Who is the male fashion icon for summer 2018?
Jeff Goldblum. What’s that, you cry? A 65-year-old dude who has been around longer than many of your readers have been alive? You have lost your mind, Freeman! Not yet, my friends. Not yet.
Goldblum is one of those perennials – like a fine wine, a little black dress – who gets more delectable with time. Many of us first noticed him in Annie Hall, looking for his mantra, and resembling a tall, dark glass of Guinness. He then debuted his trademark fast-talking geek persona in The Big Chill, later perfected in The Fly. Shall we run through some of Goldblum’s greatest hits? G’wan, treat yo’self! His swarthy weirdness in The Tall Guy, his otherworldly smouldering in Earth Girls Are Easy and, best of all, his legendary purr of a laugh in Jurassic Park. Fans all have their favourite Goldblum phase: some like the fresh-faced innocent of the 70s, others the eccentric silver-haired jazz player of today.
Maybe it is true that our tastes are formed in childhood because my favourite Goldblum will always be the shaggy-haired, shag-me faced one of the 80s, whom I first saw when my mother – for reasons that defy comprehension now – took me and my little sister to see Earth Girls Are Easy. Well, let’s just say that the moment Jeff, freshly shorn of his alien fur, steps out of the salon left a VERY strong imprint on an impressionable mind. Hmm. Yes. Mmm.
ANYWAY. So, we all know about Goldblum’s enduring appeal – the issue is why is he so relevant now. Well, “Jeff: summer 2018 style icon” was confirmed when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel in the US, wearing a, shall we say, distinctive shirt from Prada’s autumn/winter 2018 collection. As it happened, Pusha T wore the same shirt the same week and a Twitter poll about who wore it best inevitably named Jeff the winner, because one of them may well be a celebrated hip-hop star, but the other one is Jeff Goldblum, and when you go up against Jeff in the style stakes, my friend, you are a wooden sword and he is drone warfare.
Goldblum is having what we in the business call “a fashion moment”. He can be found in GQ, posing in Pucci swimming shorts, larking around in Prada and apparently having the time of his life. Fashion blogs are ablaze with discussions about his essential Jeff-ness, and why it is so essential. The question, really, is why now? Why the sudden love for Jeff from all these Jeff-come-latelies, when he has always been exactly as he is now: goofy, eccentrically dressed, cheerful, handsome? He hasn’t changed, but we must have. How?
Well, you will all be relieved to know that I have been thinking about this a lot. Here is my theory: Jeff represents the opposite of everything we are seeing in the US at the moment. While the rest of the country is hopelessly locked in the deranged news cycle, Goldblum comes across as an ethereal eccentric who doesn’t even read a newspaper, let alone a news website. Goldblum doesn’t waste time on social media because he is too busy making a jazz album, hanging out with fellow oddballs in jazz clubs and buying utterly absurd shirts in Prada – because why not? And it has to be said, he looks a lot happier, and better, than the rest of us.
More than that, Goldblum represents not giving a damn. Without getting into an “Oh, social media; oh, Kardashians; oh, narcissism – what a world” rant, Goldblum, for a celebrity, comes across as refreshingly unconcerned with how he looks. The fact that he wore that completely ridiculous shirt on Kimmel sums up his modus operandi: he cares so little about how he looks that it’s cool. He just happens to have an amazing, innate sense of high-fashion, wearing clothes that look absurd and wouldn’t get past any stylist, but are adored by fashion people who, by nature, love absurd clothes.
So, there we go. Goldblum: loves absurd clothes, doesn’t care how he looks, doesn’t shout at people on Twitter, is crazy handsome (still). He manages to be one of the few humans on Earth who is an inspiration to fashion people and should be one to non-fashion folk, too. Does Goldblum know the secret of life? I wouldn’t bet against it [insert purring Goldblum laugh].
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