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David Bowie: A Legend To Learn From

By Fay Elizabeth Schneider

David Bowie was the most popular identity of David Robert Jones, the creative genius behind many generation-shaping works, including a personal favorite, the 1976 film “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” in which Bowie graces the Earth with his alien-and-world-changing presence (the symbolism to his own life is amazing). Bowie excelled in the arts, but his lasting impression stretches farther than the music and films he crafted. This is because he was more than a man, he was a human artistic-and-social statement. For example, he was bisexual. Clemmie Moodie of Mirror acknowledged there was widespread shock when David Bowie said he was gay during a magazine interview, stating, “This, of course, was a time when to be an out performer was strongly taboo—back then, even Elton John was straight.”

Because of his avid support of sexual and gender freedoms, he was a visual and artistic leader, adopting his own glam-rock style with the persona “Ziggy Stardust,” and using it to deeply touch the minds and hearts of his fans assuring them via music.

“I’ve had my share. I’ll help you with the pain. You’re not alone.” —“Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide” from David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

Bowie continues to inspire because the progression of fashion and social reform in the modern day relies on the quality of reflection on the past. We’ve all heard it: “every style comes back around,” and most do because as history and reform tactics repeats themselves, so does fashion. We, as college students in this generation, were fortunate enough to witness the last few years of the great David Bowie, and far enough away from the time when he rocked and shocked the fashion world, that we have the opportunity to bring it all back to life.

The following highlights some of Bowie’s greatest fashion statements and how any girl—or guy, for that matter—can sensibly liven up their own closet in tribute to these great moments in the history of fashion, and in remembrance of the late David Bowie.

His Bright Mullet Hair


(Photo obtained from Style.It)

How He Did It:

Using peroxide and German hair dye to achieve his red-orange color, Bowie used this hairstyle to personify “Ziggy Stardust”.

How We Do It: Abstract hair-dying is all the rage right now, but hair chalk is a great non-permanent alternative that won’t freak your mom out.



(Photo obtained from the Doll and the Drummer)

His Vibrant Makeup:

How He Did It: The giant, gold makeup disk depicted on Bowie’s forehead to represent “Ziggy Stardust,” as well as his music-video makeup for “Life On Mars” were anything but natural, embodying his musical creativity.

How We Do It: A slick line of electric red or blue under the eyes from Urban Decay’s “Electric Pallet” is wildly beautiful, but still sensible enough for everyday wear.



(Photo obtained from Six Degrees of Separation)

His Platform Shoes: How He Did It: His patent leather red platform boots were an adaption of the very 70s, fashionable shoe, but with a Ziggy twist.

How We Do It: To really embrace this statement, check out Jeffrey Campbell’s shoe collection and embrace the wonders of new-age vintage.



(Photo obtained from Bullet Blues)

His Wide-Flare Jeans:

How He Did It: His street style: pictured here in a collared, navy jacket and frayed bell-bottom jeans.

How We Do It: Wide-flare pants have been making a large comeback since last summer, when we saw them done in crazy prints and comfy fabrics. Now is the time for the reawakening of the bell bottomed jean. Check out Lucky Brand Jeans for some personal wide-flare favorites.


(Photo obtained from The Sun)

His Long, Printed Scarves:

How He Did It: David Bowie was a fan of all-season scarves throughout his entire life. Most of them were longer in length and depicted some floral or striped design, sometimes styled to be tied over to the side.

How We Do It: Have scarves ever not been in? Try switching it up with Nasty Gal’s collection of skinny scarves and channel your inner glam rocker.


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