline, Elvis hit back with a vengeance. With one set, an intimate crowd and an arsenal of chart-topping hits, Elvis single handedly won America over for a second time. It takes a certain level of iconic status to pull something like this off. It doesn't hurt to be the King Of Rock and Roll either.

While my style retrospective ends here, we all know The King's career didn't. I won't go into the tailend of what can only be described as a monstrous career because it often cheapens all the great things Mr. Presley did for music and entertainment. At the end of the day, The King couldn't stop, well, being "The King" and it ultimately led to his unfortunate demise. Despite a classic lesson in self destruction, he left a legacy that changed the face of music and a style as iconic as a pair of blue suede shoes. Oh, wait...

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