When Elton goes on his last tour, he’ll be wearing outfits designed by Gucci. This is courtesy of Alessandro Michele, the creative director of the house.
“I’m obsessed with him, I’m obsessed with his clothes, I’m obsessed with what he does,” the rocker tells Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen of the friendship that began almost immediately after Alessandro’s debut Gucci show in January 2015. The two were photographed for Vogue at Woodside, the Windsor home of Elton and David Furnish.
“For me, the only person that was like that in my life before was Gianni [Versace], and when Gianni died, a part of me died. He saw everything, he loved everything, he channelled everything. Nothing was off limits with him. Alessandro is the first thing that’s happened in my life since Gianni died that I can really identify with.”
The admiration is mutual. Alessandro grew up listening to Elton’s music and marvelling at his audacious costumes.
“There’s one thing about Elton, which I always repeat: with all his flamboyant looks in the 1970s, he was so masculine,” he tells Vogue, of what cemented Elton as a firm fixture on the designer’s moodboards. “He was always so natural and he didn’t lose any of himself.”
“I never wore any make-up,” the former Reg Dwight chimes in. “I wasn’t glam rock. I wasn’t David Bowie. I was me being a blokey guy wearing these clothes. I had to have humour in my costume.”
Alessandro’s personal favourite was the white suit with angelic plume epaulettes, designed by longtime tour costume collaborator Bob Mackie and captured by photographer Terry O’Neill in 1973.
“In some of the costumes I wore, I probably did make a fool of myself,” the musician reminisces. “Not to me, but other people thought, ‘That looks ridiculous.’ It’s what your idea of ridiculous is.”
Read the full interview in the September issue of British Vogue, on newsstands today.