Rushka Bergman talks
Personally, the most beautiful thing I worked on was working with Michael Jackson. He was the most beautiful person on the inside and the outside. He was misunderstood by the whole planet. He was beyond genius as an artist. I would talk to him about art and about love, and of course I am so lucky that from all the stylists around the world, he chose me to be his stylist. It was the most beautiful thing that could have happened to me.
I worked on This Is It with Michael, and he also had his own fashion designers who worked with him for years. I do have the most spectacular Haute Couture clothes for the This Is It tour in London that they were made specially for Michael Jackson. I’m working on a project now that will be one of the most beautiful things for the planet because it will show the real Michael and share with the whole world his love and his art. The first day when he met me, he wrote me a note that said, ‘Rushka you are really an artist in the highest, you are the greatest, I love you. Michael Jackson. Let’s make history together.’ This was in 2007.
I remember my photo shoot with Michael Jackson for L’Uomo Vogue was all Dior Homme. This was when Hedi was working there. Michael loved his style. I have to say, I am very happy that Hedi Slimane is at Saint Laurent now. Michael loved Christophe Decarnin as well–he was one of his favorite designers, and Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy too. For Michael’s tour he said it had to be a mix of the most expensive clothes with less expensive clothes, but at the same time very original. Christian Augadier from Ed Hardy was a great friend of Michael’s and so we always included his clothes. It was very important to Michael that he wore things that very rich people could relate to and very poor people, too, because his music was listened to all over the world by all types of people. I want to only tell you one thing: only great minds can afford simple style.”
RUSKA BERGMAN: The Last Dinner With Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's stylist - in her own words The orginal article was written is in Croatian/Serbian and someone was kind enough to translate them.
Famous New York stylist who was born in Takov, the woman who enchanted Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman and Hilary Clinton, for two and a half years she was inseparable with the tragic King of Pop, who said a month before he left this world’s stage that he will forever be with her.
Written by: Zaneta Apostolovski
Michael Jackson was never selfish, he shared his love with the whole world, but that he’s the King of Pop – no one truly admitted that till he died. Michael wasn’t a freak, even though so many ugly things and lies were written about him. People simply didn’t understand him just like they didn’t understand Beethoven and Mozart but time has proven that they were musical geniuses as well. Jackson was an amazing artist. He lived in his own world with his music. I’m happy/lucky because I got to be his friend and that he chose me out of all people to be his stylist – says Ruska Bergman, the personal stylist of the late pop icon.
She’s only worked for a few years in New York but she’s already worked with Hilary Clinton, Bjork, Cindy Crawford , Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and many other stars. She’s convinced that Michael Jackson was the most noble and sophisticated person that she worked with.
“I work for the Italian ‘L’Uomo Vogue’, I styled lots of directors, athletes, actors and when we had to pick out a music icon for our photoshoot, I suggested Michael Jackson, so I sent him a letter. I was at the theatre when after three weeks I got a phonecall from his lawyer who said he was calling on behalf of Michael Jackson.” – I was completely caught off guard. I got scared that I did something wrong in the way I contacted him …so I started apologizing. When the lawyer told me that Michael agreed to do the photoshoot, I asked him to repeat that sentence again before I pass out …I called the editor of the magazine right away and told her that Michael Jackson agreed to do the photoshoot.”
According to Ruska, the preparations for this photoshoot were the most intense preparations on the planet.
“I got thousands of girls assisting us but by the end of it we decided on six. Completely impressed with what he saw, Michael simply shouted, “Girls, you are divine!” – but in order for Ruska to hear that sentence she worked very hard for five months.
Even though he was a megastar, Michael never acted like one on the set. He was very professional, he knew that he was working with the best stylists, make-up artists and photographers and he never saw their work as something beneath him.
There were hundreds of people on set. We played his Thriller album, he immediately stood in front of the camera and started dancing and a few moments later everyone was in tears. He had so much energy that I then, and many times later, thought that he must be from a different planet.
