Michael Jackson is a luminary whose impact on the world can be seen anywhere. He is an artist that rose to a level of success and excellence that today’s artists aspire to. He brought life to the music. He was the music. He has fans of all ages. However, there is one thing that all fans share in common: a profound respect for the artistry that he created with impeccable poignancy. The star exuded inimitable fervor for his craft, and he will live on forever for all that he achieved, and was destined to create while on Earth. The legend continues to inspire a new generation of artists. There has never been anyone quite like Michael Jackson -- a performer that changed the world forever with his music, dance and fashion. His influence can be seen above and beyond the world of music. He has been a part of millions of lives through his timeless artistry. His legacy is cherished and revered. Michael Bush, the designer, stylist and friend to Michael Jackson has released a book, “The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson.” It is a beautiful tribute to the superstar. The book is a must-have for every Jackson fan. Michael Bush and the late Dennis Tompkins worked with the star for over twenty-five years. Bush recounts working with Jackson, offering readers a look into what it was like to collaborate with the brilliant performer. Together they created a look that became synonymous with the star. Outstanding photographs, stories and much more are shared by the author.
When describing Michael Jackson, the artist, and the creative mastermind, it is necessary to outline the cognitive revelations behind the vision that was executed in the fashion worn for performances and other occasions. Bush writes of the star: “His sense of style reflected his perfectionist mind, and by understanding the fashions -- along with the personal stories behind them -- an entirely new side of Michael Jackson is revealed.” In the pages of “The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson,” Michael Bush does a wonderful job detailing the inspiration, and creative process behind some of the star’s most iconic outfits. The reader learns not just about Jackson’s ingenuity, but they better understand the artist, and what he hoped to achieve in the music and fashion which was all a part of the same objective. Bush explains it best when he writes: “Michael Jackson’s image was as much a work of art as the man himself.”
There is a foreword, introduction, nine chapters, and an afterward in “Dressing Michael Jackson.” It is clear to see that Jackson, Bush and Tompkins worked incredibly well together, bringing the star’s vision to reality with the fashion that was befitting a king. Bush described fashioning a “Thriller” jacket for the star in 1988 for the Bad tour. He also shares the details behind other outfits and ideas for his tours, and legendary short films. The reader learns that camaraderie and mutual respect was fostered throughout the years. Indeed, a lifetime of creativity, the likes of which the world may never see again. Bush writes of Jackson: “He wanted his clothes, like his music and dance moves, to be a mind-boggling self-expression.” When one thinks of Jackson, the music and fashion has always gone hand in hand.
In 2009, prior to Michael Jackson’s shocking and devastating passing, the star was working with Bush and Tompkins for his highly anticipated “This Is It” tour. The tour was to be attended by scores of fans for numerous shows. The concerts would have taken place at London’s famed O2 Arena. A documentary was released in October of 2009, entitled, “This Is It.” Viewers watched Michael Jackson prepare for the tour, and saw what would have certainly been a success for the celebrated artist. The star had so much more that he hoped to accomplish, and fans everywhere certainly feel the loss to this day. Many had hoped to see Jackson perform live, to witness the magic that only the star could generate on stage. Bush and Tompkins worked with Jackson, preparing to infuse new style and technology to the outfits that he would have worn on tour. This quite literally would have set the stage for the star’s next era of performance art.
After numerous pages of the insightful narrative, in the afterward, Bush details learning of his friend’s passing on June 25, 2009. It was a day on which the world seemed to stop to mourn the loss. Jackson is perhaps the most beloved artist of all-time. Bush discusses dressing Michael Jackson for the last time when he was laid to rest. Apart from their working relationship, Jackson was also a friend to Bush and Tompkins. Receiving the call to dress his friend for the final time is an especially affecting point in the book.
While those closest to Michael Jackson, and the multitude of fans around the world will forever miss the star, the book that Bush has written is a reverential masterpiece. To have known Michael Jackson, and to have worked with the superstar is certainly a unique, and exceptional opportunity. Bush and Tompkins did what many designers and stylists hope to accomplish. By working with Jackson, they have left their mark on the world. They will be remembered in years to come for being a historic and creative part of the star's legacy that will live on.