Maybe Jack Nicholson wasn’t sitting in the front row this year—sunglasses on, sneaking sips from a flask and flirting with women who weren’t exactly his dates—but at this year’s Oscars, we still caught a glimpse that swagger is coming back. And it’s about time.
Swagger isn’t about flash. It’s uber-confidence that borders, but never crosses, the line into arrogance. It’s effortless, never ostentatious. After all, what’s the purpose of showing off if everyone knows you’re damn good? Swagger tips big, real big (but also quietly). Swagger is coolness personified. It seduces without saying a word. It’s stylish, smooth, and timeless.
Swagger is what differentiates the Rat Pack from online poker. Sinatra made Vegas swing. Along with cohorts like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., he set a new standard for cool that brought the strip into the national entertainment scene more than any chamber of commerce could ever dream of doing. Maybe Sinatra’s magic was about gambling, womanizing, and drinking until the sun rises—but he did it all with style, serious style.
And then there’s the King of Cannes himself, Jacques d’Azur. Film producer, director, actor, tennis player, chess master, and seemingly full-time water-skier, d’Azur brought his unflappable elegance to red carpets and swimming pools of the French Riviera this year. His style and escapades are rumored to have inspired none other than 007, James Bond. And red carpet legend has it that Jacques’ debut at the Cannes Film Festival created such a frenzy he gave a record 1000 autographs—leaving his wrist so badly sprained that he played left-handed in the Cannes Tennis Open the following day, resulting in a narrow victory for Jacques: 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.
Speaking of James Bond, think of Sean Connery. The swagger he brought to the character is timeless and the definition of strong style and substance without ever uttering a word.
And while we talk about ease and effortlessness, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking for a second that d’Azur or Clooney threw on the first thing they found on their closet floor. These guys know what events like the Oscars are all about. It’s the time to make a statement. And in cases like this, a little effort and attention to detail dignify the event, its history, and everyone who came before.
Swagger a la Sinatra, Clooney, or d’Azur may not be easy to pull off, but it’s not limited to Hollywood or the French Riviera. You just need the guts to go for it, and the world is yours for the taking.