The Icon: Jarvis Cocker
Pulp is having a moment. They played a packed house at Radio City last night and they’re headed to Coachella this weekend, with more than a few talk show gigs along the way. It’s a reminder of something many fans never forgot: Jarvis Cocker is a very well-dressed man.
In case you’re not convinced, we’ve got photographic evidence…
Pulp usually gets tagged as a Britpop band, but Jarvis had been kicking around since the punk days. By the time they broke through in the 90s, Cocker was mining the kind of post-Bowie androgyny you see in designer ad pages. Of course, he had the frame and the cheekbones to pull it off, but he had bigger things ahead of him…
As time went on, he caught up with the more shambling style of his colleagues like Blur and Pavement. The nautical sweaters great, but mostly we’re interested in the mussed hair and the double-wide shades. He’s halfway to his trademark here, circa 2001. Now if he could just find his way to a suit…
And, at long last, the Jarvis we know and love. This finds him chatting with Flea circa 2007, in the same corduroy blazer he wore on his first solo album cover. It’s a dressed down look, compared to the mod suits he’s rocking these days, but between the glasses and the high shoulders, he’s already starting to resemble a young Yves Saint Laurent.
By 2009, the beard was in and he’d locked down enough suits that he didn’t care what anyone else was wearing. That held true if he was in a room full of denim-clad hipsters or—as in this case—if he was standing next to a lineup of tuxedo-clad movie stars. Once you start showing up Clooney, you know you’re doing something right.
This is Jarvis circa Tuesday night, heading up a newly reassembled Pulp on Jimmy Fallon and, if we may say so, bringing down the house. It’s been a long time since a rocker convincingly wore a suit, but this is how you do it. Shine on, sir.
- — Russell Brandom