Dear Pennies & Pens,
Upon reading, The King of Style by Michael Bush, I discovered that Elizabeth Taylor was the first person to refer to Michael Jackson as the “King of Pop, Rock, & Soul”. For his book, Michael Bush refers to him as the “King of Style.” As far as I’m concerned, Michael was the King of Everything.
It wasn’t just his music, his dancing, his style, or what he said…it was the whole package. And honey, let me tell you, it was everything. Michael is a true cultural icon because he not only created some of the best art of our time, he gave his creative team the surge they needed to create prolific art that enhanced his image. That leads us into the story of how Michael Jackson came to know Michael Bush.
Michael Bush eventually became one half of Michael Jackson’s legendary design team, but, he started out as his dresser on the film Captain EO. While observing the filming of the movie, Michael Bush took note of how the clothes would rip and fall apart because they weren’t made to handle Michael’s dance moves. In the book, Bush lets us into his train of thought for how he created clothing that “worked” for Michael, “To me, dressing Michael Jackson began with hands-on diagnoses to determine why he’d be fighting with the clothes and then how to engineer costumes that worked for the way he danced. Michael’s clothes needed to be secondary to what he was doing. If I didn’t understand how he danced, I couldn’t engineer the clothes to fit and function at their peak.”
In essence, what Michael Bush did was he made himself indispensable. And he did so by creating something that his client needed which helped him build a relationship to later create something his client wanted. So to all the aspiring designers out there, create something that fills a need or a void then once you become known for that, you can create more artistic pieces (#JustMyTwoCents). After creating his first pair of pants for Michael, Bush worked on the Smooth Criminal short film. Before long, Bush was being asked to oversee the wardrobe for Michael’s BAD tour which was also his first solo tour.
Following the BAD tour, Michael Bush and his partner Dennis Tompkins became the exclusive designers for Michael. In fact, except for a few pieces for Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears, they only worked with Michael Jackson. Michael always encouraged Bush and Dennis to seek recognition for their work but Bush notes in the book that they weren’t looking for fame. That’s actually a refreshing revelation, because goodness knows with Michael Jackson as a client, they could’ve become a highly sought after team.
To quote Bush on his working relationship with Michael, “Michael was a muse, a riddler, a prankster, but most of all an inventor who refused to believe anything was impossible. Through him, we embraced the same limitless philosophy. Dennis and I, a team originally comprised of a cutter/fitter and a dresser, had grown into artists and engineers, our collective vision landing center stage at the GRAMMY Museum.”
And with that I bid you adieu. Now, please go buy this amazing book here.
And there it is. de la Pen…All Pen Everything.
*Disclaimer: de la Pen received this book in exchange for writing and publishing this post. All views and opinions are those of de la Pen*