John Varvatos believes he wouldn't be a designer today, had he not grown up with so many musical memories.
The Michigan native says his first clear recollection is when he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and was impressed by their Cuban-heeled boots. Later on, he attended concerts, but says live rock & roll wasn't just about hearing the songs. He was transfixed by the way bands dressed. Each member of MC5 and the Stooges, for instance, had individual style, yet as a group, they resembled ''a band of brothers.''
John himself was briefly in a band. While he realised he wasn't talented enough to make it, he did know that somehow, rock would remain an essential part of his life.
With his new book, Rock in Fashion, Varvatos showcases the performers who have inspired him. Iggy Pop and Robert Plant are apparently two of his favourites, as they are mentioned or depicted loads of times.
But there are a few EJ images. In the ''Behind the Shades'' chapter, Elton is seen in understated eyewear rather than some of the flashier frames he's been known to wear. And the songwriter himself isn't seen in a chapter on shoes: Instead, Robert Altman just chose to snap the star's feet in winged ankle boots. In the ''Mad Hatters,''section, though, Robert Knight's photograph has Elton playing piano in a flashy feathered top hat.
Overall, Rock in Fashion , which also includes younger artists like Lady Gaga and Jack White, offers a nice mix of the expected--shots of John Lennon in a ''New York City'' tee shirt and Bryan Ferry in a custom-tailored suit--to uncommon images, such as Mick Jagger wearing a cowboy hat and denim jacket over his spandex jumpsuit, and Frank Zappa in a vintage-styled jacket.