Not only was Michael Jackson (MJ) the king of pop music. In my opinion he was the ultimate trendsetting style icon over decades and the original king of bling.
As a five year old child on stage, Michael Jackson alongside his brothers was the whole package and had such expressive style and presentation. The image of Michael at only 12 years old in a rich purple wide brimmed hat on a slant with matching suede long fringed waistcoat and beige flares was a fabulous 70's style statement.
From an early age MJ was a style icon, throughout his life his outfits were full of vibrant colour, the fit and cut was always perfection. He did, after all, have the perfect body for clothes - tall and lean. From the funky soul attire of the 70's, moving on to the glorious glamour of the 80's. The album cover of 'Off the Wall' made me fall in love with MJ. The black suit, dickey bow and white shirt, his beautiful smile and matching afro against a brick wall was the epitomy of cool elegance. So simple yet so effective. As a pure fashion shot it was just as great as an album cover. Don't know the photographer who took the original shot - need to find out.
Then came the videos. Firstly, the 'Rock with you' outfit was just amazing. MJ's crewneck, trousers and boots were all encrusted in bling against a black background. His top and trousers had vertical lines of bling - the outcome was an amazing visual, especially for a music video and he looked soooo fine! The look was stylish and so far from gaudy as your mind's eye would naturally see it as.
His look in the 'Billie Jean' video was a style masterpiece, the black leather suit with embossed satin lapel teamed with a soft pink shirt, fuschia red dickey bow and white lace ups with black tip and heel added such finesse. STUNNING! Check out the video - to this day that look really works.
His cropped trousers throughout the years were part of his signature style along with penny loafers and white or blinged out socks.
The 'Thriller' album was again a suit, but this time a reverse on the colour palette - A gleaming white suit with black open zip shirt and black belt. Another fashion hit!
Michael Jackson was the original king of bling - the difference is, he wore it on his clothes and hands (the mono-glove), never drippng from his ears or dangling from his neck á la P Diddy or David Beckham in recent times.
In the nineties, the military jacket became his strongest style statement - the embellishments and embroidery made them his own.
By the mid nineties it was all about the clothes, as his face became too painful for me to look at. It was a sad representation of a real life 'identity crisis'. In that I mean plastic surgery is now used in modern times to 'fix' our internal and external issues and crises. So sad...
..Anyway back to fashion, During this time (and up until his demise) armbands were a key MJ accent. Maturity post-2000, saw MJ let go of the mono-glove and we saw him in a number of full-length gorgeous tailored suits. He was a man that obviously loved a suit - the combination of matching top and bottom, I believe was part of his quest for perfection - everything had to be just right.
The only look Karma-Style was not feeling was his rock phase circa 'Dirty Diana' 'Bad' tour phase (think; buckles down the side of his black narrow-legged trousers from hip to ankle). He still 'rocked' these looks, pardon the pun, but I feel with regard to style this was not his fashion best.
Don't ever forget my dear Karma-Stylers that this man set the fashion bar from a mere child onwards for us. He was a man whose attention to detail reflected in his clothes and music. Which of his looks did you get inspiration from or emulate? For me it was the 'Beat it' red leather jacket! I did my best as a loved up teenager (He was the man of my dreams, in my dreams) to hunt down a similar affordable version.
I could go on and on about this man and his unique style, so I've decided to shut up and let his clothes speak for themselves.
Unfortunately unlike the man, his music, his style lives on, it will never die.
Long Live the Fashion King - Michael Joseph Jackson 1958 - 2009