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The world has lost one of its most creative super-humans, the space oddity David Bowie. Like any great artist, Bowie had periods, but instead of shifting from water colours to oils, it was his persona and fashion that changed. His career began in the early-to-mid ’60s, but what followed was really what left an impression. From 1968 to 1971, Bowie lived his Space Oddity and Hunky Dory eras, shifting between sun-kissed frizz perms to rich girl hair. His face, ever rigid, was seen as conventionally feminine, with its pinkish-red lips and frosty white complexion. By 1972, Ziggy Stardust was born, which is his most-remembered and beloved character, and a character that launched a thousand ships (think Lady Gaga, for example, who is not David Bowie, obviously, but is certainly inspired by him).

Ziggy lasted a year, and then he moved on to soul and funk. This led to the creation of his new persona, The Thin White Duke. He was fairly conventional looking, with slicked back hair and a penchant for vests. During this time, he said he subsisted on “red peppers, cocaine and milk.” Next up, the Berlin era, a time when he made three albums with Brian EnoLow (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). The look was much more sophisticated and polished than previous personae, but it only lasted three years. See, that’s what made Bowie so great – he was this ever-evolving cluster of supercharged cells that seemed too supernatural to even be real.

He experimented with new wave (1980 to 1988), then he formed the band Tin Machine (1989 to 1991), then came the electronic period (1992 to 1998). From 1999 to today, David Bowie kept his look less experimental, but even wearing a plain ol’ suit, there were a number of flourishes that made it his own (a jazzy tie, an ornate tie bar, a lapel pin). He was a god. A god with the most unique and inspiring style that we likely will never see again. So, here’s to you. Thank you for doing you, always:

 

Be sure to catch MUCH CELEBRATES DAVID BOWIE, a 24-hour tribute on Sunday, Jan. 17 beginning at 6 a.m. ET.