Elton John makes his extensive style archives available to the public, with a little help from 21st century technology. In November, the singer of “Rocket Man” debuted “Elton John Presents: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road”, an interactive world in virtual reality on the game platform Roblox. As part of the immersive VR experience, fans can experience his best style moments and add iconic outfits — like his infamous rhinestone-encrusted Dodgers Stadium uniform — to their personal wardrobes.
In a Q&A with POPSUGAR, John, 75, reflected on some of his most memorable fashion moments, like the rainbow feather suit from “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” He also revealed the fashion trend he hopes “never see again”, and shared the best fashion advice he’s ever given to a certain celeb friend.
John’s six-decade career has seen countless performances. And like his prolific musical repertoire, his ensembles have had a major impact on pop culture. The glitter, the star print and all things jeweled – it’s this sense of individuality that is unmatched in any of John’s outfits. “I don’t pay too much attention to trends,” he tells POPSUGAR. “I wear what I like and what makes me feel good.”
“I used to wear denim in the early ’70s and I absolutely hate denim now.”
For John, who recently released his single “Hold Me Closer” with Britney Spearsfashion is about self-expression, which he demonstrates through off-stage Gucci tracksuits and elaborate headwear and tailored suits when standing in front of thousands of fans.
“Oh, I think I’ll always love the giant plumage from ‘The Muppets’ and a movie called ‘Kingsman,'” he says, adding that Lil Nas X had the rare chance to wear the look during their joint Uber Eats ad. . “I mean, it’s completely impractical and I remember always getting feathers in my mouth when I sang, but it’s held up as a look, and I don’t think many people have topped it or tried to emulate it.”
While not everyone can put together breathtaking ensembles with the greatest of ease, John’s virtual reality world – which he created with the help of LGBTQ+ designers like Jenni Svoboda and Samuel Jordan after hearing about Roblox from his two sons – gives fashion lovers a place to to be newly inspired.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been interested in finding new ways for fans to discover music and new ways to interact with people around the world,” he says. “It’s an endless creative platform and allows fans and creators to be completely themselves, and as flamboyant or down-to-earth as they want. It felt a lot like me.”
Image source: Getty/Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive
When John started his career in the 1970s, his sense of style was inspired by the Americana movement and his love for musicians like The Band. Although he used to often wear denim suits, John says he’d be glad never to see the fabric again. “I used to wear denim in the early ’70s and I absolutely hate denim now,” he says. “I hate it – please cancel it.”
“I used to tell him he wore such boring suits! And I was right.”
But John loves one particular style he could never part with: his own signature glasses.
“I was born nearsighted and all the glasses available in England were nothing short of awful,” he says. “As soon as I arrived in the US in 1970, my eyes were opened to a whole selection that was not just ordinary. [They] allowed me to fully express myself. That’s why Elton John Eyewear is so important to me. I want everyone to have an assortment of frames that allow them to see and feel themselves. I hope I continue to inspire people to be whatever and whoever they want to be.”
In addition to wearing the eyewear styles that best convey his personality, John is known for giving fashion advice to people in his network, including the likes of Ed Sheeran.
“I introduced my friend Ed Sheeran to Versace a few years ago prior to the GQ Awards,” he recalls. “He complained that he always felt boring when he had to put on a suit for awards ceremonies. I always told him he wore such boring suits! And I was right. He called me before the awards in this colorful blazer from Versace and he told me : “You know what? You were right. I feel amazing.'”
Ahead, you’ll see some of John’s most celebrated ensembles and eyewear in the virtual world, side-by-side with his IRL outfits.