The late icon’s costumer designer, Michael Bush, is revealing this and other backstage secrets about the troubled star in his new book, The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson.
Having worked with Jackson for 26 years, Bush has plenty of insight into his oft-extravagant wardrobe and unconventional personal life.
So just how much weight did the super svelte star drop?
“Michael was usually a 28-inch waist,” writes Bush.
“But by the midpoint of the show, when he was ready to perform his magic act of choice, right before ‘Beat It,’ he’d already lost five pounds of water and his waist dropped to 27 and a quarter.
“If we didn’t have clothes hanging on the rack in the right order that were getting progressively smaller, we’d risk him putting on a pair of pants that would fall to his ankles with each rhythmic move of his body — and there is no magic in that!”
Bush, 54 – who worked with the pop star until his death in June 2009 – also goes into detail about Jackson’s playful and childlike personality.
“I laughed every day until he died,” he said.
And the more sparkle and spandex his outfits had the happier he would be.
“Sometimes I’d drive three hours to retrieve loose rhinestones straight from the factory, just because looking at them in that raw form please Michael to no end,” said Bush – whose late partner Dennis Tompkins also helped dress the star.
“Every time I opened the swatch of white felt that encased the rhinestones, he’d gasp. He’d take them from me and delicately move them around his fingertips and whisper, ‘Can you imagine being a pirate opening a treasure chest? And seeing all the glitter inside? What a fascinating life, to be a pirate like that.”
Bush avoids talking about his friend’s death and the controversy surrounding his final days but says he is following through with his wishes to have his costumes celebrated in books and museums.
The costumer is set to exhibit and auction off some of his famous client’s outfits before the release of his book on October 30, 2012.
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