Elton John is making his extensive style archives available to the public with a little help from 21st century technology. In November, the “Rocket Man” singer debuted “Elton John Presents: Beyond the yellow brick road,” an interactive virtual reality world on the gaming platform Roblox. As part of the immersive experience, fans can relive 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 several of his most memorable fashion moments, such as the rainbow plumage from “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” He also revealed the fashion trend he hopes to “never see” again and shared the best fashion advice he’s ever given to a a certain celeb friend.
John’s six-decade career has produced countless performance looks. And like his prolific musical repertoire, his ensembles have had a major effect on pop culture. Glitter, star print and bejeweled everything – it’s this sense of individuality that is unmatched in each 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 via Gucci tracksuits offstage and elaborate headpieces and tailored suits when in front of thousands of fans.
“Oh, I think I’ll always love the giant feather suit from ‘The Muppets’ and a movie called ‘Kingsman,'” he says, adding that Lil Nas X had the rare opportunity to wear the look during their shared Uber Eats ad. “I mean it’s completely impractical and I remember always getting feathers in my mouth when I sang, but it’s stuck as a look and I don’t think many have topped it or tried to emulate it .”
While not everyone can put together show-stopping ensembles with expert 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 enthusiasts a place to be re-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 endlessly creative platform and allows fans and creators to be completely themselves, and as flamboyant or down to earth as they want to be. It felt a lot like me.”
Image source: Getty/Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive
When John first began his career in the 70s, his sense of style was inspired by the Americana movement and his love of musicians like The Band. While he often used to wear denim suits, John says he would be happy to never see the fabric again. “I used to wear denim in the early ’70s, and I absolutely hate denim now,” he says. “I hate it – just cancel it.”
“I always told him he wore such boring suits! And I was right.”
But John loves one particular style that he could never part with: his signature glasses.
“I was born short-sighted and all the glasses available in England were just plain and awful,” he says. “As soon as I came to the United States in 1970, my eyes were opened to a whole variety that was not just ordinary. [They] allowed me to express myself fully. Therefore Elton John glasses is so important to me. I want everyone to have a range of frames that help them see and feel themselves. I hope that I continue to inspire people to be what and who they want to be.”
In addition to having the eyewear styles that best convey his personality, John has been known to offer fashion advice to those in his network, including the likes of Ed Sheeran.
“I put my friend Ed Sheeran in touch with Versace ahead of the GQ Awards a few years ago,” he recalls. “He complained that he always felt boring when he had to wear a suit to awards shows. I always told him that he wore such boring suits! And I was right. He called me before the awards show wearing this colorful blazer from Versace and he said to me, ‘You know what? You were right. I’m fine.'”
Ahead, see some of John’s most famous ensembles and glasses in the virtual world side by side with his IRL outfits.