Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rebel In A Gold Suit

“Elvis Presley’s manager came to me and said, make up something real flashy for Elvis and I did. It was a $10,000 suit made of gold cloth. He loved it and I got a lot of publicity out of it”- Nudie Cohn .

Elvis was the most famous client of Nudie, the original rhinestone rebel outfitter. Nudie launched his business in 1947. He trained as a tailor, borrowed $150, bought a sewing machine and worked from a garage for two years. Nudie Cohn was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1902 and died in 1984. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Nudie created many of the flamboyant, theme-embroidered suits that were integral to the stage personas and images of numerous country performers. Elvis's Gold suit is no doubt his most famous creation.

Since Elvis there have been other rebels in gold suits:British rocker Billy Fury also sported one. In the 80’s this metallic rebellion was resurrected with irony by Martin Fry of ABC. The ever shape shifting David Bowie wore his update of the Elvis look in the early Noughties. Golden years indeed.

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