Just last Friday, I hit play on the entire catalog of David Bowie and culled my closet, in the hopes that his supreme domain over the word cool would somehow seep out of the speakers and guide me as I determined the fate of each garment. Friday was also his birthday, and the day he released his 28th album. It was his final album release, as he fell back away from Earth this morning.
I don't so much think I have the right to wax on about the loss of Bowie. Although he was a god to many, he was a human to many more, and that deeply personal loss is theirs. But he always has (and will continue to) inspire (really the word inspire doesn't cover it), so I thought it would be fitting to simply look back on a Bowie inspired creation of the past. I wrote the following post in April 2013.
I love every glittering hard edged sexy speck that is David Bowie. In fact, I've been known to get into serious arguments with close friends about the neverending cool that is Bowie. I defy you to find a rocker that has always been as undyingly cool as Bowie. I'll fight you. EVEN LABYRINTH COULD NOT STOP HIM.
So when that wildfire storm of a bloggess Tempest Devyne announced a Bowie sewalong, I was aaaaaaaaaall in. Bowie sewie, baby. The only problem was too many ideas. Glam rock outfit...punk acid rock leather...slick R&B gospel suit...I landed on the look from "Jump They Say," from the album Black Tie/White Noise. VERY COOL VIDEO. He's on skyscraper rooftops, being pushed and pulled in medical rooms and elevators by sharp suits and pale nurses...the tune was written about his half brother, who, I believe, did jump. To me, it always sounded like an admonishment, a commendation, and a warning at the same time. VERY COOL SONG.
But I couldn't seal the deal, as the fashion was clean lines, tailored coats, and, well, black and white.
Summer's coming, I can smell it in the air, it makes me feel alive, and I'm hellbound for color. Enter Nicole's (of You sew girl!) holyfrig amazing Drape t-shirt dress pattern. This is "pattern magic," with no magic required. I'm of the no-thank-you camp when it comes to figuring those bad boys out, so imagine my delight when I had an artsy draped dress in UNDER AN HOUR. My first crack was made up in silky grey jersey, in the hopes of a slim resemblance to Monochrome Tailored Jazz Bowie... and I would've went with it, but I really needed to shoot it on top of a building (seriously, you gotta watch the video).
But then I remembered this magnificent print, picked up at Spandex House. Or maybe it was World. Whichever one, IT HAS A SIX DOLLAR A YARD RACK. I had enough of this fabric fulla colors-to-light up-your-face to extend Nicole's pattern to maxi proportions. I believe there's even some serious moonlight in there. Definitely some blues for those red hues. And nothin says sway like jersey. The "Let's Dance" dress was on.
Big Daddy was always quite fond of this tune, we'd duet often. And Bowie is just, as always, the coolest. I revisited the video: a sweaty, white gloved Bowie lolls against a plaster wall with a lone upright bassist, a disinterested yet slightly worried singer, squinting into the sun bleached distance, as bar patrons of all ages drink and shimmy. You feel like you're in a mix of present and past Mexico, and Bowie is so cool, he doesn't even need to be in the video. You leave him halfway through the first verse and follow a young girl who happens upon a pair of patent leather red shoes, and then it all goes wrong in that Bowie video way: a mushroom cloud blossoms in the distance, and she and her beau are transported to some kind of New York (I may be projecting here), where they find themselves scrubbing streets, thoughtlessly spending, and dragging mechanical factory inventions around like packhorses. In the end, she ditches the shoes, and they snap out of it, back dancing barefoot atop their mountain, the sharp city intact in the distance across the water, the red shoes abandoned.
Appropriately, I went sans shoes for these photos, taken while away this weekend with Hollow Leg Dad, Hot Mama, and The Child(ren). Also appropriately, I would rather be dancing barefoot in their sun bleached backyard than heading back to the sharp city.
I'll put on some Bowie tonight for sure. It's the best for dancing when you have the blues.
2016: This dress has since been shortened to mini length, and now graces the (over 6 foot tall) frame of a stunning actress/singer/dancer who exudes joy twenty four seven. I don't regret the giving of it-- it was an excellent reincarnation. And there will always be Bowie in my closet.