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Saturday, November 12, 2011

In 2010, a year after singer Michael Jackson’s death, his family launched the J5 Collection. J5 stands for the Jackson 5 — the family musical group that launched Michael, who ultimately went on to much bigger stardom.  The website describes the “collection” as “a unique celebration of The Jacksons achievements as an international mega group.”  The “Shop Online” part of the site isn’t working as I write this, so I can’t be certain if J5 is purely a clothing line or includes other products, but apparel is definitely involved: the family just announced a limited run of reproductions of the iconic red-leather jackets from Michael’s ’80s “Thriller” and “Beat It” videos.

Thriller jacket. Click to buy on Amazon.

Beat It jacket. Click to buy on Amazon.

I never cared for the Thriller jacket but the Beat It jacket is kinda hot and I do love colorful leather jackets from the ’80s. Unfortunately, these cost $2,350 because there were only 500 jackets made in each style. Plus, all of them are hand-signed by the original Jackson 5 members — Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon — and include a printed replication of Michael Jackson’s signature. That’s not enough for me. I would only be convinced to part with $2,350 if there were just 100 of each jacket made; if the signatures included that of Jermaine’s awesomely named son Jermajesty; and there were a vial of propofol in one of the pockets. WHAT!?! I had propofol for minor surgery and it was the best several hours sleep of my life. I can see why Michael liked it; it’s just unfortunate he went batshit crazy over it.

Meanwhile, on styleblazer.com (as well as various Tumblrs) there is an illustration of a Rihanna t-shirt that riffs on Nirvana’s classic “corporate rock whore” early ’90s t-shirt.

Courtesy styleblazer.com. Click for source.

My original Nirvana t-shirt. Click for original post.

I haven’t yet found any site where this Rihanna t-shirt is sold. I suspect it’s a tasteless joke referring to the abuse she suffered at the hands of the assholian Chris Brown, but if I’m wrong and it’s for sale somewhere, let me know in the comments. I checked out Rihanna’s official merchandise while searching for this and I’m very taken by her barbed-wire t-shirt.

$15. Click to buy.

It’s almost as good as my Lady Gaga nipple-tape concert t-shirt … but not quite!

Click for my Gaga post from 2010.

Best concert t-shirt evah!

UPDATED TO ADD: If you happen to be chatting with singer Courtney Love, the widow of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, please don’t mention the Rihanna/Nirvana t-shirt above. Courtney is barely holding on to sanity as it is. Her interview with The Fix gave me a contact high earlier this year and, last week, after I read her interview in November’s Vanity Fair, I felt crazy by proxy. Brave writer Nancy Jo Sales was clearly infected too. She writes that she was only familiar with the image of the nutty, messy Courtney:

“But then, throughout the winter and spring, I began to see a different side of her—through her texts, which came hourly sometimes, nearly every day. I wasn’t the only recipient of this volume of communication, I learned. ‘Only 59?’ said a friend of hers, laughing, when I mentioned the number of messages I’d received in a single evening. ‘Consider yourself lucky.'”

Note to all: no matter how sane the content of your texts is, if you send 59 of them to me in a night, I’m going to think you’re a lunatic, so please don’t!

I also got a kick out of Courtney’s rationale for making contact with Sales:

“She reached out to me after reading a story I did for this magazine in January on the actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, who believed that the people who had allegedly defrauded them were trying to murder them. ‘They make me look sane,’ Courtney said.”

Well, yeah, the Quaids are so crazy that anyone who is not in the midst of a psychotic episode looks stable in comparison. If you missed the Randy and Evi Quaid story, you must rectify that immediately, because it is a work of art. Here it is.

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11 Responses to “Throwback Musical Fashions From the Jacksons … and Rihanna?”

  1. Eli says:

    Jeez, who did they set the prices for? Obviously collectors, they must have not figured out that knockoffs have been made for years now

    You can get one for $9 on ebay right now http://r.ebay.com/ko1gwN

    Or this one going for $5,000 from a seller who seems to be just as delusional as the brothers http://r.ebay.com/lkYSYa

  2. wow those prices are very expensive, but I agree Jermajesty is a pretty amazing name, made me smile. Love the Rhianna t shirt, even if it does look a little uncomfortable.

  3. OMG, Lady Wendy. So scary and yet alluring.

  4. Megan Mae says:

    In addition to Eli’s comment, you can also find legit ’80s jackets in very similar, if not identical styles on etsy.

    I really like that barbed-wire t-shirt if not for the giant R. I got nothin’ against Rihanna, but that could otherwise be a pretty awesome goth shirt.

    • WendyB says:

      Well, in the Jacksons’ defense, the Etsy copies aren’t made by the original jacket designers, nor are they signed by any of Michael’s relatives. There are Etsy copies of my jewelry, and I can assure you, those $15 knockoffs aren’t as good as my stuff!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    The barbed-wire tee is really great. I’m surprised I like it so much. The $15 price tag is pretty good, too; she could probably charge a lot more and sell tons of them.

    As for the red jackets, I love them, but wouldn’t part with that much cash, either. As you point out, I think they’d need to be much less “available” for me to want them.

  6. You look amazing in any t-shirt, especially with the addition of those ‘majestic’ boots.

  7. winnie says:

    I’m not really one for brightly coloured jackets but these are basically collectors pieces and with that, I think that they’re incredible!!! I bet the jacket is buttery soft!

    Loving that pic of you in the Gaga t-shirt Wendy!

  8. brett says:

    the lady ga ga t is just so great
    only a fan of a MJ jacket on MJ himself and those prices…. are you kidding me???

  9. ambika says:

    Dlisted sometimes copies over Courtney’s twitter feed and it’s definitely a crazy by proxy feeling reading those. I don’t think I make it past 8 or 9 words.

    Love the Gaga tee–and your make up for the concert.

  10. TNT says:

    Oh look I found the shirt.

    Personally I think it should be a joke saying that Rihanna sucks. The Nirvana face is happy, this one is sad. “Love Nirvana, Hate Rihanna.” Personally her music is repetitive and after the un-tenth song, she is just regurgitating music. Nirvana is where it’s at and always will be.

    In reality, the sites description says, “The iconic Nirvana logo re-imagined for our beloved Riri can be yours for a very limited time only!”
    I wrote them an email asking if it was showing their hate towards her music, but clearly I didn’t read the description close enough.

    I’m honestly consider buying one and exploiting her with it. Her music is not anything innovative. Just another pop singer that kids won’t know in 20 years.

    Being a Nirvana fan/Any forum of Rock (and plenty of other great genres) I think it would be hilarious to play a show with the shirt and announce I hate Rihanna’s music, hence the shirt. Kurt made fun of “Corporate Rock Whores” who were sellouts. I’m just keeping the vibe going.

    Keep in mind, buying the shirt, the funds go to Rihanna and Courtney Love. The bitch who agreed to the shirt. But, I think I’d be awesome to get reactions from people on why I’m wearing it. “I don’t like Rihanna, and the Nirvana logo was sad about it too. Even the logo got a black eye from her crap music (haw hawwww).”

    Tell me what you guys think. I know it could totally back fire and make me look like a Rihanna fan.