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Jumpsuit Junkie
02-25-2005, 12:15 AM
Just wanted to know what peoples general thoughts were about duplicate Jumpsuits? Now I know there were several Jumpsuits which had two versions e.g The White Nail Jumpsuit, Black Spanish Flowers and the other that springs to mind is the Rainfall Jumpsuits.

Do you think that multiple suits were made as a matter of course or that if a Jumpsuit became popular with Elvis another was commissioned?

The reason I bring this up I have read on another forum that the Mexican Sundial only had one copy made! the reason for there being originally 3 buttons going down to two was the fact that they were washed in between each show and the wear and tear took its toll.

I am uncertain as to the validity of this argument for two reasons, the Mexican Sundial first showed up in 1974 along with the King Of Spades, and the fact that Elvis' weight fluctuated somewhat in the intervening years would point to the fact that possibly two had been made. There is the argument that Elvis could have been possibly of a similar size but having seen pictures from 1974, I find that quite hard to believe that would be the case in June of 1977. It is however possible that the suit had been altered but somehow I don't think so, Elvis had given up on being measured at this point and it would have made more sense to have a new one commissioned.

Also the frequency the Mexican Sundial was being used in 1977 would mean there would have been a marked deterioration in the appearance of the suit with or without repairs!

I could be wrong of course :blush:

Matt

Captain Elwood David
02-25-2005, 12:25 AM
I personally don't buy the stories that there are two Sundials.

Just one.

The argument, mainly stemming from button # differences, ............... is an extremely flimsy one - IMO.

These kinds of things, generally speaking, ............ stem from over-active imaginations of hardcore fans / collectors / etc..


- Capt. "EL."

Lonniebealestreet
02-25-2005, 02:29 AM
Interesting.

This begs the question of what washing methods were employed for these suits. Were they just cleaned with alcohol or something?

Leroy
02-25-2005, 07:39 AM
Dear fellows, I would like to react on this "mystery" of the "Mexican Sundial". Yes, there was only one. If you look closely at the pictures taken in October 1974 the suit is (or looks) larger than the other suits. The same goes for the "Ace of Spades". Besides the belly area of the suit is able to strech so that leaves extra "room". Matt enclosed two pictures one of them being 1977 and he is not that heavy there.

For the buttons. I have a picture that shows the loss of one button. If Elvis indeed had two versions of that suit the loss of buttons would not have occured.

There are other suits however of which I believe a second version was made. The "Indian Feather" and the "Blue Rainbow". Both suits were fitting tight the first time they were used but were much larger when they came back at the end of 1976. Although Elvis managed to lose some weight I also believe we were fooled a little by a larger size of clothing.

Captain Elwood David
02-25-2005, 07:49 AM
Excellent input, Leroy.

------------------------------------

It is my understanding that there are indeed "multiple originals" (second somewhat identical versions) of some stage-suits. They are the exception, however, & not the general case / rule.

------------------------------------

It is also my understanding that the stage-suits were dry-cleaned between venues.


- Capt. "EL."

Leroy
02-25-2005, 10:20 AM
That's right Captain. I just have to investigate which suits got doubled. I'm convinced about the "Blue Rainbow" and the "Indian Feather". Other possibilities are the "Red Bird" and of course the "Aloha Bald Headed Eagle". I'm pretty sure there's a difference between the 1973 version and the 1974 version. The differences might be found in the location of the stars.

Over the years many people (including myself) were fooled by the fact that during the Aloha Special Elvis wore a blue lined cape while the leg inserts were red lined. So rumours came that there must have been a red lined cape too and and a suit with blue leg inserts. But it just had to do with the "red, white and blue theme" of America. (And for Holland because of the strong historical bond between our countries. I always call Holland the 51st state of America)

Albert
02-25-2005, 12:45 PM
Weren't the jumpsuits brought to a local dry steamer while being on tour? Also the reason that during an afternoon show he would wear suit "x", and during the evening show suit "y".

I believe that I've read that only one time it went wrong with having the jumpsuits cleaned local, and that the suit was returned quite damaged.

Leroy
02-25-2005, 01:02 PM
Yes, they were dry cleaned at a local company. And with so many decorations it's almost impossible not to damage something after some time.
The suits that were used the most all miss some stones. The "White Matador" misses a triangler stone on the left front and a round nail on the arm. The "Aloha" missing some stones. The "Nail Studded Suit" missing a stone.

