Taron Egerton’s Fashion at Cannes Film Festival Launches Deeper Conversations
The thing I love about Cannes Film Festival – besides the movies – is the extra AF fashion. The stars go bigger here that the Golden Globes and Academy Awards combined. Must be something in that salt and sun filled French Riviera air. The fashion is more, more, more.
This year I set my sights on the men. Really, just one man because I think what he is representing is worth exploring deeper. Taron Egerton, the star of the Elton John biopic, “Rocketman” playing Elton himself had pretty big shoes to fill. I have yet to see the movie – it hits Canadian theatres May 31 – but I’m interested nonetheless.
Elton John is one of my childhood – who am I kidding – adult heroes. I have “Your Song” tattooed on my ribs I’m that far in. Plus, I am a sucker for any rock stories filled with sex, drugs, and feather costumes. If I’m being more candid, I believe Elton John was the first person I learned that was gay. Of course there was LGBTQ people in my life, but none as “out” or as prominent when I was a young. Elton was an idol of mine for many other reasons: that voice, those piano hands, and yes, the fabulous costumes. His larger than life presence and kooky album covers I stared at while listening to my parents records gave my sheltered, rural Saskatchewan soul a glance of what was outside in the big, often glittery world. Although I knew I would never be a gay, male, popstar, I could certainly celebrate one.
Perhaps that’s one of the lessons I learned when I was very young: how to have genuine crush on a person in a non-romantic way yet love them all the same. Similar to a friend, I learned to know what it is to love a man and not be in love with him. I did not have a tonne of non-traditional relationship exposure when I was a kid so seeing different people and ways and things in Hollywood and on the pop charts helped me see a different future. A bright, flamboyant, freaking fantastic future or at least a, “life less ordinary.”
That’s partly why I’m so interested in how Taron Egerton would approach this promotional blitz. Playing Elton John is no joke. I can’t wait to see what trials, tribulations, and eventual triumphs we the viewer will get to see. It is – hopefully – going to be as tumultuously messy and as real as his in-the-flesh life.
Hearing stories like Elton John’s help break down traditional, one dimensional narratives and help others – like the next generation of little Saskatchewan Sarah’s – see that differences, when celebrated, are beautiful. This world is fascinating and rich in variety as long as we teach one another to be curious enough to see it that way. If we tell each other to believe that differences should be approached with fear and shame and are best kept in the deep, deep dark, the fallout can and does destroy lives.
Back to Taron, I was curious if he would be a bit bolder in his clothing choices – embrace the Elton so to speak – while ensuring he didn’t look like a copycat caricature. I wanted him to still look like himself, just a tiny bit extra.
He did not disappoint. For the photo call he did not opt for basic suit or tux, no, he wore a two piece Etro delicate paisley suit that popped on the red carpet backed by the bright blue ocean. Men who choose to wear delicate prints, I feel, challenge gender norms and can help to redefine what we think is masculine. Delicacy and vulnerability is strength and I think more brazen young boys and men are helping the rest of us see it as such.
For the big night’s premiere, he wore a gunmetal grey velvet dinner jacket over his white dress shirt, black bow tie, and black pants that nodded to something extra without overpowering or upstaging the true man of the hour: Sir Elton John. This is strategic styling nuance that should be applauded.
We often are quick to put women on the best dressed lists – rightly so – but I’d like to also more readily include some of the best dressed gents and non-binary. Fashion is a buffet: choose what you like, leave what you don’t, but we can all agree we want lots of options, yes?
If we can’t see it, we can’t choose it. Thus, the more choices for us each to select our own flavour is absolutely the merrier.