Michael Jackson thought the same about Ruska though. He was amazed how much love she put into her work . Because of similar sensibilities, they continued to work together and their professional association quickly turned into friendship. He loved her character and honesty. He appreciated the fact that she was always honest about what she could and couldn’t do as far as her work goes.
The change in Jackson’s style over the last couple of years was very noticeable and noticed by the world media…on the internet blogs, everyone was asking who was behind the new look of this 20th century pop icon; His secret weapon was of course RUSKA BERGMAN!
“He trusted my taste a lot and he used to always tell me to never stop because I’m the most interesting person he’s ever met! When we became friends, he told me when I first showed up on his door in Vegas he could smell the Mediterranean sea on me”
Ruska and Michael were working intensely with one another over the last two years. They saw eachother often and stayed in touch regularly.
“My phone rang on New Years. I picked up the phone and heard someone singing opera. I was completely baffled. I asked who it was and Michael responded, “Who do you think it is?” – He was very shy and I can’t even describe how gentle he was. But his talent, voice, music and charisma can’t be surpassed.”
From the first time they met, Ruska was convinced he was a genius. After that meeting in Vegas, her whole world changed. She walked down the street and suddenly compared to Michael, all the people seemed so ordinary.
“The more I watched him, the more I loved him'', He was simply magic. He was the most noble person in the world. No man on Earth can compare to his inner and outer beauty. I met so many stars, talked to them, worked with them, but no one was even close to Michael’s charisma. He was simply always ahead of everyone else and I can’t believe that my dear friend died. How can I believe it when we actively worked so much together lately? I was getting the styling ideas ready for the tour, which unfortunately he will never get to do now – and it would’ve been a true spectacle.
According to Forbes magazine, Jackson would’ve earned 2.5 billion dollars from that tour, But he wasn’t too concerned about that. He had over 30 people who took care of everything and he had eleven lawyers, he lived in complete isolation but he was able to see who his true friends are. The moment Ruska came to LA, Michael would call her and sometimes he himself would pick her up at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“The window of the limo would go down and Michael – guarded by six bodyguards in there – would wave at me and call me over. We loved and respected eachother. He loved everything that I wore, and he always wanted to wear it. He always asked me where I was hiding so long. A man like that will never come by again, but I’m convinced that his music will live for hundreds of years. Everyone copies him, but only when Michael himself showed up would people actually faint.”
The woman who works in the biggest fashion house and gives advice to Tom Ford, Givenchy and many others, she fascinated the King of Pop when it came to how humble she was and her general view when it came to money.
When we had dinner just a month ago, Michael asked me, “Do you know why I love working with you? You never asked me for money. And we never talked about some agreements. You trusted me as I trusted you. I changed six managers in two years. You’re the only person who stuck with me. Everyone else came and went, and you, my dear, will be with me forever.''
The last time she saw him was two weeks before his death. She was at his house five days in a row.
“He was truly beautiful. He didn’t seem depressed or sad at all. He even danced a bit. Didn’t seem to have a care in the world. As always, he was the gentlest person on the planet. It seemed almost as if he was ‘ours’ . I never felt that about anyone aside from ~Steven Spielberg. But Michael was so unusual, his warmth and love completely got me. Everything was just fine. I can’t believe that he’s gone all of a sudden.”
She heard the news about his death while she was in the studio. The moment she heard it she thought she would fall off the chair. The only thing she could possibly say was that it was simply impossible, it can’t be. She couldn’t stop crying for days. All the material and the photographs and data that she has, she’s keeping for the movie, This is It, that’s coming out.
“I know I was very privileged because I had the chance to be so close to him, to see him as a real person. We perfectly understood eachother. I feel sad that the media was so unfair and cruel to him. He didn’t have cancer, his nose wasn’t falling off, all those things are just fabrications, stupidities and lies. The pop icon is among angels right now, but his music will live forever.”
Ruska Bergman, the Serbian stylist In response to the one on rare/rarely seen