I guess the most damaged suits ought to be both "Prehistoric Birds" and the "Mexican Sundial".

Captain Elwood David
02-25-2005, 01:33 PM
It's pretty common for truly genuine EP owned items to have some sort of damage / heavy wear secondary to ordinary usage. (Genuine EP stage used guitars, for example, often have "scars" on the reverse body due to EP's large stage belt buckles ............... and there are other numerous examples).

Gotta be very wary of "mint" or too "new" items ............ whether they be clothing items, jewelry, belts (etc.), or jumpsuits.

I'm sure that some missing pieces from jumpsuits were also intentionally procured by the cleaners themselves ( ........... oops, .......... this one accidently fell off ......... ;) ) ................


- Capt. "EL."

Jumpsuit Junkie
02-25-2005, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the input guys, it helps to get perspective from various sources to see what the general consensus is. (y)

The Blue Rainbow and the Indian Feather had a duplicate made and were worn less than the Mexican Sundial, this just seems a little odd :hmm:

But anyway there we have it.

Matt

Lonniebealestreet
02-25-2005, 06:46 PM
I'm not saying I don't buy there only being one Sundial suit, but it's funny how in most cases in which that issue is addressed, it is indicated that there are two.

I had read that the suits were rushed to the local cleaners after the shows, but after learning that there was only one Sundial suit, that scenario seemed less likely...thus my suggestion of hand-cleaning with alcohol or the like.

I wonder if the confusion initially stemmed from the button issue--great point of information, Leroy, about the photo in which one sleeve has 2 and the other, 3--or what because that aside, I don't see why an assumption like that would be made.

Those who maintain there are two suits ought to prove their point by tracking down Sundial #2!

You'll never find it though because I had that fireproof closet concealed and passcode-protected years ago! :P

Leroy
02-25-2005, 09:59 PM
Matt, about the "Blue Rainbow" and the "Indian Feather" that's just obvious to see. You really can see the differences between the 1974 and 1975 version and the ones he used late 1976. Check the pictures of (for example) the 1975 Huntsville concerts. The "Indian Feather" fits very tight and in Memphis he even split the seat of his pants. In February 1977 he ballooned but still had lots of room (in the same suit?)

At the end of 1976 he was still (or again) interested in changes. That's why re-creating favourite jumpsuits is quite a possible option. By late spring 1977 he wasn't interested anymore nore were his surroundings and he fell back in the "summer of 1976 routine" of wearing the same clothes on and on.

But back to the "Mexican Sundial": I agree that those who believe in a second version of this suit should be able to proof something. I will post my "lost button" picture here. Just look at his left arm and see the tread where once a button was.
By the way; if there was a second version, why not used that one instead of the damaged one????
I'm very anxious to see if anybody has some proof. It's all in tiny details where you have to look.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/Leroyal/Elvis%20Presley/April-May1977.jpg

Leroy
02-25-2005, 10:29 PM
And here three different pictures of the "Indian Feather". The first one from June 10, 1975. The suit is tight here.
The second one is from Anaheim December 1976. See how much space Elvis has left right under his armpit. You can't see his back here but there's some space too.
The third picture is from February 1977. Elvis gained some weight but still has enough space. Now I do agree that a suit can be let out but not that much.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/Leroyal/Elvis%20Presley/10_jun_75_02.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/Leroyal/Elvis%20Presley/Anaheim1976.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/Leroyal/Elvis%20Presley/197721februariCharlotte.jpg

Jumpsuit Junkie
02-25-2005, 11:44 PM
Another picture from 1977 doesn't look very overweight here?

Quite why this Jumpsuit wasn't worn more often is a mystery?

Does anyone have photo's of this jumpsuit from Graceland??

Leroy
02-26-2005, 07:24 AM
You're absolutely right. He doesn't look overweight in that picture. But that's not difficult to explain. Just stand up, hold both your arms in the air and imagine that you try to make contact with someone who is a half a mile away in the middle of a crowd. Your body will react to that. More volume will go from your belly to your upperbody. It's a way of stretching.

