David Bowie was not just a musician and actor; he was a man of style. Throughout the various eras of his career, he rocked entirely new looks, while reinventing himself as an artist (sorry Madonna, but Bowie is the king of reinvention). All the way from the ’60s to the day he passed on, Bowie’s sense of style remained top notch.
Here at MTV FORA, we were inspired by the styles from the many Bowie eras. We decided to recreate some looks that channel the icon himself:
1. The Psychedelic Early Age
In the 1960s, David Bowie was a young singer/songwriter whose career was just beginning to launch. He released his debut self-titled album in 1967, after spending years being part of various smaller bands (who’d often play at bars and pubs). This look set the stage for many others to come. Here, he’s clean cut, and decked out in paisley, a popular pattern in that era, which shows his style game was strong right from the start. Although in this era he may have followed the trends of the groovy ’60s, he would later become the trendsetter himself.
2. The Man Who Sold The World…In Florals
After releasing two albums in the 1970s, Bowie released his third called The Man Who Sold The World. With the release of this album came the start of a new decade: the ’70s. In many photos from this time period David Bowie is seen wearing floral patterned clothing, bell bottom pants, and flat go-go type boots. His button-up shirts are adorned in gold cuff links (which is why the earrings in this look resemble cuff links). Looks pretty snazzy to me!
3. The Rise Of Ziggy Stardust
Ah, the glam era. This era marks the birth of David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, with the release of his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars in 1972. Around this time, Bowie began dressing in flashy looks to represent the Starman, wearing bright reds, oranges, and gold. Also, we can’t forget the glitter (lots and lots of glitter). This is one of his most iconic looks, next to Aladdin Sane, which we’ll see next.
4. Struck By Aladdin Sane
One year after Ziggy Stardust made his debut, Aladdin Sane was born. The character was inspired by Bowie’s older brother, who suffered from mental illness. In fact, the lightening bolt represents the duality of the mind, according to Bowie. Many fans can recognize this era with the bright red and blue lightening bolt painted on his face; it’s definitely his most iconic look.
5. The Thin White Duke (Or Duchess, If You Prefer)
The Thin White Duke is the last alter ego that David Bowie created. This character came with the 1976 release Station to Station. In fact, this persona has been described once as “an aristocrat gone mad.” The look that this alter-ego sports is a classy one: dress shirt, black pants, and a vest. Perhaps this look might not be “mad” or “crazy” but it’s as polished as an aristocrat can be.
Bowie plays a silver clown in his “Ashes to Ashes” music video. This Pierrot became a prominent visual for his Scary Monsters era. This metallic silvery look is definitely a softer one that’s less edgy compared to previous looks. The colour palette of this look is so dreamy too.
7. Goblin Queen
In 1986, David Bowie starred in the cult-classic musical, Labyrinth. He played Jareth, the goblin king. Of course, he sang mostly all of the songs in the movie, except for Chilly Down. This look is made up of neutral, earthy tones; Bowie seems to stick to this colour palette throughout the entire movie. It’s definitely a good one to pull off on a daily basis (minus that wild hair style!). Puppets, good music, and a fantasy world sounds like a great film to star in to me!
8. The Legend Lives On
This is sadly Bowie’s last look and era before he passed on. He released his final album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday – January 8, 2016. With the release of Blackstar and the last of the beloved musician’s days, Bowie dressed in chic, mysterious, elegant clothing. This look is a great everyday look to wear to work, school, or even an evening outing.