The King of Pop Throws Down the Rhinestone Gauntlet

Before Bieber’s bangs, Kurt’s plaid or Madonna’s bra, music’s greatest style statement was Michael Jackson’s single, sparkling glove. On this day in 1983, Jackson introduced his one-glove look (and a little dance move called the Moonwalk) while performing on “Motown 25,” a television special airing on NBC. Jackson had only agreed to take part in a Jackson 5 reunion for the program if he could also perform a solo of “Billie Jean,” the second single from his Thriller album that was currently enjoying its seventh week at number one on the pop charts. Jackson performed a medley with the Jackson 5 and, after his brothers exited the stage, added a black fedora to his soon-to-be-famous short-pants-with-sparkly-socks ensemble. He tossed the hat early in the song, but the image of him with it tipped into his gloved hand became a MJ trademark as much as the gravity-defying backward glide did.

In Moonwalk, his 1988 autobiography, Jackson recalls he was sure of two things that day: He was going to Read More »

Fashion Statement: Bill Whitten

“When I came into the business, the only man in a beaded jacket was Liberace. Nobody had tasty beading for men. Nobody.” —American costume designer Bill Whitten, who designed the blue beaded military jacket and silver sparkling socks and glove Michael Jackson wore on the Grammys on this day in 1984. The outfit Read More »

Fashion Library: Maripol: Little Red Riding Hood

If you were touched for the very first time the Material Girl broke onto the scene, and you ran out and purchased lacy gloves, crucifix jewelry and a sack full of rubber bangles, then you will definitely want to check out Maripol: Little Red Riding Hood (Damiani 2010). Why? Because Maripol was Madonna’s former jewelry designer and stylist, the mastermind behind the singer’s early Boy Toy style. Even if you first rolled your eyes when you heard the 1980s were back in fashion (thank god stirrup pants haven’t yet made the cut), your stylistic senses will dig the funky street looks captured in the book’s mixed-media scrapbook-style. But this is definitely not your grandma’s scrapbook, with crusted glue tenuously securing a photo of some distant relative posing in polyester. Instead, Maripol is an insider’s collection of images and drawings of a cool chick and her 80s-era New York City friends, a list that includes Jean-Michel Basquiat, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol and, of course, Madonna. Read More »

David Bowie: Any Day Now

Yesterday a press release arrived in my inbox for David Bowie: Any Day Now: The London Years 1947–1974, a new book on the musician from Adelita Publishing. Coming from someone who, as a teenager, read and bought everything David Bowie and has remained a devoted fan into adulthood, this book looks incredibly well-researched and detailed. And Any Day Now is definitely a book—more of an encyclopedia—for Bowie nerds like me: Author Kevin Cann provides thorough, date-to-date entries of every goings-on in Bowie’s life during the late 1960s and early 70s, as well as loads of new biographical information, interviews and rare and never-seen photos. The media kit includes just one chapter from the book, all of 35 pages, but those pages are crammed with info and images, many of which I’d never seen. (I pity the art director who had to find a way to fit all this stuff Read More »

2011 Grammy Fashion Hits (and a few Misses)

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards were last night and, as usual, the red carpet was the place for music’s hottest stars to flaunt their fashion chops. Here are some of the standout looks…for better or for worse. It’s only rock-and-roll, though, right?

Best LBD
Tie: Jenna Ushkowitz and Dianna Agron from Glee
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