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  • 20 January 2016

One of David Bowie’s most iconic images is of him performing on stage in 1973, wearing a printed knit jumpsuit by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto. With one leg cut off at the waist, and one sleeve cut away to reveal bare shoulders and half his torso, the piece was dramatic and sensational, just the way Bowie’s style was known to be. Throughout his career if there was one thing that stood out apart from his music, it was his many avatars, guises and alter egos. The most popular being Ziggy Stardust in the early 1970s, wearing an orange-red hairdo styled by his Beckenham-based hairdresser Suzi Fussey. Seen here are three outstanding costumes of Bowie as Ziggy.


Left: Bowie on the Dutch TV show TopPop in 1974, wearing an open shirt, red dungaree-style trousers and black high heeled boots.


Centre: Worn for the Life On Mars music video—filmed by Mick Rock in 1973—this ice-blue suit was designed by Freddi Buretti. Bowie accessorised the suit with a patterned tie and shirt, and dramatic make-up.


Right: This bright quilted ensemble and red lace-up boxer boots were worn for his performance on the television show Lift Off in 1972. 

Left: The cover of his third album The Man Who Sold The World, 1970. Bowie wears a medieval-style gown designed by Michael Fish. His mother was quoted in the media reacting to the image, “As long as he remains a boy, I can’t see any harm in it.”


Centre: Bowie’s second album, in the year 1969, was originally released as David Bowie in the UK, and as Man of Words/Man of Music in the US. It was re-released in 1972 as Space Oddity, the title of the opening track in the album.


Right: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was Bowie’s fifth studio album, released in 1972. It peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Music Charts in the UK. 

1. Shot by Terry O’Neill in 1974 as a publicity shoot for Bowie’s eighth studio album Diamond Dogs.


2. A 1972 portrait shot to promote The Man Who Sold The World.


3. Shot for the cover of Bowie’s 12th studio album Heroes, 1977.


4. This iconic picture was shot by Brian Duffy for the cover of the sixth album Aladdin Sane, which released in 1973.


5. Designed by Kansai Yamamoto, this striped bodysuit was used for the promotion of his Aladdin Sane tour. 


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