Michael Jackson: his iconic looks

26 June 2009

Michael Jackson

The world is in shock as we absorb the fact that Michael Jackson has died. The singer collapsed at home in LA last Thursday after suffering from a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at hospital. Everyone from top models to Madonna paid tribute to the iconic legend who has changed music – and fashion – over four decades of fame. Glastonbury was abuzz overnight with people swapping memories of the first time they remember watching Thriller and cutting up cardboard to make ad-hoc tributes. This morning walking to work, Michael Jackson songs boomed out of houses as people on the bus expressed their shock at the unexpected death of the King of Pop, who was just weeks away from his much-hyped tour beginning here in London. From sparking a trend when he wore just one sequinned glove at the 1984 Grammys, to his influence to the present day – that strong-shouldered military jacket in the Balmain show.

In fact, just a few weeks ago we were planning a story to illustrate how his iconic style was influencing a new generation of designers, performers and fashion fans. Because he really was having a fashion moment. The resurgence in popularity of Balmain was powered, says its designer Christophe Decarnin, by the influence of Michael Jackson at the height of his powers in the 1980's. Decarnin's studded jackets, frogged wide-shouldered jackets, crystal encrusted mini-dresses and skinny black pants have been copied slavishly by the British high street which is currently awash with Balmain-alike items. The Balmain/Jackson influence even, ironically, reached Jackson himself, and in his last weeks was often photographed wearing the very items that were inspired by his style back in his Thriller days in the 1980's. Among confirmed fans of Michael Jackson's iconic style include Emanuelle Alt, the influential fashion director of French Vogue who recently said she wold "weep" if he wore Balmain for his comeback concerts. So without further ado, let us indulge in a Jackson fashion fest not just the man, but those he influenced. It is not only his music that will live on, his iconic style will never die! R.I.P Michael...

And read tributes from the fashion world here.


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