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Hits On The Catwalk

By Peter VerbruggenDec 9, 2002
LONDON - “Heartbreak Hotel” and “All Shook Up” are no longer ‘just’ Elvis Presley hits. Twenty five top designers of the world transformed them to dresses, costumes and suits. Last week, on Thursday Evening, BMG Europe presented the much anticipated “Elvis Fashion Line” in Sotheby’s Olympia Hall. Elvisnews.com was among the invited guests.

The Elvis Fashion Line. At first, it seems one of the strangest examples of Elvismania, along perhaps with the 1985 Elvis Christmas Ornaments that Graceland put out. Yet, a contemporary Elvis dress is not that unusual, says Marcel Swagers, marketing manager of BMG Europe.

“Elvis is fashion. He gave a whole generation the chance to dress differently, to free themselves from the mall. He was the rebel of the fifties, the star of the seventies. A style maker, fashion inspirator and musical icon all in one. He embodied music and fashion.”

With the current Elv1s-CD “The Number One Hits” on the shelves, BMG subsequently introduced several of the world’s leading designers to the idea of creating an Elvis inspired outfit based on his music.

“Our baseline during the Elv1s-project is ‘Before anyone did anything, Elvis did everything’. That is not just a tag line. Further reflection upon the statement reveals how Elvis manifests his music and his life in our lives today. From the clothes we wear to the language we speak. Like royals before him, Elvis was the first to introduce many every day occurrences in his ever-expanding musical kingdom. 25 years after his passing, he is still with us in sight, in sound, music and fashion. You just can’t keep a good man down. Certainly not in the world of fashion.”

25 designers – from Poland to New York – committed themselves to their task with a rarely seen enthusiasm. The blending of their own creativity and the music of the King resulted in a dazzling fashion show on the catwalk of the prestigious Olympia Hall in the center of London. Among the designers were big names such as Tata Naka (Japan), Ben De Lisi (New York) and Temperly London (Great Brittain).

Every dress was offered for sale after the show. The proceeds of the auction – over 15,000.00 dollars – went to the British Prince’s Trust, in support of young people trying to reach their goals and live their dreams. Top dress was “A Little Less Conversation/Remix” by Ben De Lisi, sold for $ 1,750.00. Also, the black Elv1s Epiphone guitar was offered for sale. An anonymous but generous bidder bought it for $ 1,400.00.
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