This week my He Got Style series turns to the Pop Icon that was, is and forever shall be, Michael Jackson. The visual imprint of MJ’s legendary style will impact and inspire for generations to come. Looking at MJ from a Style point of view, he led many lives: there was young MJ in the bold and bright velvets, flares, elaborate fedoras, clashing prints and so on. Then there was 70s and 80s Michael: at this point as he re-identified himself via his music and videos, he showed us what he was sartorially made of. Then there is 90s and beyond Michael, from this point onwards, I would say his style became a lot more ‘costume-orientated’: with the help of his longtime costume designers, Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins: I’d describe his style as, ‘Military Meets Bling’. He looked like what the peak of success must look like, larger than life, untouchable…
Though, I can appreciate the amazing craftsmanship of his attires from the 90s onwards, I’m far more inspired by his look in the 70s and 80s. These outfits may have cost far less, but for me they are truly iconic. We all know MJ’s legendary looks: the loafers, rhinestone socks, blinging gloves et al. I want to focus on other parts of his style. Let’s start with the 70s.
Fresh To Death
Now this is a MJ look, I’d never seen before: how cooote does he look?
I love to watch 70s Cher and Michael performances. They complimented each other so well, as both were very firmly placed on the, More Is More side of the road.
I love his Razzle Dazzle look in his 70s song, ‘Rock With You’ (From the Off The Wall, 1979). I wonder what his attire was made of?
Now this kind of Retro Bling is far more ‘me’, than his later Military All Out Dazzle ensembles. Reason being, the former is Funky As Hell, whilst the latter was more theatrical. I also love the way he later matched the sweater’s golden twin sister with an oversized bow tie and white shirt.
MJ loved a good leather statement jacket, who could blame him?
Can we just focus on how MJ redefined smart/tailored menswear? From artistically tucked in silk kerchiefs, rolling up his jacket sleeves, making a pale pink shirt on a man look like the sexiest thing on earth, to wearing a slim-fitted leather suit…And make no bones about it: he could rock the shit out of a bow tie!
70s and 80s Michael is the one I would love to have gone shopping with, watch him try on his clothes, perhaps he would have danced in the changing rooms…70s and 80s MJ is the one I would pay tribute to in a Menswear shoot. Perhaps MJ had a stylist in that time (though he/she would probably not have used that title), whether MJ did or not, what I love about his style then was it didn’t look like he did. His style was dynamic but yet approachable, inspiring but not intimidating…RIP MJ.
What era of MJ’s style do you love the most?