I have two pictures of the "Indian Feather" on display but both of a doubtful quality and one from up close from a strange angle. But I will post them anyway.

boogie
11-19-2005, 08:32 AM
I was in Graceland last year...and what i can remember...i saw the tiger suit, mexican sundail, aztec, black phoenix, flame, pyramide, ...and to me,there were all the same size, very rare, but there was no suit to me that looked larger or smaller than the others...
I also think that the suits were made in a sort of stretch, and that it's possible that E just fit in during 76 and 77, and so i can believe that there was just one mexican sundail...

Leroy
11-20-2005, 07:05 AM
The fact that all suits in Graceland look the same size is because they were all taken in. The Elvis Presley Enterprises is an organisation who is very much in denial about the last years of Elvis. They want to carry out the perfect image of Elvis and are willing to re-create the myth to reach that goal.
I always lived under the impression that the jumpsuits from 1974 and 1975 were duplicated in a larger size for the last three tours of 1976. I?m talking about the ?Ace of Spades?, ?Blue Rainbow?, ?Inca Gold Leaf? and the ?Indian Feather?. But this was not the case.
Since the beginning of 1972 Elvis weight and measurements went up and down. The first years not as dramatic as later on but the 1971 suits ?White Matador? and ?Spectrum Suit? had to be let out before Elvis could use them for the April 1972 tour.
The only suit that was duplicated was the 1973 ?Aloha Bald Headed Eagle?. The version he used between April 1973 and March 1974 was not the same as the one he used in Aloha. It was a larger version. It was one of the first suits where the manufacturers anticipated with Elvis ever changing weight. From then on every suit could be let out or taken in. That why he managed to use a few earlier suits in later years.

orwell1976
11-21-2005, 09:48 AM
I don't think Elvis used two Indian Feather/Blue Rainbow suits in different sizes. I guess they where just re-fitted to the now somewhat expanded weight of Elvis and a wider belt was made. But I have read that Elvis had two Sundial suits that he altered from concert to concert. While Elvis wore one suit the other one was cleaned and brought to his next tour stop.

Leroy
11-21-2005, 05:49 PM
I don't think Elvis used two Indian Feather/Blue Rainbow suits in different sizes. I guess they where just re-fitted to the now somewhat expanded weight of Elvis and a wider belt was made.

That is what I already explained in my last post. It was my believe until I spoke with the ones involved in the jumpsuit world.
The story about the second "Mexican Sundial" is just a rumour. There was only one version that was used over and over again. It was so worn off that somewhere around April/May 1977 some cuff buttons came off and had to be re-organized. That's why after May you see only a total of eight instead of the usual twelve cuff buttons.
If there was time enough the suit was brought to the local dry cleaners; if not...... Elvis just used it again. It sounds like dirty talk and normally it would be. But the people around Elvis discovered a pill that would take care of the problem. If Elvis would use it he would still sweat but without the usual odor. The use of Brut would take care of the rest.

Jumpsuit Junkie
11-21-2005, 07:33 PM
That is what I already explained in my last post. It was my believe until I spoke with the ones involved in the jumpsuit world.
The story about the second "Mexican Sundial" is just a rumour. There was only one version that was used over and over again. It was so worn off that somewhere around April/May 1977 some cuff buttons came off and had to be re-organized. That's why after May you see only a total of eight instead of the usual twelve cuff buttons.
If there was time enough the suit was brought to the local dry cleaners; if not...... Elvis just used it again. It sounds like dirty talk and normally it would be. But the people around Elvis discovered a pill that would take care of the problem. If Elvis would use it he would still sweat but without the usual odor. The use of Brut would take care of the rest.

Having given it some thought and in light of the evidence given I tend to agree that there was only one Mexican Sundial, if you watch the CBS Special closely you can see that the Jumpsuit looks the worse for ware, I'm pretty sure that all the Jumpsuits that are displayed at Graceland have been given the once over, repaired before being displayed! another thought would be that possibly some of the ones on display could be replicas :hmm:

Leroy, why do you suppose that elvis chose the suits that he did to wear in 1976-77, is it that the weight he was back in 1974 most closely resembles the weight he was in 1976-77 or the fact that these suits were better able to be let out? there were certainly other Jumpsuits that could have been worn for example the Red & White Eagle and if the weight did closely match that of 1974 the Mad Tiger and Chinese Dragon could have been considered?

