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In Honour of David Bowie

Selvedge

It was with great sadness that we learnt of David Bowie's death this morning – few have ever been so influential in terms of fashion, music and culture in general. Today it is taken for granted that music and fashion are creative and certainly commercial bedfellows: witness how both Madonna and Lady Gaga manipulate their image as an essential element of their music brands. The clothes promote the music, the music the brand. But the phenomenon really got underway in the 1950s, taking off in the Swinging Sixties and was truly established in the 70s when the subversive environment of British art schools stimulated students, or former students, to indulge in both music and design. bowie Clothes became performers’ costume, with the ‘unwearable’ having an almost instantaneous ripple effect down to the mass market. Marc Bolan and David Bowie were seminal in disseminating the Glam look using the interplanetary to explore the possibilities of artifice. Experimentation with identity, particularly sexual ambiguity, was reflected in the music and the glittering space age outfits, chunky platforms and makeup for men and women. Bowie and his androgynous alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, was renowned for his velvet catsuits, leotards, dresses, neon make-up, gravity-defying hairstyles, platform shoes and bright printed scarves to change his persona alongside his musical style. The emphasis was squarely on the singer’s persona with fashion an integral part of the image. At one point the commentator Peter York suggested that Bryan Ferry and David Bowie should hang side by side in the Tate as contemporary works of Art... This is an extract from Corinne Julius' article on music and fashion in the Souvenir issue of Selvedge Magazine.


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  • wilma on

    David Bowie – style icon, re-inventor, way way ahead of his time. I was born in the sixties and clearly remember my brother and sister (ten years older than me) dancing, in the sitting room (with parents on sofa!) whilst watching top of the pops. Seeing Bowie for the first time I was totally hooked. Still am. Great loss to the world of music. We love you David and we always will. So many good times, so many great memories.

  • clarissa on

    David Bowie – A stylish man with flair and a vivid, unrelenting, imagination. A gentle person who loved colour, loved texture, who bravely pushed every boundary and then some, who revered and respected ‘difference’ and indeed revelled in it and who showcased the beauty in everything…the ultimate showman and musician. We will all always benefit from his incredible legacy left behind. Gone way too soon.

  • Joan Podel on

    TO EVERYONE AT SELVEDGE….I JUST LEARNED OF BOWIES PASSING AND HAVE BEEN LISTIENING TO TRIBUTES AND INFORMATION I HAVE NEVER KNOWN ABOUT HIM BEFORE! WHAT A GUY!

    I SALUTE ALL OF YOU AT SELVEDGE FOR FORWADING WHAT YOU HAVE JUST SENT TO ME AND ALL YOUR SELVEDGE FANS AND WHAT YOU HAVE PUT TOGETHER AND ORGANIZED IN HIS HONOR.

    I WILL READ ALL VERY SOON AND I FOUND THIS TRIBUTE TO HIM VERY TOUCHING!

    SINCERELY,
    JOAN PODEL

  • Gillian on

    Only last week my husband and I were saying that we wanted to buy David Bowie’s most recent album. Born in ‘58 in the UK he was one of my earliest music heroes! He signified change, daring, creativity, he showed us it was alright to be different! A sad loss, too soon, he will be missed.
    Thank you for your article honouring him. Wouldn’t it be great to see all th costumes he wore in one exhibit? Any chance of that happening?

  • Annie Thompson on

    Loved David Bowie forever. Used to dress up with my girl mate, Glenna, in high school and go to Bowie concerts in Detroit with sparkly tattoos and creative garb. No other musician has commanded my belting out of his tunes as Bowie has.
    I recently created a long black linen jacket named the ‘Starman’ jacket and was in the process of finding a way to get it into David’s hands as a small gift for all the wonderful gifts he’s given me and all of us. Why did I wait so long??!! I suppose I thought he’d never die. The world was a better place and just knowing he was in it and on it was warming. He lives on and on and on and on and on. Rest in peace Starman. We have always loved you.



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