The Thriller Jacket
‘‘The jacket was designed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, wife of director John Landis. Landis had also designed Indiana Jones’s jacket in Raiders of the Lost Ark and many others. The candy-apple-red jacket with black strips was noted for its many zips and its “M” logo, with the angular, rigid shoulder work protruding out over the tops of the arms. Landis stated that she designed the jacket to specifically help Jackson appear more “virile”. In the video, Jackson dances in the jacket with zombies.
Christine Gledhill in her book Stardom: Industry of Desire (1991) discusses Jackson’s overall style in Thriller as follows: “In ‘Thriller’, Michael’s outfit and its stylistic features – the wet-look hairstyle, the ankle-cut jeans and the letter ’M’ emblazoned on his jacket – reinforce this meta-textual superimposition of role. If Michael, as the male protagonist, is both boyfriend and star, his female counterpart in the equation of 'romance’ is both the girlfriend and at this meta-textual level, the fans.
Fashion designer Zaldy was responsible for a redesigned version of the jacket for the planned but later cancelled This Is It concerts. It had an imitation of blood on its shoulders, and on the inside a stamp resembling the feline beast Jackson turns into in the video.’’