Geoffrey Holder will forever be pinned on the mood board. A personality, artist, and figure who was defined by his unique eccentricities and his ability to channel his creativity in various mediums. Owning a fashion sense that was uniquely his, Geoffrey very much so reshaped the idea of masculinity during his time. So much more than a Dancer, Actor, Choreapheographer, Costume Designer, and Director. Geoffrey was the Grandstanding dandy of his Generation.
In every generation certain figures just understand the savoir-faire of old-world life, such is the case with figures like Diana Vreeland, Karl Lagerfeld, and André Leon Talley. These notable forces who channel something that is simply outer body and grandeur. It feels as though they are connected with some reincarnated life force, having the download of information that allows them to share a very unique point of view that can only be reached from their access point alone. In fact, we live for it.
Rather you have discovered Geoffrey from the 2005 Documentary Carmen and Geoffrey, or the Nostalgic 7-UP Soda Commercial or maybe you remember him from the original 1980s Annie where Geoffrey plays the eccentric Buttler Punjab, there is only one thing that is consistent and that is the marvelousness of his charm and style.
I remembered as a child being in total awe of seeing Geoffrey's characters on television and them being unconventional personas, always. I realized early on that I found myself in need of the eccentricity of personalities like this, having to question one’s masculinity so early on and looking actively at entertainment and media for representation finding actors and artists applying themselves in out of the box examples that were read as successful and that were praised in the same manner as leading ladies was the hope and inspiration I needed. The reshaping of this challenged my imagination for character building and allowed me to understand the world is not just black and white. it's colorful.
For any artist, the most endearing quality we can appreciate from the legacies of such forces as Geoffrey Holder would be the authenticity they so tastefully exude and as a result of being themselves cement themselves as a lasting influence and a legacy for many to discover and leaving this world having touched, moved and inspired others.
Written by Kyle Edward Dyson , @kyleedwardyson on instagram.