Summer Re-run: Old Men Dress Cool and That Includes David Hockney
Britain's greatest living artist, David Hockney (you heard me, Damien Hirst), made 10 magazine's Old Men Dress Cool list of stylin' well-aged gents. Cited alongside David Lynch and George Clooney, Hockney is a far less obvious yet worthy choice. The look of the young Hockney is worlds apart from the Hockney of today, as it should be. Though it would be kind of neat seeing a guy in his seventies looking like Kurt Cobain (see below).
The British artist David Hockney—master of one-point perspective and portraiture, the Polaroid collage and the California swimming pool—has spent a lifetime dressing more for comfort than for effect, with a mind more for color than for trend. “His fashion sense is gemütlich,” says the writer Lawrence Weschler (Ed. note: he means comfortable or relaxed. I looked it up). On occasion, Hockney, now 70, has appeared in a gray flannel Savile Row suit. But more frequently, he’s made the rounds in workman’s pants that reflect his painterly ethics (“He’s one of the hardest-working artists I know,” says Weschler). He has also favored brashly striped rugby jerseys and ties, aviator or Coke-bottle specs, and suspenders as thick as a firefighter’s. What the curator Henry Geldzahler called the artist’s “primitive craving for brightness” manifests itself right down to Hockney’s toes. “He wears different-color socks,” says Weschler. “It’s such a fantastic innovation. Why on earth do we wear same-color socks? The amount of time we spend matching them, it’s absurd!”
And all this time I've been laughing at and criticising one of my brothers for what I now recognise is a brilliant attempt to introduce 'innovation' into the routine of getting dressed. Pairing a red dot-patterned black dress sock with a knee high grey tube sock is indeed pure genius.
I freaking adore David Hockney. He's a synaesthete, you know - he sees music.
More awesome old folks: Wizened, Wise and Really, Really Cool
Photo: King Collection/Retna LTD
A Bigger Splash, 1967
Man taking a shower in Beverly Hills, 1964
Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy, 1970