Why David Bowie, you ask? Cause he basically revolutionised androgyny and self expression across the world. Fearless in expression, music and his style, he still remains to this date one of most influential musicians and fashion icons of the world.
Aside from clothes being a form of self expression as they are to most of us, they were a way for him to secure his identity. The world was struck by his unique style and his willingness to try anything out. Space Oddity and Ziggy Dust remain some of his timeless music that will further go down in history.
“With the perfect clothes, haircut and British accent, Bowie had morphed himself into one of the most fashionable gentlemen within one of the most fashionable style icons of the 1960s” quoted Gentleman’s Journal. He was slick, a quintessential 1960’s fashion icon. He sported pointed boots, ankle length trousers and shirts with the top button done up – one of his classic looks around this period.
Once Space Oddity released, you could see experimentation takeover Bowie’s life. He now started chasing up his look by using his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. The entire album was dedicated to Bowie’s fictional character, Major Tom and his quest to reach the moon. Naturally, Space Oddity hit its maximum success after the space landing in 1969. It was around this time that he collaborated with a Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto after the designer learned that Bowie was wearing pieces of his womenswear on stage to personify Ziggy Stardust. Yamamoto was that legendary designer who designed the knitted unitards and kimonos that Ziggy wore at the time.
One of his biggest influences happened to be Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. This movie reflected his style. Bowie was experimental and particular with his hair and make up. One thing’s for sure is that he never did any of this for publicity and show – you could tell in his interviews and his conversation with people that he really dressed the way he felt. He wanted to dress in his utmost comfortable skin and Ziggy brought that out in him. Strange to us maybe, but at the time reality for him.
Towards the end of the 70’s and 80’s he went back to his gentleman like style of dressing. Sporting his three piece suits, ties, bow ties, structured shirts and polished shoes. Ziggy, his alter ego was put to sleep. Gone were the days of skin tight silver body suites and in were the days of golden blonde pushed back hair.
“There were multiple alter egos and mutations into Aladdin Sane with the jagged red hair and lighting bolt, the radical alien called Ziggy Stardust and the strange austerity of the Thin White Duke. In later decades, Bowie settled gradually into his role as the grand patriarch of gentle gender ambiguity. His changes never stopped, and he showed more than one generation how a man could be powerfully feminine” – The Rolling Stone Magazine.
The beauty of this man is that he could merge and integrate so effortlessly between various eras and style without ever composing his charming personality. Even though he moved from glitter to tailored suits, his character remained constant. Goes to say that he wore the clothes, the clothes never wore him.