An NBC male style icon list has the classics from Bond to the Beatles, Cary Grant to Sidney Pointer. Their contemporary entries often include counterparts to those classics, such as John Hamm of Mad Men, David Beckham and George Clooney, of course, Johnny Depp, Richard Gere, Sean Combs.
At GQ (that would be Gentlemen's Quarterly), they shake it up a bit: John Updike replaces Jack Keroac, Boris Becker supplants Bjorn Borg, Mick Jagger gets traded in for Peter Tosh.
But really, what makes a man a style icon? Because if it's just clothes, well, Houston, we've got a problem. Gee, doesn't he wear his suit well… Yawn.
We at SGS have our own Swoon List, which is geared for grownup girls who prefer a little substance with their style – and Stephen Colbert happens to be on it.
When Colbert strode out onto the stage of 92Y the other night (to a wild roar of applause from the sold out crowd), I can't say his wardrobe was arresting. He was greeting documentary doyen Ken Burns, who holds his own in the style sector.
A friend of mine said he looks like a '70s muppet; I think he looks like an imp. But by the end of the evening I realized his haircut (complete with facial hair, yay) and wardrobe suit him to a tee. Plus, Burns is just as adept at peeling away the layers of living subjects as historical ones.
Besides, there's every indication that Stephen Colbert may very well be a subject of historical study. After all, he has run for president!
But is there anything behind the stuffed shirt besides collar stays? He does have the square haircut that our expert said is a prerequisite for exuding manliness.
And Burns revealed that one of the secrets behind the dizzying brilliance of 'Formidable Opponent' is fashion-related – a camera that changes the color of Colbert's shirt and tie. Savoir-faire is everywhere. He also got Colbert to divulge his favorite color: cobalt blue. And astrological sign: Taurus.
But between these stylish revelations were the hard work and tightly calibrated schedule that goes in to each Colbert Report taping, his stint as a Sunday school teacher, his career beginnings in Chicago improv and on Jon Stewart's Daily Show doing promos for his show before it became a show.
He also exhibited an extraordinary generosity to his staff and humanity itself, all while promoting his new book: America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't. (Personally I was hoping for a segment on double and triple negatives but alas...)
It's a 3-D extravaganza of a tome – heavy. Literally, it weighs about a pound (I was definitely heavier when holding it while on the scale) and it has Depthiness. Ken Burns said he laughed out loud at almost every page, but I'm sure that's because the logic is so profound – sort of slap-on-the-head moments of why haven't these suggestions been done before?!
Colbert read a few from his Easy Solutions chapter:
- Think back to when we had a thriving economy. What jacket were [you] wearing? (Check the pockets.)
- Everyone get in the shower. That's where the best ideas happen.
- Everybody get a fresh new haircut. That'll make us feel like a new country.
But his hair is already perfect. When I met him afterward, I told him that Glenn Beck is starting a clothing line. He is – called 1791, when American was great (about 4 minutes after we'd officially become a country). So I thought it stood to reason that there should be a Stephen Colbert clothing line. And he said yes! Right after the perfume.
So you heard it here first – he is right on track to being a conservative style icon, as bacon is money!
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