April 3, 2012
Behind the Scenes: “Thriller Jacket”

A black and red calf leather jacket is among the most recognizable and famous garments of the 20th century.  This jacket has been described as “the greatest piece of rock and roll memorabilia in history.”  The iconic jacket was worn by Michael Jackson in his “Thriller” video in 1983.  One of the most famous jackets and I get to frame it.  Well, at least a replica of the jacket since the original is currently in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This replica was designed by Marc Laurent and cut to the King of Pop’s exact measurements.  The jacket features an exact print of Michael’s signature and actual autographs from the remaining Jackson 5 members; Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon Jackson on the inside lining.

A piece of rock and roll history deserves a one of a kind custom frame.  Framing this jacket came with a few challenges. One challenge was showing the signatures on the inside lining without taking away from the piece. Another challenge was a conservation challenge of  how to mount the jacket while preserving it. It took some time but the jacket is mounted on a black glossy mat without adhesives or being sewn through.  To have some added dimension and structure to the jacket it is stuffed with acid-free materials.


To fit the depth of the jacket a 2” gold and wood panel frame was cake-stacked; (moulding is set 90 degrees on it’s side to create depth and topped with another frame. The face of the bottom frame is now the side.) Then topped with a custom wrapped red leather frame to match the leather of the jacket. 

For an added custom touch the glass was hand-painted with Michael’s silhouette and Thriller logo. Michael’s silhouette was painted on the inside of the glass in silver and placed to float over the jacket.  The Thriller logo was painted in red with touches of black and placed to fill some negative space at the bottom of the frame.

All elements placed together with a few finishing touches; here is the finished piece.  A one of a kind custom frame for an iconic jacket.