The other day I found myself strolling across Canal Street in search of a sample sale that I learned about from a square, yellow flyer on the Q train. While I dodged the hagglers whispering enticements of knock off Louis Vuittons and Rolexes in my ear, I scoped the scene of this eclectic and filthy region of TriBeCa.
The personal styles of the creatures plowing their way through the mess of the streets fit the multifarious vibes of the neighborhood. Each and every body walked with an air as unique as their appearance, shamelessly donning whatever pieces they saw fit for fashion: orange, yellow and black leopard print leggings on a woman bartering for 2-for-$40 perfumes; and a shamrock -green fitted ball cap, oversized tee and matching green basketball sneakers on the kid leaving McDonalds.
Taking in the rainbow of looks exuded by the woman and kid, I noticed another pronounced style lingering by the cart of fresh roasted almonds. A dashing lad, sporting a pair of red oval-lensed sunglasses and a black corduroy blazer, detailed with red and green stitching in the shape of a rose, popped out at me. While his fitted, lighter washed jeans and white V-neck tee seemed average enough, it was his blazer and sunglasses that sparked my inquisition as to who inspired this look.
All hail the crazy colored sunglasses and interestingly designed blazers of Sir Elton John.
I gazed at the food cart-lingerer’s outfit and instantly began to hum "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." While Elton John is inarguably known best for his music in the 1970s, he has established himself as a fashion icon. Eclectic barely describes his signature looks as he has dazzled stage after stage around the world in fitted blazers, many in velour and boasting fanciful designs, popped collared shirts and florescent lensed sunglasses. It is a look that few can master, but one that Elton John and the food cart-lingerer did quite well.
To attempt your own female-focused version of Elton John’s style, try Hot Topic’s Ombre Lace Turquoise Polka Dot Retro Sunglasses and Forever 21’s Bold Shoulder Blazer. Pair the pieces with a bold color tank or colored shirt and a mini skirt for an ultra femme version of Elton John’s style.
Needless to say, I never found the sample sale, but my visual encounter with the food cart-lingerer made the crazed trip across Canal Street more than worth it.
I encourage fashionistas everywhere to become inspired by the boldest and most unique icons like Sir Elton John.