Hey, look! There’s Stevie Wonder in a silk burgundy jacket with asymmetrical leather lapels and pleated leather trousers above suede slip-ons embroidered with cats’ faces!
And wow! Here comes Freddie Jackson in his Mary Alice Orito of Manhattan coat that starts out white and zigzags down into black with sequins and beads where the black and white join!
Ooo, wait—over there! That’s Miles Davis in his silk dashiki! Rick Springfield in the latest flasher raincoat! Steven Van Zandt in a rumpled fuchsia jacket that droops down below his knees! Check out that waffled silk coat sprinkled with black stones over a blue-pink threaded shirt on Kenny Rogers! And get a load of Donny Osmond in his iridescent-blue, shawl-collar number with the royal-blue piping and the pants cinched tight just above the ankles!
Probably it is premature to declare that women are duds as dressers, but at the Grammy Awards the males had the brightest plumage. It was sad, in a way. “This year,” said Bill Whitten, who designed the garments for Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie, “the women didn’t seem to make an effort.”
Different peacocks gave different explanations, naturally. “I had been laid-back in clothing,” Freddie Jackson said. “This outfit is a statement of a new look.” “He was mainly trying to look good,” explained Stevie Wonder’s designer, Stephen Loomis. But the biggest surprise had the best reason. “Music is now a visual medium instead of an audio one,” said Osmond. “People still think I do the same old stuff from the teenybopper era. To get the stigma out of their minds, I’ve got to shock them and educate them.”
There was even a moral, of sorts. “If you’re doing easy-listening music,” designer Whitten said, “you don’t wear fuchsia.”