The King of Pop may have passed away but his influence on the pop fashion world may become even more pronounced in death than it was during his lifetime. Not only was his music and dance routines simply mind blowing, but so was his taste in clothing; especially the custom designed “uniforms” he began to wear later in his career. As his memory becomes legendary, as did that of Elvis Presley, so will the fashions he chose to wear, including the large Panama hats, white gloves and socks that he often wore as accessory items.
From the time he was the lead singer with his family group, The Jackson Five, and then onward to his first solo appearances which led to Moonwalker and his movie and best selling album Thriller, Jackson’s fashion metamorphosis indicated that he began to take his role seriously as King of Pop. The 19th Century military style outfits with gold braid, sequin lace, and gold buttons, tight pants and love for zippers often gave him an appearance of someone off to a costume party – except that his “party” was an almost daily affair.
Jackson loved all kinds of accessories, and this included the numerous umbrellas he carried or had attendants hold over him later in life, especially due to his skin disease that caused him to have a ghostly white appearance. As his personal appearance kept changing (a result of numerous plastic surgeries, particularly following a traumatic fire at a concert which caused him to lose part of his nose, and gave him severe burns) his clothing style changed as well.
His personal style was also reflected in the bizarre outfits he had made for his children, who he had dressed in order for their not to be recognized when going with him on occasional trips abroad.
Later on, during his courtroom appearances for child molestation, he wore impeccably tailored suits, often pure white with gold buttons and brightly colored vests. During this time he never wore the same outfit twice, and had personal tailors constantly designing new outfits for him to wear. Even with his last outfits, especially the one he wore when he announced his intention to do a series of 50 concerts on what he called his “This is it Tour“, he continued to express his unique individuality – even in mid-life.
One thing for sure: Michael Jackson never followed current fashion trends – he created his own. This what he will be remembered for, and will be imitated by thousands of Michael Jackson wannabes; who will try to duplicate his unique fashion style. And this may wind up being as much his legacy as his music – if not more.