Category Archives: Michael Jackson

Magazine Glam: In Style and Harper’s Bazaar

Hey Glamazons!

September is my favorite time of year as a Fashion Assistant. Why? Besides my dying anticipation for Fashion Week (just started getting invites – so excited!), it’s the largest, most important issue for most Fashion books.

I got a sneak peek at a few of the September fashion spreads and (for the most part) love what I see. Some stories have caused quite a lot of controversy and heated debates in the office, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Harper’s Bazaar’s September issue. Agyness Deyn channels Micheal Jackson for a tribute to his legendary style on a cover for subscriber’s only photographed by Terry Richardson. In the corresponding spread, she recreates such iconic moments as Thriller and the Grammy’s wearing his glittery glove, the military jacket and of course, the loafers. Inside the issue, Jean-Paul Goude shoots Naomi Campbell on an African safari in jungle-inspired looks replete with elephants and monkeys.

I’m partial to the Safari shoot as Naomi is truly the most beautiful specimen in the human race. And while Tyra Banks is applauding Eva from ANTM for taking pictures with a spider, Naomi is riding an elephant and posing on top of an alligator. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a real model.

But, I do understand the criticism. Folks at the job are complaining that shooting an African-American woman in the jungle recalls dangerous stereotypes that liken black females to animals. I don’t agree that Bazaar is typecasting black models or insinuating that black women are animalistic. (I pray that we’ve evolved past that stage.)

However, I do recognize that perception is everything. A racist mind could interpret these images to mean black women are barbaric or less than human. Since fashion editorial spreads are a form of art and art is open to interpretation, do we criticize the spread itself or the racists that interpret the spread negatively? Just a thought.

Agyness Deyn as Michael Jackson has proven to be just as controversial. I don’t necessarily agree with my co-workers that a black model should have been cast as Michael (by the time he passed, Michael was as pale as they come…said respectfully, of course). I just don’t feel Agyness Deyn was the right model for the job. There’s no energy, movement or life to Agyness’ poses and that’s what we all loved about Michael. Do you agree?



He is Legend: RIP Michael Jackson

Today we lost a brilliant performer and extraordinary man, whose contribution to entertainment is incomparable. Michael Jackson‘s ability to triumph over racial boundaries at a time when MTV didn’t play black artists will forever impact the African-American presence in the mainstream. His spirit was infectious, his enthusiasm and eager to please us was evident in every performance. He revolutionized the recording industry, influencing everyone from Britney Spears to Usher, but his trend-setting ways transcend the realm of music. In military jackets, dark aviators, shiny black loafers, white socks, glittery gloves and top hats, Michael Jackson catapulted himself into the highest stratosphere of pop stardom, shared only perhaps by Elvis and Madonna. 

A giant in American cultural history, Michael Jackson redefined what it meant to be a superstar. I remember getting goosebumps as a young child watching his forward leans that defied gravity and his impossibly smooth Moonwalk. I remember learning every dance move to Remember The Time (when he appeared out of gold dust! too cool!) and being terrified of the haunted house scene in Thriller. Now that I’m a young adult, he represents the wonderment of my youth, a time when I was filled with joy, and excitement, and promise. In his passing, I recognize him as the best star of my generation but he was so much more. A friend who connected to my soul and captured my innermost thoughts through music. A part of my youth and spirit, present at every milestone in my life. A beautiful, complicated person who I love, despite any rumor or eccentricity, and will miss dearly. Below, a fashion tribute to the purveyor of cool, our beloved entertainer, Michael Jackson. And a nod to the generation that will follow in his legendary, loafer-clad footsteps.

The glittery glove, military jacket and aviators were all a part of his otherworldly, larger-than-life persona. His over-the-top style quickly made him into a fashion icon.

No other man could make thick white socks and loafers look as cool. The extravagant take on formal menswear became Michael’s signature. Though singers like Ne-Yo mimic MJ’s style, no one can pull it off with as much finesse as he did.

Before pop stars of today donned metal bodysuits, MJ’s metallic, robotic moment was a foray into the future of fashion. Michael Jackson was truly ahead of his time.

Details like the one-gloved hand and studded pants add an edgy appeal to his glamorous sequined jackets. Now, the glove—sometimes, glittery, sometimes, white—is an enduring phenomenon 
copied by celebs to this day.

The same pop stars that mimic Michael Jackson’s captivating dance steps and infectious hits turn to him when it’s time to get dressed too. Celebs like Kanye and Rihanna take their cue from the King of Pop’s fashion wardrobe, rocking the military jacket trend he made famous. 

Rihanna in Balmain (one of MJ’s fave designers)

Editrix Nina Garcia in a military-inspired jacket at Bryant Park

Kanye West with girlfriend, Amber Rose, at Fashion Week.

Beyonce in a Balmain jacket in NYC
Michael Jackson left an indelible imprint on music and fashion but is just as well known for his videos. Always groundbreaking from plot development to dance sequences, his work helped to establish music videos as a respected art form, paving the way for shows like TRL and 106 & Park. Enjoy some of his greatest music videos, including the greatest of all time: Thriller! 

Rock with You
Scream featuring Janet Jackson
Beat It
Remember the Time
Smooth Criminal

Superbowl Performance 1993

Glamazons, what trend are you rocking in honor of MJ? What is your favorite Michael Jackson memory? What song or video of his do you love the most? What did he mean to you? What do you think the impact of his death will be on pop culture? What legacy do you think he’ll leave behind?