A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the upcoming Elvis Friends Palm Springs Weekend. Elvis' costume designer Bill Belew will be one of the guests during that weekend. The people behind the weekend gave us a chance to ask Bill some questions. This opportunity we grabbed with both hands and through a combination of old-fashioned mail and e-mail we can present you the answers here. Elvis Friends Hollywood also gives you, our reader, the opportunity to ask Bill Belew the question(s) we forgot. You can fill out the form at the bottom of this article and we'll forward them to Elvis Friends Hollywood. During the weekend in June they'll put the questions to Bill. And of course you'll get the answers through us.
Can you give us an impression of what you are doing nowadays? Are you still doing anything Elvis-related?
I am still designing for TV and private clients. When not doing this, I'm a volunteer at a local hospital.
About your work for Elvis. Was it something special for you, or just another job? Of course, from the fan's point of view, anything Elvis-related is special, but we would like to know how it was for "normal" people.
At first it was just a job working and designing for Elvis. As we became good friends, it became a special job.
Of course we read a lot about Elvis' jumpsuits, some of the ideas and stories behind it. In general, what was Elvis' input. For instance, did he say "I want something with a Peacock on it" or did he tell how he wanted it, regarding colours, style and so on?
Everything was left up to me as far as designing. Elvis was great in the respect he never bothered me about what I designed. On a couple of occasions he would mention he would like something...such as the lion or leopard and the Hawaiian Special he wanted the American Eagle.
What is your own favourite design of an Elvis jumpsuit? And do you know what Elvis' was?
Elvis never made any comment on any suit, so I really don't know his
feelings. I guess if I was to choose one it would be the dragon suit.
Did Elvis have explicitly favourite materials? And did he really hate others?
No, all the suits from the beginning were made from Stretch Gab and that's what we always used.
Do you like Elvis the artists? Do you have some of his records?
Yes I have almost all his records and he is one of my favourite artists.
What is your favourite artists and/or music?
That is a hard question. I just love music and have loved working with all the different artists over the years.