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George Michael leaves a lasting legacy on the fashion world


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As the music world attempts to come to terms with the untimely death of 80s pop legend George Michael on Christmas Day, the fashion world battles a similar grief for the contribution he brought to fashion of the 1980s.

George Michael made his name with 80s pop group Wham!, a group that came to embody 1980s changes in style and attitude. It was an era when gender boundaries were broken, as both sexes sought to replicate the style of icons such as the legendary George Micheal. A key fashion moment being, of course, that manic release of Wham!’s iconic ‘Choose Life’ T-shirts.

Throughout Wham!’s success, Michael brought in the logo t-shirts, full denim, cowboy hats and 80s tailoring. He was one of the first to style high fashion back in the 1980s, his glamorous world bringing fashion into pop-culture through some of his most well-known hits, such as Faith and Praying for Time, and the outfits which iconically accompanied them.

Some of his other most memorable styles included white suits, crop tops, crucifix earrings and black leather jackets. Groundbreaking, the only word to describe his vivacious attitude to fashion and self-marketing. 

Michael was a fashion chameleon, constantly reinventing himself and with that, his style. In the era of Madonna, he understood the demand for fashion in the music industry and made it his duty to use it as an innovative means of self-expression. By the late 1980s, George Michael had established a distinctive look that was shown on the runway and in timeless editorial shoots.

After shaping the fashion industry throughout the 80s, the global icon brought male grooming to the forefront of fashion. His affiliation with fashion was best demonstrated through the music video for one of his biggest hits, Freedom - which featured the original supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz and Christy Turlington.

He remained a lasting style icon throughout the rest of his life, however adopted a much more formal look towards the end of his career, performing in a selection of tailored suits. Formal, but no less striking in his age. 

After selling more than 100 million records worldwide, George Michael has left a lasting legacy on the music industry and a huge rip in the seams of the fashion world.

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