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Lifestyle

David Bowie, Fashion Icon

Striped bodysuit for the Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. Design by Kansai Yamamoto. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita/The David Bowie Archive.

Organized with unprecedented access to David Bowie’s personal archive, “David Bowie is” explores the creative process of an artist unlike any other.

The Archer, Station to Station tour, 1976. Photograph by John Robert Rowlands. © John Robert Rowlands.

Organized by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the show includes 400 objects drawn primarily from the David Bowie Archive, including the artist’s original costumes, handwritten lyric sheets from famous songs, original album art, photographs and videos, all tracing Bowie’s creative process from his teenage years in England through his last 20 years living in New York. The archive is presented within an immersive, multimedia installation that includes continuous audio along with projected animation and video.

David Bowie, 1973. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita/The David Bowie Archive.

Highlights of the exhibition include more than 60 custom-made performance costumes, including six designed by Freddie Burretti for Ziggy Stardust / 1980 Floor Show and seven designed by Kansai Yamamoto for Aladdin Sane. There are 85 handwritten lyric sheets, including those from “Fame” and “Fashion;” drawings, including a sketch for the Young Americans album cover; and oil paintings, including two of musician Iggy Pop, all by Bowie.

Promotional photograph of David Bowie for Diamond Dogs, 1974. Photograph by Terry O’Neill. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum.

There are also more than 40 pioneering music videos, television clips, and filmed roles as well as a multimedia presentation of international tour footage with rare scenes from the legendary Diamond Dogs tour, filmed in Philadelphia. A custom audio mix made up of snippets of Bowie’s songs—produced by longtime collaborator Tony Visconti—is also featured.

Asymmetric knitted bodysuit, 1973. Designed by Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour. Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum (left). Ice-blue suit, 1972. Designed by Freddie Burretti for the ‘Life on Mars?’ video. Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum (right).

 

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