Taron Egerton is a busy man. Since he sprang on to our screens as Eggsy in Kingsman: The Secret Service back in 2014, he’s starred in nine other films which have built him up to the leading man status he’s currently enjoying in Rocketman. Of course, this means that his day-planner is more packed than ever with the unavoidable press conferences, screenings and premieres that go alongside such a powerhouse of a movie. This leaves little time for clothes shopping, despite the fact that he needs to look on top form for all these events – and that’s where his stylist (and our Style Director), Gareth Scourfield, comes in.
As the mastermind behind Egerton’s recent red carpet appearances for Rocketman, Scourfield has dressed the actor in a series of sharp-cut suits that nod to Elton John’s gloriously jazzy personal style. First there was a vibrant Etro paisley print suit at the Cannes Film Festival, worn with mustard-coloured sunglasses. Next up, a zig-zag patterned Seventies-style suit at the film’s London premiere, coordinated with a paisley tie and electric blue Trickers brogues, as well as a watch that once used to belong to John.
However, what’s interesting about the outfits Egerton’s been wearing is how different they are from how we’re used to seeing him – generally he’s seen at premieres in more muted suits (traditional cuts and grey fabrics) and his casual vibe is low-key, minimalist rock ‘n’ roll (black denim, Harrington jackets, the occasional pork pie hat). In a nod to the film, Scourfield has steered Egerton away from his monochrome comfort zone and incorporated winks to John’s love of colour and pattern, all while keeping it feel distinctly like the actor as himself – not still in his role as the biopic’s lead (he hasn’t worn a sequin yet).
To get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it’s like to style a Hollywood star with a manic schedule, we spoke to Scourfield about how he put together Egerton’s recent red carpet looks.
What’s your starting point when styling Egerton?
We share inspiration with each other over text – he sends me images, I send him images. Some of it’s old Hollywood references, some of its film, some current catwalk stuff, or a shoot in a magazine. It’s very much a collaborative process. It has to feel like him, more than anything else.
A lot of Egerton’s looks have referenced classic Elton John costumes. Can you tell me more about that?
When the first press came out, he was quite wary because lots of briefs were coming in that just wanted him dressed as Elton. But he was like, ‘no, I’m my own person.’ But there is a side to Taron that is very similar to Elton, which is why they’ve connected so well, I think. Taron’s also a performer and there’s an eccentricity to his character that as the tour has progressed has come out in the way we’ve worked, through styling and tailoring, and adding colour and pattern to his outfits.
What was the inspiration behind Egerton’s paisley print Etro suit at Cannes?
We wanted to bring some more of colour and pattern into his suit, which would reference Elton without being too flamboyant. And I have to hand it to Taron, he’s become a lot braver with his style choices during this tour. The Etro suit was on the rail, and we went around the houses and kept coming back to it, before he finally said he thought it was the Cannes number. And I think that was a pivotal moment of trying to explore a bit more [with his outfits].
Egerton’s and Elton’s suits coordinated well at Cannes. Do you work with his team to decide what they’ll both wear?
We never know what Elton will be wearing in advance. As with all his concerts, he decides 20 minutes before he goes on stage what he’s going to wear. So it’s impossible to predict. But, in a case of life coming full circle, Elton’s stylist [Jo Hambro] was my first boss.
I did ask Taron if he had spoken to Elton about what he was wearing for Cannes, because his Gucci powder blue suit was picked up in the print on Taron’s Etro suit. But he said ‘no, we had no idea what each other was wearing’. So it was just a happy coincidence.
How did you come up with his look for the London premiere of Rocketman?
London’s premiere look had a very Seventies vibe to it, which feels very of the moment. It was inspired by some of the Edward Sexton numbers that Elton wore in the Seventies. Although it hasn’t got such broad rolled shoulders, it’s definitely got the lapels and the wide high waisted trousers. It’s just really elegant, although not a traditional red carpet look.
And we’ve picked some bits out, like the electric blue buttons, and the electric blue Trickers shoes, which nod to Elton’s style. And Taron’s also wearing a Franck Mueller watch that Matthew Vaughn [producer of Rocketman and director of Kingsman] bought him, that was previously owned by Elton.
What can we expect from Egerton’s outfits on the rest of the Rocketman tour?
There’ll be a lot more colour and pattern, some interesting bomber styles, lots of boxy floral shirts and loose pleat trousers. It’s moved on from where his style was before. It just feels much more relaxed, and more himself. We’ve also got a mix of British labels like Orlebar Brown and Oliver Spencer in there – Taron needs to have that kind of connection with a brand, he’s not a label queen. And we’ve got something really exciting planned for the New York premiere, so watch this space.
Rocketman is released in cinemas on 22 May