Bowie’s Catwalk Legacy

Following the loss of David Bowie, celebrates how the rock star’s unique and compelling persona captured not just the hearts of music lovers, but of global fashion designers too

By pioneering sexual and artistic experimentation through clothing, David Bowie was truly ahead of his time. From psychedelic make up, to scorching red mullet, his androgynous and flamboyant style paved the way towards a more self-expressive and daring era of fashion. In commemoration of his style legacy, here are a few of the catwalk giants that are greatly indebted to, and have celebrated Bowie’s revolutionary style.

  1. Jean Paul Gautier SS13

There are an abundance of examples where Bowie empowered self-expression through his mesmerising alter-egos, where he challenged perceptions of gender and abandoned social norms. A particularly spectacular and jaw-dropping moment however, was his appearance as Ziggy Stardust in his 1973 appearance on Top of the Pops. The one-sleeved statement unitard and his infamous electric blue eye shadow were imitated in Jean Paul Gautier’s Spring/Summer collection in 2013. Models wore blazing red mullets and star speckled unitards – an ode to the singer’s ability to make our eyes pop.

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  1. Miu Miu AW12

Reminiscent of Bowie’s 1971 ‘Life on Mars’ music video, Miu Miu models took to the catwalks in autumn 2012 in razor sharp tailored blue trouser suits. Wide-lapelled shiny jackets and signature make-up harked back to his dramatic and compelling performance.

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3. Pam Hogg AW15

An eclectic mix of Bowie-esque models strutted down the catwalk during Pam Hogg’s AW15 tribute to Bowie. In her presentation entitled ‘Diamond Dogs and Demons’, named after the rock star’s eight studio album, Hogg celebrated Bowie’s infinite ways of championing individual self-expression and fantasy dressing up. A sassy red-haired pirate, petite red riding hood and androgynous caped model made the line-up, representing Bowie’s influence in defying conventional perceptions of models.

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4. Gareth Pugh SS16

Pugh is highly regarded when it comes to defying traditional perceptions of fashion and delivering experimental collections. What made his SS16 collection so enthralling however was the avant-garde make up which so resembled Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt album cover, coupled with the iconic geometric patterning David was responsible for pioneering.

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5. Dries Van Noten AW11

Even after Bowie’s more eccentric phase of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, fashion designers still paid homage to his sartorial genius. Here, Dries Van Noten’s AW11 collection is inspired by David’s sophisticated slicked back hair and slim suit that he wore to the Brit Awards in 1976.

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6.  Burberry AW16

Burberry models paid homage to the singer’s death in Kensington at the AW16 show last weekend. Guests were greeted by a Bowie soundtrack including hits such as ‘Changes’ and models took to the runway with tears of glitter painted onto their faces in the sombre ordeal. Hayett McCarthy paid her own tribute to Bowie by inscribing the singer’s name on her hands.

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David Bowie was truly his own designer, and these high-end brands can only attempt to replicate his remarkable artistic talents.

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