Adam Lambert, 33, once flaunted cheetah prints, peacock-blue frosted hair, neon tanks and suits with spikes. But lately the American Idol alum -- now touring the world to promote his third album, The Original High (which hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200) -- has switched his fashion influences from glam divas to more traditional heartthrobs.
"I've put down a lot of the makeup. I put the flat iron in the attic. I'm looking at people like Elvis and James Dean," says the Indianapolis native of his new look. (And yet, there's an undeniable dose of George Michael, too.)
Lambert, an LGBT activist who says his music "is about [the] pursuit of happiness," has landed on this style in a far less calculated way than one might think. "I've been asked with this album campaign, 'Did you want to tone it down?' It wasn't that I was consciously [doing that], though," he says. "It just shifted."
"I love Margiela, how their stuff fits. Certain lines are for certain body types, and not all of Saint Laurent quite fits me. I'm not a waify little 22-year-old model, as much as sometimes I'd like to be, for fashion's sake. Margiela is cut for, like, men."
"As a pop musician, [trends] are part of my job; to reflect what people like. Production and the way something sounds are very much like fashion, where for a particular season people are gravitating toward something."