Style Icon: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is dead. The King of Pop has left earth, this earth that he loved so, leaving us fans devastated. I did not cry. I would rather reminisce all the good times I had listening to him, watching him, imitating him. Michael Jackson was a true genius. He made me want to sing, want to dance. And even though to this day, I am not a performer or an entertainer, I cannot help but be grateful that I grew up in a generation that witnessed him in all his grandeur. Forget about his eccentricities, forget about his problems with the law, forget about the tabloids. Just close you eyes and remember Michael Jackson; and the way he made you feel.
Like all his fans, I wanted to pay Michael Jackson a tribute. And the best way I found to do it, was to relate his crazy fashion sense and how it inspired us even to this day.
Michael Jackson went into several fashion trends. Every time he would drop an album or go on tour, he would showcase a new look that was both eccentric yet cool. For the album Off the wall, he was classic with a black suit, white shirt and bow tie.

The Preppy Look

But what made him stand out was that his pants were slightly shorten to showcase white socks and shiny loafers. It was also a way to bring attention to his dance moves. With the release of Thriller, came the phenomenon of the single white and shiny glove.

The Single White Glove with Swarovski crystals

Michael who kept his sleek black suit, was also sporting a shiny white glove and shiny white socks for the "Billie Jean" video. Thriller also saw the emergence of colorful (mostly bright red) leather jackets like in the video of "Beat it".

The Thriller Red Leather Jacket

By the time Bad was released in 1987, Michael Jackson had proclaimed himself King of Pop. He also wanted people to think of him as "bad". Therefore he ditched the preppy black suit and sported head to toe black leather and studs. He seemed pretty bad, almost like a gangster, an image he kept on managing by going retro this time in his "Smooth criminal" video. He was wearing a white Bonnie and Clyde style suit and sported a fedora.

Smooth Criminal

I happen to believe that he is the one artist that made the fedora fashionable, way before Alicia Keys and others. "Bad" was all about the bad boy, the dangerous boy with a sexy side. In other videos like "The way you make me feel", he was wearing unbutton men's shirt, with white tank top, black cropped pants and loafers. This became his signature look for many other videos to come. With "Dangerous" and "History" came the apparition of military or royal jackets in Micheal's closet thanks to L.A.-based costume designers Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins.

The Royal Look

They were short, sometimes colorful and bold with big golden button, badges and broad shoulders. MJ looked like a general ready for the battle when he was wearing them. As the years passed, it seemed that this military jacket look of his could not fade away.
Michael Jackson influenced many designers for both men's and women's wear through the years. However, it seems that in 2009, many fashion houses wanted to pay tribute to MJ by duplicating many of his favorite look. We all remember the Balmain jackets, a perfect replica of MJ's jackets. Every star from Beyonce to Rihanna was wearing them.

More than the King of Pop, MJ was also the King of fashion for he was always avant guarde and no one could steal his style. I mean, let us face it, who other than MJ could wear a head to toe sequin suit in broad day light without looking ridicule? No one. And that is why, he was the King.


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