Elvis Jumpsuits

Bill Belew and his design team made an outstanding contribution to the definition of Elvis Presley’s personal style on stage and off.  Belew designed the now iconic black leather suit Elvis wore for the key components of his all important 1968 “comeback” television special, along with his other outfits for the show.  The collaboration continued through the 1970s, including the famous jumpsuits (here) Elvis wore on stage, most notably the American Eagle jumpsuit made for the global television concert event Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite.
The first jumpsuits were simple in their ornamentation – for instance, some with metal accents, some with long fringe. All had long coordinating belts knotted and dangling to the side – some in cloth with ornamentation to match the suit, some with fringe, some in macramé. In the early 70s, the jumpsuits evolved with increasingly elaborate metal and rhinestone studding, matching capes and coordinating big-buckle leather belts. From a point in 1974 on, the jumpsuit designs featured  flashier and more intricate, depicting animals: Eagles, Tiger, Dragon, Phoenix, Zebra – and the capes were phased out.