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Clothes Encounter

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What do you get when you cross concert tees with couture? High-end clothing featuring the likenesses of the King of Pop and Madonna, that’s what. Appliqued Michael Jackson skirts (with light or dark skin tones) by Austrian designer Bernard Willhelm recently sold out at NYC’s Henri Bendel, despite a $558 price tag. Why the fascination with the gloved one? ”Willhelm’s clothes are lighthearted and humorous,” says Bendel’s designer buyer Anna Garner. ”I think he saw his collection through the eyes of his childhood [and] he grew up during a time of real American mass culture.” Similarly, on the spring runway, Dolce & Gabbana (who designed Madonna’s latest look) presented crystal-encrusted Madonna T-shirts, which are expected in stores by February. The singer ”has always been one of our inspirations,” says D&G’s Katie Weinberg, who notes that the new Mrs. Guy Ritchie fully authorized the collection. So that’s what she meant by being a material girl.