Elvis in Vegas
Current-day Las Vegas may ooze glitz, glamour, and gambling, but nothing compares to the extravagance of the city's famous Elvis Presley era, when the King of Rock 'n' Roll and his flashy costumes ruled the stage and ushered in a period of indulgence. Over a dazzling seven-year run from 1969 to 1976, Elvis lured droves of fans-men and women eager for a glimpse of the Memphis Flash-and performed sold-out shows at the International Hotel (now the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino). Though his legacy lives on forever in his music, we certainly can't forget about his spectacularly flashy style. Elvis, a sartorial risk-taker even by today's standards, outfitted himself in a parade of ornate accessories, exuberantly printed button-downs, and jackets with exaggerated lapels. The singer was notoriously particular about his onstage ensembles; one of his most iconic (and often imitated) looks was a spangled white jumpsuit with a high collar, oversized belt buckle, and flared pants. Everything about his style, from the studs and precious stones to the sequins festooned on every piece of clothing, was done in excess-a concept we can certainly support. Here at Who What Wear headquarters, Elvis has not left the building!
Thankfully, several designers seem to agree with our sentiment! In their S/S 12 collections, Versace's Donatella Versace and Balmain's Olivier Rousteing paid homage to Elvis' lavish years in Sin City. Though we spotted nary a jumpsuit in sight, both labels adapted Elvis' style for the modern-day fashionphile. Balmain's runway look, a white button-down tucked into loose pants, may feature a relaxed silhouette, but the outfit brims with telltale signs of Elvis-inspired glitz. We're certain the King would have given his stamp of approval to the shirt's rhinestone-embellished collar and placket, the Gold Plated Brass Leather Belt ($3229), and the heavy gold cuff bracelets! Similarly, Versace's White Bra ($625, 888.721.7219), White Studded Jacket ($7925, 888.721.7219), and White Studded Shorts ($355, 888.721.7219) exude the spirit of rock 'n' roll with over-the-top details. Intricate gold patterns emblazoned against buttery white leather mimic Elvis' signature look to a tee, albeit in a way that's fitting for a contemporary girl.
If after perusing today's Currently Channeling story, you can't help falling in love with Elvis in his Vegas heyday, you're in luck because we scouted several embellished pieces and showy accessories that capture his more-is-more aesthetic. In our humble opinion, these picks celebrate his style better than any impersonator's ensemble and won't make you look costume-y in the slightest. And even if you don't hail the King of Rock 'n' Roll, we're certain you'll find something to add to your must-have list. But enough: a little less conversation, and a lot more fashion, please!
Stolen Girlfriends Club Petrol Gothic Western Blouse ($396)
Western-inspired tops don't often find their way into our closets, but this Stolen Girlfriends Club button-down lends a cool-girl twist to the Old West. Featuring a symmetrical abstract print against rich blue silk, the blouse pays tribute to Elvis' role in Western films like Love Me Tender and Flaming Star.
MiH Marrakesh Aviator Jeans ($209) in Ecru
These stretchy jeans are a tad more wearable (and probably a lot more comfortable) than a jumpsuit, but the eggshell-white hue and flared silhouette are a total reference to Elvis! The pants score bonus points for having a flattering silhouette that skims over hips and lengthens legs.
Murray's Hair Dressing Pomade ($3)
Aside from his snazzy attire, the King was also known for his glorious head of hair. Those shiny locks! That bouncy volume! Every strand seemed to stay put even when he was gyrating onstage. We love this pomade for slicking back stray hairs a la Elvis (and leaving us free to do the jailhouse rock all night long).
Oliver Peoples Rayford Sunglasses ($450, available at the end of January)
Oliver Peoples is clearly hip to the recent retro revival. These aviator sunglasses have an on-trend '70s vibe, thanks to gold metal frames trimmed in white and tinted amber lenses. Elvis himself was fond of flashy, oversized sunnies, particularly a gold thick-rimmed pair he wore just about everywhere.
Elizabeth and James Stela Heels ($375, available at the end of February) in Cream Croco
Whether you're aiming for an Elvis-inspired getup or just seeking a hot new pair of kicks, these pointy-toe heels will serve you well. With a unique slip-on shape in croco-embossed cream, the shoes stand out against a sea of basic black pumps-just how the King would've liked it!
MICHAEL Michael Kors Sequined Dress ($175) in Amber
Simply put, you can't channel Elvis without wearing something bedazzled, and this allover sequined piece fits the bill. Worn on its own in warm weather or paired with a cropped leather jacket and tights in chilly temps, the dress screams "Viva Las Vegas!" and serves as a year-round party-perfect number.
Topshop Red Palm Print One Piece Swimsuit ($64) in Red
If this floral one-piece doesn't put you in tropical vacation mode, nothing will! Every element, from the sweet bow detail and flirty keyhole at the front, evokes a vintage feel. Just watch out for those hound dogs.
Mango TOUCH Chain Leather Belt ($55)
Add some bling to your waistline with this knockout accessory. Jazzed up with gold chains and a shiny metallic buckle, this narrow belt is perfect for hoisting up jeans or cinching in dresses. If Elvis was around today, he would have appreciated its conspicuousness, but you can also temper its glitz factor with plain, somber-colored separates.
ASOS Stitch and Star Across Body Bag ($50) in White
Our favorite thing about cross-body purses? They conveniently free up your hands for dancing! Embroidered with a charming star motif, this little white rendition comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and totes around all your essentials (pomade included).
DANNIJO for Charm & Chain Galapagos Necklace ($995)
The multicolored stones dripping off this gold statement necklace make a fantastic display against a plain t-shirt or, for a true-to-form Elvis-approved look, over a collared shirt. The stunning bauble costs a pretty penny, but in the words of the King, it's now or never, right?
Rebekah Price Rings ($120-$150, 888.744.2320) in Star and Pyramid, sold separately
Though Elvis often flaunted giant rings (he was even buried wearing his signature diamond logo ring), we think these unique accessories offer the perfect mix of subtlety and opulence. Tarnished-looking silver and brass metal allows the studded Swarovski crystals to glitter in the light for eye-catching flair.-Tiffany Tse
Balmain runway photo, courtesy of Balmain; Versace runway photo, courtesy of Versace.