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REMEMBERING MICHAEL JACKSON

Jackson's singular style rings through memorial service

His brothers pay tribute by each wearing a single glove, while fans pile on accessories of the singer's most distinctive looks.

July 08, 2009|Melissa Magsaysay

Some came dressed in black for mourning, but large swaths of the crowd at Staples Center for the Michael Jackson memorial Tuesday honored the singer as they always had -- with T-shirts that bore his image and sartorial tributes to his famous style.

Family and close friends of the late pop singer donned dark, somber colors. Brooke Shields delivered a moving tribute in a simple black shift dress. Usher, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant wore sharp black suits and black ties. Jackson's sister Janet was svelte and elegant in a '40s style body-hugging dress, classic pearls and a black beret. Mariah Carey sang "I'll Be There" in a dark Jenny Packham gown with a plunging V-neck, proving she dresses the part of a diva regardless of the occasion.

Fashion wasn't at the forefront of anyone's mind, but even so, Jackson's style was evident. His brothers, who served as pallbearers, wore black suits, yellow ties and a single, glittering silver glove on their left hand as they carried the golden casket to the stage.

Members of the public who gathered outside -- and around the world -- channeled their emotions in a more celebratory fashion, paying tribute to their pop idol in creative ways. One fan piled on accessories -- a silver mesh face mask, a white glove rolled in silver paint, silver and red sequined sashes, and signature black sunglasses and a black fedora -- that all screamed "King of Pop." An 8-year-old boy wore pants that revealed a sliver of white trouser sock stuffed into a black leather loafer.

Then there were fans who dressed themselves the same way they would have for a Jackson concert: wearing a T-shirt splashed with Jackson's face or a moonwalking silhouette. Some wore tees stamped with the words "Rest in Peace" or "Michael Jackson Forever 1958-2009." Others wore earrings printed with an image of his face or a silver glove pendant.

They all seemed to understand the statement of a single glove or a fedora tilted slightly to the side: They are signature looks that will remain in the style lexicon for decades.

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melissa.magsaysay @latimes.com

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