A genius, a visionary and a true icon of music and style. Rest in peace, David Bowie.
Almost a year ago to the day, we wrote about the iconic and eternal style of David Bowie to celebrate his 68th birthday. This morning we awoke to the heart wrenching news that he had lost an 18 month long battle with cancer aged 69. Below is a modified version of the words we chose to admire him with that still ring true today. Play “Let’s Dance” as loud as you possibly can and remember with us, a man whose music and style will be immortal.
David Robert Jones was born in Brixton on Wednesday the 8th of January 1947. Picking up a saxophone at the tender age of 13, he had transformed himself by 1966 into David Bowie. What better way to remember Bowie than with a petit homage to the fashion genius of one of the world’s most famously multi-faceted and various icons of all time?
To insist that he was never interested in fashion seems an incredible claim from a man who sported kitten heels with a Thierry Mugler suit, featured a face-painted Twiggy on the cover of his 1973 album Pin Ups and wrote an unsettlingly vacuous song titled “Fashion”. He inspired the likes of Heidi Slimane, Jean Paul Gaultier and Kansai Yamamoto, looking East for inspiration when the young Yamamoto was still the only Japanese designer to touch down in London.
There was so much more to Bowie’s image than even the sometimes complex joy of looking at something so unearthly and spectacular. His multiple personas demanded questions be asked of them – why? How? Who was he? Where did he come from? In some ways that was the point, and in an interview with NME Bowie approached fashion as a concept, saying he wanted, “to suggest more of a gritted teeth determination and an unsureness about why one’s doing it (fashion)”. He wanted his music to “look how it sounds”, and we’re pretty sure he nailed it.
Bowie was an experience, from the Starman leotards to the mustard suit in Terry O’Neill’s photograph, from his landmark performance in 1972 on TOTP to his 50th birthday all-star performance in NY’s Madison Square Garden, from the Ziggy tour to Serious Moonlight, The Man Who Fell to Earth to Labyrinth, from Alladin Sane to the Thin White Duke, Bowie inhabited multiple worlds where it’s OK to be a sexy boy who looks like a girl, and imaginary astronauts and goblin kings abound. He said that he, “always felt a repulsive need to be something more than human”, and he was about as close to inhuman as the founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long Haired Men could possibly be. We’d like to thank Mr Bowie for his unrivalled contribution to style and for being an outrageously fabulous guiding light for anyone who has ever felt weird or wonderful or both. Rest in peace, David Bowie.
Words: Florence Trott