Michael Jackson, Arfaq, Balmain and the Clothes that set Todays Fashion
Billie Jean Tux
Jackson’s contemporary take on the tuxedo was groundbreaking. Made from black leather and worn with a pink shirt and red bow tie, it allowed men to approach evening looks in a less conventional way. The look has been replicated on the YSL catwalk.
Beaded Moonwalk Jacket
The beaded jacket is what Jackson originally wore in 1983 when he performed his first ever moonwalk. Glitzy monochrome as well as fedoras are slated to be a big trend this winter even if white socks paired with loafers continue to be a style challenge.
The World’s First Air-Conditioned Jacket
Countless hours blending state-of-the-art technology and cutting edge design experience resulted in a world first: the unique micro air-conditioning and purifying system incorporated into a garment.
The “AC-7″ jacket was designed and fitted for Michael Jackson by Arfaq. Created in a distinctive military style, the jacket is a captivating combination of Capri Blue with a dash of Light Amethyst. Specially created stones dramatically recreate the effect of the Aurora Borealis enhanced throughout with glorious pulsating rainbow colors. One arm simply shimmers in a torrent of clear crystal droplets. In excess of 275,000 crystal stones, each cut with eight facets, were utilized in the production of this jacket.
Atten-shun! Jackson led the fashion troops in his custom-made, braid and button-bedecked military jackets. Forward march a couple of decades and the Parisian catwalk is crowded with similar strong-shouldered looks. Rihanna picked up a very M.J. denim piece from Balmain-a brand the King of Pop himself grew to favor.
The military look – with lashings of gold embroidery and sequins – was one of Jacko’s most compelling and copied styles. Balmain paid tribute and Rihanna tried the look. Jackson himself wore this Balmain jacket on a hospital visit.
The military look, worn on the Dangerous Tour in 1992, is arguably classic Jackson. It’s a style that he has refined over the years and it inspired Balmain’s Autumn/Winter 09 collection. It was designed by Denis Tompkins and Michael Bush, who were also responsible for designing his outfits when he appeared in court for child abuse charges. Tompkins has said that Jackson was very fond of his military details as they had clean lines and fitted almost like dance clothes. Further- more, uniforms demand attention.
‘Magician’s Fall’ Military Half Jacket
‘Magicians Fall’, designed by Arfaq for Michael Jackson, is a military half jacket, designed from black dress suede. The garment demonstrates a very simple cut and fall and is very comfortable to wear. In return, this jacket is lined in a fine black silk and is flamboyantly decorated with 18ct gold buckles.
Gangster Style Smooth Criminal
The gangster-style suit from Smooth Criminal was designed by Betty Madden and is a homage to Fred Astaire’s outfit in the 1953 film The Bandwagon. It was much slicker than the costumes Jackson wore in the early Eighties. To achieve the impossible effect of leaning that far forward in this picture he wore shoes that used special harnesses with wires and magnets.
The World’s First Pair of Adjustable Shoes
Arfaq designed and developed custom-made shoes for Michael Jackson. These shoes were made to electronically self adjust to his foot. The concept was created because his production company, MJJ Productions, did not disclose his shoe size!
Jackson had the ability to take a simple fashion item and invest it with iconic status. His tilted fedora is a good example. It became more than simply a hat. It was an extension of the man and of his dancing. He used it to create drama. The look is now popular with Kate Moss, who uses hers to hide from photographers.
The Bad Days
For the Bad album, Jackson toughened up his image with masses of belts, buckles, studs and straps, but it was always more glam than intimidating. Mary-Kate Olsen wears the Givenchy version of the Bad look.
Jackson and sparkles go hand in hand. He loved to shine and was one of the first to wear clothes entirely encrusted with Swarovski crystals.
The Swarovski Black Diamond Glove
In 1994, Arfaq made a Black Swarovski diamond glove for Michael Jackson known as “Healing Hands”, which was worn by Michael Jackson on the HIstory Tour. Handmade with 18,443 diamond stones imported from Austria, from the legendary Swarovski Crystal House, the specially formulated adhesive allows total control and movement.
Five 9ct Egyptian gold buckles fasten the glove in place, each buckle is extremely light, thus preventing distortion of the finished glove.
His look inspired this Antonio Berardi catwalk style. Today, sequins work for day and evening wear.
The Velvet and Crystal Jacket
When Michael Jackson celebrated 30 years in music at Madison Square Gardens in and was presented a velvet and crystal jacket designed by Arfaq.
A Thriller of a Jacket
The flamboyant red leather jacket Jackson wore in the Thriller video is one of his most memorable looks. It wasn’t so much the colour or the style that were important, but the way he wore it, with the sleeves pushed up past his elbows. With that simple styling tick, he set a trend that lasted a decade.
This is one of Jackson’s most iconic outfits. The bold red leather jacket with exaggerated shoulders is from the video to Thriller. Fast forward 25 years and leather jackets and coloured jeans are enjoying a revival.
The World’s Most Expensive Cufflinks in GBWR
In 1996, The Guinness Book of World Records listed the V2 Cufflinks as “The World’s most expensive cufflinks” designed by Arfaq. The pair were privately sold to Michael Jackson and MJJ Productions for £23,850 in November 1996.
Made from platinum and 18ct yellow and white gold, the V2 cufflinks are adorned with sapphires and diamonds, and individually hallmarked and numbered.
The V2 Cufflinks are presented in a handcrafted Burr Elm case. Each tailor-made case is lined with contrasting scarlet red suede. Each case bears the individual number and recipients name on a 24ct gold plate. With production limited to 7 pairs only, this makes it an extremely rare piece of jewelry.