JJ

Leroy
11-21-2005, 10:29 PM
Elvis had an other taste in suits than most of us. The suits we consider to be the real beauties didn't really seem to interest him. For example; he hated the color red. In that light it's understandable he wore the "Red Matador" only three or four times. The same goes for the 1975 "Red Bird" . But like you I will always wonder why the beautiful "Peacock", "Mad Tiger" and "Chinese Dragon" were not used during the later years. I'm pretty sure these suits belonged to the ones that could be let out. Maybe, and this is pure a twist of my mind, it had something to do with the fact that Priscilla had something to do with the designs of these three above mentioned suits. The human psyche could work in a mysterious way. But again...it's pure speculation.
Another thing is that all suits he wore from the period between October 1976 until the end has an Native American en Native Mexican theme (except for the "Colourful Flame Suit"). Maybe we have to look in that direction to find some answers.

Tommy
11-21-2005, 11:09 PM
Thank you Leroy for all your interesting information regarding these jumpsuits. (y) :notworthy :notworthy

Tommy :)

Jumpsuit Junkie
11-21-2005, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the reply Leroy, Just to take this a little further, It seems unusual that given Elvis wore The Indian Feather in the early part of 1977, did something happen to this suit that stopped Elvis wearing it and rely so much on the Mexican Sundial?

Looking at Images from Feb 1977 of Elvis wearing the Indian Feather there was certainly plenty of room for the more weighty Elvis!

Matt

Leroy
11-22-2005, 12:50 AM
To tell you the truth it beats me. Space technical I guess the "Indian Feather" was less tight than the "Mexican Sundial". They really "larged" it out. My first reaction would be he didn't care enough anymore. But after a while that thought comes too easy, too cheap, too un-Elvis. So I suspect there's more to it but right now I can't put my finger on it. Looking at the tour sceduels there's a pattern.
In February 1977 the "Mexican Sundial" was only worn twice on an amount of 10 concerts.
In March he wore it every other day altering with the "Ace of Spades".
Then in April/May he wore it 10 times over 13 concerts. The other suit was again the "Ace of Spades".
In May/June it was only the "Mexican Sundial" 14 times in a row.
And finally in June he wore it 9 times on ten shows. Only one time he used the "Ace of Spades". Just a tiny detail; the "Ace of Spades" is also missing some cuff buttons.

And I really wonder what would have happened if the August tour had been fulfilled...........:hmm:

orwell1976
11-22-2005, 07:37 AM
I guess it was as easy as it seems. Elvis didn't care! He sang the songs he always sang and he wore the suits he always wore. Every time his mood was good (like by mid 1975 or in the end of 1976) he changed his suits and sang different songs. But in the end, he just wasn't interested in such things and it didn't bother him too much, that his suits looked a little worn out. Even for his television show he wasn't interested to wear something special. He just had lost interest.

Jumpsuit Junkie
11-22-2005, 08:10 AM
I guess it was as easy as it seems. Elvis didn't care! He sang the songs he always sang and he wore the suits he always wore. Every time his mood was good (like by mid 1975 or in the end of 1976) he changed his suits and sang different songs. But in the end, he just wasn't interested in such things and it didn't bother him too much, that his suits looked a little worn out. Even for his television show he wasn't interested to wear something special. He just had lost interest.

I think that Elvis did care, I think Illness and apathy robbed him of the will to go the extra mile in some cases :supriced:

JJ

Leroy
11-22-2005, 09:14 AM
But the thing that's keeping me thinking is that Elvis himself was not responsible for the choice of stage wear. Someone else was in charge........

orwell1976
11-22-2005, 09:16 AM
I know, Elvis was so stupid, that he didn't decide for himself. The colonel told him what to wear, what to eat, what drugs to take and who to have a relationship with...

Jumpsuit Junkie
11-22-2005, 09:43 AM
But the thing that's keeping me thinking is that Elvis himself was not responsible for the choice of stage wear. Someone else was in charge........

Even if Elvis wasn't responsible for the choice I'm pretty sure after wearing the Sundial so many times he would have expressed some concern if he wasn't happy :hmm: this is what makes me think that something may have happend to the Indian Feather of Ace of Spades?

Matt

Leroy
11-22-2005, 10:53 AM
Orwell1976, it has nothing to do with stupidity. Elvis had a team of people with several responsibilities. If you are an artist the only thing you want to concern yourself with is your art, your songs, your performance. And not with all kinds of details that would lead away your attention from what you came to do.

