Harry Styles Is Almost Famous

Esquire Editors
·2-min read
Photo credit: Gucci/Harmony Korine
Photo credit: Gucci/Harmony Korine

“If you think Mick Jagger will be out there trying to be a rock star at age 50, you are sadly, sadly mistaken," says a dilettante band manager, sadly mistaken, in the coming-of-age, slightly twee on-the-road drama that is Almost Famous. Because, 21 years after its release (and 52 years on from the film's timeline), Jagger is still what some would deem to be a rock star. Where some 77-year-olds get into Hornby train sets, the Rolling Stones lead singer is welcoming in new kids (as of last week, a brand new son). And besides geriatric procreation, Jagger's legacy – and that of Cameron Crowe's borderline cult classic – lives on in the frontman du jour: Harry Styles.

Photo credit: Gucci
Photo credit: Gucci

Their music isn't all that much alike, and Almost Famous categorically did not focus on former boybanders that switched THE BEST SONG EVER for songs that are, actually, much better received by critics. But there is something inherently Jaggerian (Jaggerish? Jaggerite?) to Styles, who, at 27, has co-opted the rippling torsos and the meandering sexuality and the moves that thankfully have nothing to do with ITV2's favourite soundtrackers in Maroon 5 – and once again, it all came together via Gucci in one choice coat.

As part of this season's #GucciBeloved campaign which was shot by Kids director Harmony Korine, the brand shared a grinning portrait of Styles in a floral shirt and the big, "I'm with the band" (faux) fur of Almost Famous' Penny Lane: a self-styled 'Band Aid' (played by a fey Kate Hudson) that falls in love with the frontman and gets her fingers burnt because said rockstars at the turn of the Seventies could be pretty shitty to women. In 2020, Styles has lifted the artefacts of rock's history to make for something a little more wholesome, starring alongside Awkwafina, James Corden, Sienna Miller, Serena Williams, Dakota Johnson and Diane Keaton in the campaign.

It's another example of the 'Golden' boy doing His Own Thing. Where the Grammys saw a performance that was all Vegas feather boas, Styles isn't looking to his peers in contemporary pop for guidance. He's lifting from the wardrobes of rockstars past and leaving the skeletons behind; a time when Jagger was still in the early throes of child rearing, and when being Almost Famous was as good as the real thing. Almost.

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