Style Icon: David Bowie

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David Bowie, a human being or an alien form from outer space? Bowie was renowned for his fashion choices and self-invention throughout his lifetime. His fashion changed more dramatically and more often than any other artist in the music industry.

From Mod to Hippy to New Romantic, you name it, Bowie had it covered. His most well known look was his alter ego Ziggy Stardust of the 1970s, featuring his iconic red hair and sparkling catsuits, accompanied by the iconic red lighting bolt across his face.

His fashion sense was eccentric and bold, eye-catching and inspiring from all corners of the globe. Previously, in 2011, fashion designer Dries looked to Bowie’s White Duke for inspiration for their fall collection and used ‘Golden Years’ as a backing track. In 2013, Jean-Paul Gaultier used Bowie as an inspiration for his Paris Spring/Summer collection.  Bowie also inspired iconic fashion shoots such as Kate Moss’ Aladdin Sane cover for British Vogue in May 2003, then in 2012 on the cover of Vogue Paris as Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust.

Bowie’s legacy remained a part of society consistently throughout his legendary career. The musician brought about new ideas and concepts to a society that was fresh to liberalism and freedom. In 1972, Bowie declared himself as homosexual and then in 1976, stated that he was in fact bi-sexual. In addition, Bowie pushed the boundaries of gendered fashion. He performed in platform boots, make-up and dresses throughout his career whilst maintaining sex appeal that attracted both a female and male audience. Bowie stated, “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human”

David Bowie was always one step ahead of the times in terms of both his music and fashion. He allowed his music to naturally guide his style: the whole image of Bowie is effortless to say the least. He worked with many fashion designers, such as Alexander McQueen. In 1997, he worked with McQueen,  who was then a young a graduate, to design an iconic Union Jack coat. Gaultier stated, “David Bowie is a cult, an absolute rock star…I was influenced by his creativity, his extravagance, his sense of fashion, allure, elegance and play on gender.”

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About Author

Natasha is a second year History and English student at Loughborough. She began as a Label volunteer last year writing for the Style section.

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