Matt, what precisely do you mean with "something happened with the other suits"? You mean damages?

Jumpsuit Junkie
11-22-2005, 11:28 AM
Matt, what precisely do you mean with "something happened with the other suits"? You mean damages?

Yes perhaps ripped or in a bad shape that Elvis didn't want to wear them?

Take a look at the Ace of Spades Feb 19th 1977, It looks fine and it is infinately better than the Sundial! (Picture Below)

Also if you look at the Inca Gold Leaf from 1976 this again looks great!

And the Indian Feather looks like it has room to spare.

The white Bird certainly could have been used as in 1976.

Its a shame that these were not evenly spread accross the later tours of 1977

JJ

orwell1976
11-22-2005, 12:15 PM
Orwell1976, it has nothing to do with stupidity. Elvis had a team of people with several responsibilities. If you are an artist the only thing you want to concern yourself with is your art, your songs, your performance. And not with all kinds of details that would lead away your attention from what you came to do.

Matt, what precisely do you mean with "something happened with the other suits"? You mean damages?
__________________
"If the songs don't go over, we can do a medley of costumes..." (Elvis in TTWII - August 1970)


I didn't say that Elvis decided everything by himself. BUT it was his show and no one told him to stick with one jumpsuit! You have to get used to the idea, that Elvis wasn't in a good mental condition by the end of his life.

Leroy
11-22-2005, 03:16 PM
I don't have to get used to that idea about his mental condition because I already am for over 25 years. And you are right about that. In that case it could also have been a matter of turning over the responsibility. Let's face it; at that particular time he had enough on his mind.

Matt, you are absolutely right about the other suits. They would have fitted him and they were truly in a better shape. During the last tour he used the "Ace of Spades" one time and he looked great in it. Especially if he used the original belt with it. I guess it's about time I turn this matter over to the well known source.

Leroy
11-22-2005, 03:21 PM
The counterpart of this story is the absence of the "Mexican Sundial" for about three years. This suit was first introduced during the October 1974 engagement in Lake Tahoe. He wore it a couple of times and then it was never been seen until February 1977. Why the gap??

peter
11-22-2005, 04:00 PM
Few opinions about suits:

If there are two versions of Blue Rainbow Suit (I don´t believe that....) and Indian Feather Suit (I doubt about it), there have to be two versions of Inca Suit too. See the pics from 1976 last tour of that year....

But IMO - there has to be two versions of Mexican Sundial Suits. Yes, 1974 version seems a bit "larger" than should be, but... I´m sorry, Elvis put on a lot of weight to June 1977 and that suit still seems to be OK to him. See to the pics from 18th June 77 - King of Spades was made in 74 too, and that suit seems not to fit.... And he looked same as in this suit in Mexican Sundial... IMO - there had to be 2 versions of Mexican.

Leroy
11-22-2005, 04:27 PM
Peter, if you would have read my earlier posts carefully you could have read that the suits were made to let out if nessecary. I talked to the man who worked on the suit and even reorganized the cuff buttons when they started to fall off. He also repaired some of the stones that were damaged by the cleaners. Bottom line is: there was/is only one "Mexican Sundial". This is not even an IMO but a FACT.
The only suits that were duplicated were the 1970 "White Nail" and the 1973 "Aloha Bald Headed Eagle". If you look closely to the 1974 pictures of the "Mexican Sundial" you can see that the suit's already larger than other suits.
And if a second version would have exist then why would one version be so damaged. He could have simply atered the suits, but he didn't. He wore it completely off.

barron
02-13-2010, 08:09 AM
the only jumpsuit that had 2 alike were aloha and the flame thats it the reason is for the flame being double is the first flame was with red kick pleats that was to small for him so they had to make a 2nd one for him just a day or so before his concert and the one that he did ware was the 2nd one and you can see him waring it that had the orange kick pleats

barron
02-13-2010, 08:11 AM
there was only 1 sundial made the reason people thought there were 2 is because of elvis's weight and the button on his sleeve the suit was enlarged to fit him better over the years and the button came off thats it

barron
02-13-2010, 08:13 AM
the reason that he wore the sundial more aside from the peacock suit the sundial was his all time favorite one