“I’m not one of those who can easily hide,” noted Sir Elton Hercules John in his 1970 hit “Your Song”. Born Mr Reginald Dwight, the performer emerged from the relative uniformity of suburban Greater London and its pub circuit to become the standout songwriter in a particularly purple patch for British artists. (See last year’s John Lewis Christmas advertisement for the abridged version.) While he crafted some of the foremost earworms of the era – “Tiny Dancer”, “Rocket Man” and “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” in quick succession – it wasn’t just his music that got him noticed. Oh, no. If his live show was loud, his wardrobe was cranked up to 11.
Of course, tiaras (and, indeed, tantrums) aren’t for everyone. But with this week’s release of Rocketman, Mr Dexter Fletcher’s officially sanctioned biopic based on the life of Sir Elton in his 1970s pomp, there is still much to be learnt from the wardrobe department. First, there’s the Rocketman by Kingsman collection, our exclusive 16-piece capsule based on the clothing worn by Sir Elton’s manager Mr John Reid, played in the film by Game Of Thrones and Bodyguard alum Mr Richard Madden. And while taking on the vibrant colours and generous proportions of the age, this suiting is safely a sequin-free zone.
But what of the (rocket) man himself? The trappings of his lifestyle ensured he pushed his sartorial flourishes to the very limit, “burning out his fuse up here alone”. And by doing so, he provides a framework of what is possible, that all of us can take something from. Here, then, are three style tips from Sir Elton, which we hope you don’t mind that we put down in words.