Ziggy Stardust. Aladdin Sane. The Thin White Duke. Halloween Jack. Jareth, the Goblin King.
The man with the most beautiful mugshot has passed away and we are devastated.
No matter which of the personas you identified with more, the bottom line is the artist known as David Bowie has touched everyone in some way or another. From inspiring us to design, create, learn and let go of our inhibitions, Bowie was a force that we could look to for support – if I can do it, you can to – even without having met.
With a career spanning five decades, he was a pioneer for the gay and androgynous movements, breaking down barriers that we are still battling today when it comes to love, life, fashion and what is “gender appropriate”. We grew up with him as he worked through his personal battles – marriage breakdowns, family members’ mental illness, police arrests, drug addiction and ultimately cancer – and we saw the parallels with our own lives with the music he produced off the back of these experiences. He expressed the things we were too scared to and we drew strength from his bravery and genuineness.
Growing up in what was the upheaval of 1940’s post-war Britain, and with those cheek bones, Bowie started modelling at a young age. It’s no surprise Bowie was as attracted to fashion and costumes as much as it was to him. From disco, supernatural and surreal, punk, mod and tailored suits, Bowie was always on trend and in-style.
Very few people can work the fiery mullet and no-eyebrows look, but somehow he pulled it off and made it look desirable. Very few artists successfully reinvent themselves (outside of a marketing ploy or movie role) year after year, and those that do don’t often pull it off flawlessly each time.
For Bowie, every day was a chance for art, and while this is a luxury afforded to celebrities, he inspired us to learn to contour, work a pompadour, learn to walk in platform shoes, and add a touch of the dramatic to our every day looks. He opened the door to be different, to take risks and to be unafraid. And for this we thank him.