Designing for the King – Elvis Presley’s Style

Elvis Presley was totally unique.

No one sounded like him. No one dressed like him. If you’ve been to Graceland, you know its design is totally one-of-a-kind.

Elvis didn’t follow trends; he was a trendsetter. People watched him slick back his black hair into the perfect pompadour, were dazzled by his eye-catching stage wear and took notice of his custom Pink Cadillac – and then tried their best to mimic his style. He turned a Southern Colonial mansion into a home like only the king could, complete with countless mirrors, a stylish TV room that bears his own personal motto and a mind-blowing billiards room. Who else would dare bring the jungle into his own den?

During Elvis Week 2016, we’ll delve into Elvis’ personal style with a panel called Designing for the King, where three designers – Bill Eubanks, Lowell Hays and Hal Lansky – will talk about what it was like to decorate for, dress and accessorize the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.


 

Designer Bill Eubanks helped design the pool room at Graceland.

Designer Bill Eubanks helped design the Pool Room at Graceland.

 

The Pool Room features more than 350 yards of fabric, and it took three people 10 days to hang it all.

The Pool Room features more than 350 yards of fabric, and it took three people 10 days to hang it all.

While still in interior design school, Bill Eubanks’ met none other than Elvis Presley, who invited him to Graceland to take a look at the home’s interior design. The guys hit it off, and Bill designed several rooms at Graceland, including the Pool Room and the TV Room.

The TV Room and Pool Room are two of the most visually stunning rooms at Graceland. The TV Room features a mirrored ceiling (be sure to look up and snap a selfie while you’re here!) and a lightning bolt painted on the wall in brilliant yellow, navy and white. The Pool Room is drenched in fabric – more than 350 yards, covering the walls and ceiling – as well as colorful and exotic furniture and decorations.

Bill’s successes continued after his time at Graceland. He’s been named one of the top 50 designers by Elements of Living and receive the inaugural “Star of Design” award from the Design Center of the Americas.


 

Many of Elvis' clothes in the 1950s came from Lansky Bros. in Memphis. Owner Bernard Lansky helped Elvis pick out the most stylish pieces for both stage and casual wear.

Many of Elvis’ clothes in the 1950s came from Lansky Bros. in Memphis. Owner Bernard Lansky helped Elvis pick out the most stylish pieces for both stage and casual wear.

 

This is the Lansky location that Elvis and other musicians frequented. Lansky Bros. has two locations in Memphis now.

This is the Lansky location that Elvis and other musicians frequented. Lansky Bros. has two locations in Memphis now.

Before Elvis changed the game with his eye-catching jumpsuits, he got many of the fashionable suits he wore on stage – and on TV – at Lansky Bros., right here in Memphis.

Elvis started shopping at Lansky Bros. when he was in high school and befriended the store’s owner, Bernard. In fact, Elvis sported some Lansky threads on his first “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance. Lansky Bros. became a hot spot for musicians, like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, to shop.

Lansky Bros. has two locations in Memphis, and Bernard Lansky’s son, Hal, will join us during Elvis Week to discuss how his father and Elvis worked together to create the king’s distinctive style.


 

Elvis worked with jeweler Lowell Hays on his jewelry designs.

Elvis worked with jeweler Lowell Hays on his jewelry designs.

 

This is Elvis' TCB ring, created by Lowell Hays. Lowell still uses the molds he used to create Elvis' jewelry to create jewelry for fans.

This is Elvis’ TCB ring, created by Lowell Hays. Lowell still uses the molds he used to create Elvis’ jewelry to create jewelry for fans.

When fans think of some of the king’s most famous pieces of jewelry, chances are they’re thinking of a piece created by jeweler Lowell Hays.

Lowell and Elvis began working together on jewelry designs in 1970. While Elvis and Priscilla designed the TCB logo, it was Lowell who brought Elvis’ famous TCB ring to life. Lowell made more than 200 pieces of jewelry for Elvis; in addition to the TCB ring, he also created Elvis’ lion pendant and chain, “Aloha from Hawaii” horseshoe ring, American flag pin and much more.

Lowell now uses those molds he used to create Elvis’ jewelry to create fine and fashion lines of jewelry, which you can purchase at Shop Graceland.


 

Join Hal Lansky, Bill Eubanks and Lowell Hays at Designing for the King, during Elvis Week 2016 here in Memphis. Designing for the King will be Thursday, August 11. Get your tickets today!


14 Comments

  1. Linda Hanson

    This Blog is very interesting, I would like to see more.
    Thank You.

  2. Laraine Bashford.

    Absolutely fabulous, so interesting to learn about all the people involved in making ELVIS who he was.
    Still love him to bits. Thank you.
    Laraine
    President of the Ace Club Elvis FC Europe.

  3. Laraine Bashford.

    Absolutely fabulous, so interesting to learn about all the people involved during his career, to help ELVIS become who he was and still is, someone who is loved by millions. I still love him to bits.
    Laraine
    President of theOfficial Ace Club Elvis FC Europe

  4. Olivia King

    Elvis was awesome. I own a TCB ring I bought at Graceland last August. Gotten so many compliments on it too.

  5. Cheryl Spurlock

    It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Graceland, would love to go again. I’ve always been one of Elvis’ biggest fans. I have one set of jewelry and would love to have more. I have some pieces of clothing too. One of my regrets was never getting to see him in person, a little too late on that one. I’ll get back down there one of these days real soon. I’ve got all of his music, in fact, I’ve got some albums too and a lot of memorabilia in my glass units. Just loved listening to him so much.

  6. Elvis was just the coolest dresser because he looked classy!

  7. Steve Harris

    That was a very interesting blog, indeed. Thanks for sharing some more insight into memories from the years gone by.

  8. Dominga Garamillo

    Very interesting facts about the KING and his clothes and accessories.

  9. Jim e Hovde

    Looks awesome… Everything!!!

  10. Jim e Hovde

    The King had Class…

  11. Margie LaSala

    It is wonderful to read all these items about Elvis. He was wonderful and always will be to me. No one can take his place!

  12. Jo L. Jackson

    enjoyed this re “The King”.

  13. nelson Garcia

    I Love Elvis i From Brasil

  14. Connie

    I love reading all I can about Elvis. He was truly an amazing man in so many ways. I have been to Graceland and would love to go back some day. You can feel his presence there. I ordered a TCB pendent from Lowell Hays and had the pleasure of speaking to him on the phone. Elvis will live forever in our hearts.

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