This Spring, I’m Turning to Elton John For Fashion Inspiration

Sir Elton John, our patron saint of sky-high platforms, feather boas and larger-than-life sunglasses, turns 74 today. While it’s worth celebrating his formidable career with a candle-it-cake, I’ve revamped some of his best fashion moments in honor of the occasion. Nobody has done extravagant maximalism like the English singer. Over the years he has become synonymous with his over-the-top stage outfits – but off-duty, John’s personal style was just as exuberant, often wearing the chicest suits you’ve ever seen.

His early stage performance looks are really iconic. Do you remember his sold out Dodger Stadium concerts in the 1970s when he was wearing one stunned Dodger’s uniform? Or when he was singing on Sesame Street in a feathered cloak? One of John’s recent style hits that pop into my mind is the purple suit with black tuxedo lapels studded with crystals that he’s been wearing lately Grammy Awards. He also rocked flashy suits during his Rocketman press tour in 2019. At the Cannes Film Festival, he wore a powder blue Gucci two-piece suit with matching giant sunglasses. John always took plays and then pulled them off with ease.

Photo: Getty Images

My fashion sense over the last year has been pretty much the opposite of John’s. Like the rest of the world, I lived in tracksuits. But beyond that, I was interested in a more basic uniform. I work from home and mostly wear black pants and a printed shirt. While the prints are, if I may say, very fun, the formula itself is devoid of any pizazz whatsoever. I am suddenly a shell of my former self that would dress up to the nines to go to the office! But with spring here now, I challenge myself to step things up all over again – and who better to look for style inspiration than the master of shine?

Not quite ready to wear feathered jumpsuit just yet, I’m drawn to John’s talent because I’m just a match for him. By choosing sets with large lapels or flared legs, John has a kitschy way of dressing that doesn’t feel stiff or corporate. Since I’m not going to an office right now, I think this look is perfect for springtime, a fun, elegant way to swap things over over coffee. On my more casual days, I want to wear bold accessories again – a John signature. Suddenly John’s iconic heart-shaped glasses call my name.

Gucci spring 2021Photo: Gus Van Sant / Courtesy GucciLudovic De Saint Sernin Spring 2021Photo: Bruno Staub / Courtesy Ludovic De Saint Sernin

It seems like I’m not alone in my appreciation for John’s maximalist, oversized wardrobe. The fashion world has always oriented itself towards the singer, but this season many designers have poured their outré energy into their men’s collections. Gucci featured plush, embroidered suits with a pussy bow blouse (something John is sure to have placed a personal order for); There were blazers in Saint Laurent heavily printed in a luxurious fabric; Even with smaller labels like Ludovic de Saint SerninA rainbow top adorned with crystals seems like something John could easily have worn in his youth.

I’m not saying I need to buy a new designer wardrobe here, but the spring message on the runways is clearly more – and I totally agree with the idea. I may not look as wild as John, but I want to channel that energy and just get back to having fun in style. My spring mood is going to be loud, proud and a great return to how I used to dress before COVID. As John would sing, the bitch is back!

Below are more stylish moments from Sir Elton John.