Style Icons: Michael Jackson
29th August 2018
In time for what would have been his 60th birthday, this month we’re celebrating the icon that is Michael Jackson. Known to many as the King of Pop and to others as a key figure in fashion, there is no doubting his mark on the world.
At the forefront of fashion
Across the decades, MJ seamlessly transitioned his style, putting him at the forefront of fashion; from 70’s all-brown outfits and 80’s lounge chic to statement military jackets and futuristic leather attire, his approach to fashion still inspires leading design houses today.
So you can imagine the hype for Michael’s fashion choices when, in 1983, he released a 14-minute horror music video for Thriller – featuring none other than a black pair of our very own Bass Weejuns. Reviving a craze for the classic loafer and helping to seal the Weejuns’ fate as an icon in its own right, Michael’s varsity letterman outfit is a playful twist on the all-American teenage figure depicted in pop culture as, just minutes in, he transforms into a classic horror film werewolf.
Looking forward, the Thriller style has lived on to influence designers, brands and celebrities, with both the Ivy League look and tomato red leather ensemble frequently imitated even today, and the loafer emerging through countless reincarnations.
Michael Jackson: On the Wall
Michael’s legacy has led to a muse-like status amongst contemporary artists, as the most depicted cultural figure in visual art. Coinciding perfectly with his 60th birthday, and celebrating his contributions to music, choreography, dance and fashion, the National Portrait Gallery have curated an exhibition to bring the work of over 40 artists, spanning several decades, together.
If you look closely – you might even spot a pair of Weejuns!