Starting this week, visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, will be able to see a new addition to the Rock Hall's Michael Jackson collection: an outfit worn by the King of Pop early in his Jackson 5 days.
I clearly remember the first time I saw this newest addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection. I got an extreme close-up look at Michael’s orange, yellow and red ensemble, with my nose inches from the television screen. I was watching the Jackson 5’s second television special, which aired on November 5, 1972. Michael and his brothers wore a succession of colorful, fashionable, individualized yet coordinated outfits on the television special.
The warm, saturated colors, double-knit fabric, turtleneck and bellbottom design of this particular outfit were the apogee of early 1970s hip fashion, seen on fashion runways from couturiers like Halston and Yves St. Laurent, accessible and readily adaptable for the ready-to-wear market.
The stylish turtleneck top of the outfit with the heart-embellished “J5” logo is actually a body suit – clearly a necessity to accommodate Michael’s athletic dancing. Michael was growing up fast, but his brothers were all much taller than him. Looking at photos taken on the set, I wonder if the strong vertical yellow stripe on the pants, matching the turtleneck, was a sympathetic designer’s attempt to elongate Michael’s legs, to give him the appearance of a little more height? Come check it out for yourself and tell us what you think!
A major attraction in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's unique collection of artifacts also includes Michael Jackson's famous glove worn during live performances of "Billie Jean" during the Dangerous tour and a pair of black penny loafers worn by Jackson on stage during the 1987-1989 Bad world tour. The Jackson 5 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Click here for the Jackson 5 biography!