Janet Jackson’s Auction Is a Trip Through Music (and Fashion) History

4 weeks ago 29
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f you’ve ever turned on a Janet Jackson video and wished that you could be as chic as the pop legend, your moment to shine may have finally arrived. Jackson, who celebrates her 55th birthday on Sunday, has decided to honor the occasion by opening up her archives. From now until May 16th, Jackson will be partnering with Beverly Hills auction house Julien’s Auctions on a sale benefiting Compassion International, a non-profit focused on humanitarian aid for children living below the poverty line. Usually, a celebrity sell-off would include one or two pieces that are considered iconic, but Jackson’s lot of more than 3000 items offers an expansive overview of her accomplishments. 

Every era of Jackson’s career is accounted for, as well as plenty of pre-fame moments too. Her report cards, textbooks, and childhood toys are all up for grabs alongside gold records, awards, and dozens of personal keepsakes. For fashion fans, though, the biggest get is the deep dive into Jackson’s wardrobe onscreen and off. Like Rhythm Nation? Well, you can buy the embellished black jacket and baseball cap the star wore onstage to perform her classic hit. More of a The Velvet Rope fan? Place a bid for the transparent top and cargo pants Jackson chose for the “Together Again” music video. All your favorite Janet outfits are here: the jeans she danced through the sand in during “Love Will Never Do Without You,” that ab-revealing cropped vest she grooved in while singing “That’s The Way Love Goes”; even the key earrings Jackson made famous in the 80s are available. 

The outfits connected to Jackson’s concerts and music videos are sure to sell quickly—that Rhythm Nation tour jacket has already sold for more than $80,000—but the auction also offers insight into Jackson’s style away from the limelight. The Rick Owens leather jackets, Louis Vuitton trunks, and embroidered Saint Laurent boots within Jackson’s wardrobe are no less impressive than what she wears to major events. Speaking of which, there are even a few Met gala looks in the mix. Fell in love with the sleek Atelier Versace Jackson wore to 2008’s Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibition? Well, it’s yours for the taking. Equally remarkable is the asymmetrical Lanvin LBD that Alber Elbaz whipped up for Jackson’s night at 2010’s American Women fete. 

Whether you join the live auction or simply flip through the catalog online, Jackson’s wardrobe is a trip through fashion and music history. After lovingly preserving her collection for years, Jackson admitted letting it all go was bittersweet. “Can’t believe this will be the last time I’ll see some of these items,” she shared on Twitter. “But it’s all for a good cause

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