In Honour of David Bowie
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. 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.
RIP..Bowie, what an icon!! Listening to Aladin sane before my friend called for me to walk to Greaves school in Lancaster. Hair centre parted, eyebrows plucked within an inch of their lives, skirt rolled over at the top, and one woodbine smoked between the three of us. We all loved your music, and the memories of that era. We all thought we were “cool” ( we weren’t) great years, great music!!!
Bowie was the soundtrack to my life. The epitome of cool. Classy. Genius. Genius. Genius.
Thank you for In Honour of David Bowie.
Fabulous exhibition by the V & A Museum “David Bowie Is” now in Denmark after being in Melbourne during 2015. Highly recommended for all David Bowie Fans.