The Icon: Art Garfunkel
The ’70s get a bad rap.
We understand why. It was a time of excess and bad decisions, marked by nightclubs, drug use and immoderate lapel size—but it wasn’t all sleaze. In the background, almost unnoticed, there were a few wise souls playing out an honest, unpretentious style. They weren’t the front men, but the sidekicks: the Oateses, the Laceys, the Hutches…
And most of all, the Garfunkels.
This Avedon photo sums the man up perfectly—and it’s especially relevant amid the recent turtleneck trendlet. Mr. Garfunkel is the one to watch here, if only for the perfect male-pattern ’fro. While the other guy (his name escapes us) comes off like a Franciscan monk, Art just looks like a Greenwich Village scenester—which is roughly what he was. It’s not aggressive or trendy; just simple. He took the same approach to a surprising number of staples, including the toggle coat and the sweater vest. And naturally, he knew his way around a tux.
Words of Wisdom:
”I did have a lucky thing going on there in my throat.”
The collegiate vibe isn’t an accident. Before he was a professional singer, he was a professional student, bumming through architecture school. Even once he hit the big time, he kept a meticulous reading list. It’s a strange thing for a would-be rock star to do, but if you’re genuinely more interested in books, it makes perfect sense.
- — Russell Brandom