From Tommy Nutter to Richard James, Cutler and Gross to Patrick Cox, Elton John has been showcasing British design ever since his first world tour in 1970. Now, with the biopic Rocketman in cinemas and the singer on his global farewell tour, his more outré stage attire and love of directional tailoring are taking centre stage once again – and contemporary tailor Richard James is hosting a four-week showcase (until June 7), in collaboration with Swarovski, at his Savile Row ready-to-wear store featuring outfits loaned by the showman.
“Elton really is a great patron of fashion and design, as he is of the arts – a supporter of people who, like him, have the guts to do their own thing,” says Sean Dixon, managing director and co-founder of Richard James. “He came to see me and Richard very shortly after we opened our first store in 1992, and he has stayed with us as a very encouraging friend and customer ever since. I remember him saying that he hadn’t seen anything interesting on Savile Row since the days of Tommy Nutter in the 1970s.”
The exhibits include a crystallised tailcoat from the musician’s 2011-2018 run at Caesars Palace and his “Dot” collection of suits – displayed with an incredible Yamaha C3 PE grand piano similar to the model played by Elton. Richard James has also produced a limited run of eight T-shirts (£175), each with a Swarovski-crystal rocket emblem, available in-store and online.