Analyzing David Bowie’s Style Evolution

January 11, 2016 - fall Denim

By Brian Ives / Images by Michelle Baker 

Fashion: it’s shrill and tasteless, as David Bowie sang it in his classical strain on that subject. Yet it’s still fun to demeanour during and speak about, quite when a thesis is Bowie. Although a mythological singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist was distant from being a conform plant or follower. The clarification of “fashion” is “a prevalent tradition or impression of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.” and Bowie had never seemed to caring many about a “prevailing custom” of anything during all. He blazed his possess path, musically and visually; he didn’t follow what others had done.

Related: David Bowie Dies during 69

Friday, (Jan 8), Bowie expelled his latest album, ★, (pronounced “Blackstar”), which—no hyperbole—is one of his weirdest albums, and once again, he sounds and looks amazing. So, we motionless to reminisce on some of his many fascinating looks by a years.


On a manuscript cover of 1970’s The Man Who Sold a World, a longhaired Bowie lay on a cot wearing a gown. The manuscript wasn’t a hit, and a cover substantially didn’t assistance matters much: yet a array of artists didn’t mind Bowie’s cranky dressing, including Kurt Cobain, who’d after wear dresses on stage… and cover a album’s pretension track.

On The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and a Spiders from Mars, Bowie altered his demeanour radically, he was now sporting a spiky splendid orange mullet, and during that era, he wore a array of glammy, androgynous, sci-fi desirous outfits which mostly entailed height boots. It wasn’t a denim and leather, or a hippie garb, that many compared with stone and roll. But it was a new era, and Bowie was heralding it. And lots of guys took notice: shortly “men’s men” like a New York Dolls and KISS would be regulating variations of Bowie’s Ziggy-era look.

The demeanour Bowie sported on a cover of Aladdin Sane was a delay of a before year’s Ziggy imagery, yet with reduction clothes. And with that makeup. Simple yet distinct, it’s substantially Bowie’s singular many identifiable look. And a one many people wish to imitate, as you’ll find if we google “david bowie aladdin lucid makeup.”

Bowie taught us early on not to design him to repeat himself possibly musically or visually. So with everybody removing used to his androgynous glam demeanour and guitar-based rock, he motionless to fit adult and start personification essence song with Young Americans. But he still looked weird; it was as if a tailor forced Ziggy Stardust to get a haircut and dress like a grown up. But it was still different, and showed that he was peaceful to develop in a approach that many of this peers, and followers, wouldn’t. Or couldn’t. But it was during this era—which sported his biggest cocktail hits to date—that told everybody that we couldn’t box him in or connect him to his past.

Station to Station gave us a new Bowie persona, “The Thin White Duke.” He was still dapperly dressed as he was on Young Americans, yet this was a many some-more fashionable event musically, and his demeanour was many some-more conservative: black suit, white shirt, and his hair slicked back. It was as if he was revelation us not to worry about his appearance, usually listen to a mind-blowing song he was making.

Leaving a past behind has mostly been a thesis of Bowie’s work, and that was a box on a classical “Ashes to Ashes” from 1980’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). “Ashes to Ashes” name forsaken some of Bowie’s biggest works from “Space Oddity” (“Major Tom’s a junkie”) to Low. Visually, he dressed as a mime in partial of a video, nodding behind to his epoch in a ’60s when he complicated mime and theater. Very few people, by a way, demeanour cold as a mime, yet Bowie is one of a few who can lift it off.

It was 4 years between Scary Monsters and Let’s Dance, that seemed like an insanely prolonged time behind afterwards (little did we know that Bowie would go a decade between annals years later). And a Bowie who returned to us in 1983 seemed to have small to do with a male from “Ashes to Ashes.” And for once, he seemed to be meditative about a prevalent trend in a song industry, namely MTV. Now, he was relying on his good looks for his visible temperament (his hair: naturally blonde. His skin: surprisingly tan in a “Let’s Dance” video). Over a decade into a game, he became an idol to a younger assembly who knew small of his past. His demeanour and sound worked: some-more than usually a “comeback” album, Let’s Dance is the best offered LP of his career.

Even David Bowie isn’t perfect. After all, he concluded to be a tellurian star in a puppet-heavy George Lucas/Jim Henson filmLabyrinth. It usually didn’t work. He sported a braid usually Tina Turner could have pulled off. We’re including this look, though, as a sign that nobody’s infallible, not even David Bowie. But hey, during slightest his annoying demeanour was partial of a GEORGE LUCAS/JIM HENSON film. What’s your forgive for those parachute pants we wore in a ’80s?

By a finish of a ’80s, Bowie was prepared to strike a “reset” button. Following Let’s Dance, there were dual some-more albums that went serve into adult contemporary domain that even Bowie didn’t seem meddlesome in. And of course, there was Labyrinth. So he done some truly astonishing moves: abandoning his solo career (temporarily), he shaped a rope called Tin Machine. Not usually that, he let his facial hair grow into stubble, that infrequently seemed kind of like a beard. Tin Machine’s song was hard, guitar music, and it came usually a few years before Nirvana would lead an “alt-rock” explosion. Tin Machine’s early demeanour was as distinguished as a sound: all a members wore black suits and ties with white shirts. Many Bowie fans were confused by a whole thing, yet a male himself credits this epoch with rebooting him as an artist.

After a retraction of Tin Machine, Bowie returned to his solo career; with 1995’s Outside and 1997’s Earthling, he adopted a really electronic sound and sported a spiky hairstyle. The cover of 1999’s ‘Hours…’ announced another rebirth, with a longer-haired Bowie holding a seemingly-dead spiky-haired doppelgänger. One of Bowie’s performances to foster a manuscript was on VH1’s Storytellers, where he showed adult with loose longish hair, and an oversized hoodie. Somehow, a thought that David Bowie had a hoodie was shocking. But in ’99, Bowie seemed to be in an artistic and personal place where he felt he had zero to infer and he could usually make a music, and wear a clothes, that he was gentle in. For many 50-something artists, that’d be boring, yet for Bowie it somehow seemed fascinating.

Bowie followed ‘Hours…’ pretty fast with Heathen in 2002 and Reality in 2003, and toured for both albums. And then: a decade prolonged hiatus. He astounded a universe by re-emerging in 2013 with The Next Day and today, he earnings after a meagre 3 years with ★. Clearly, he no longer cares about catering to whatever is “commercial” in 2016. Friday (Jan 8) was his 69th birthday, and a cocktail charts are younger than ever. So, he used a impression instead of a word to pretension his album. In the ★ video, he wears an understated black coupler and slacks and a grey shirt; arrange of like baleful causal Friday wear. Maybe, not his many sparkling look, yet damn, he looks cold in it. As he did in roughly anything.

More denim ...

› tags: fall Denim /