I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring. David Bowie

Below is our archives ‘Bowie – stuff we like’ article back from 2012. Odds on it will start touring again very soon.


Ah, the Thin White Duke – Just be patient until the 23th of March, when the Victoria & Albert Museum in London will celebrate the opening of the first international restrospective of the extraordinary career of David Robert Jones, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Halloween Jack, Major Tom… David Bowie. The original and best rock chameleon, pioneer of metrosexuality and the inspiration for a thousand other popstars, from Boy George to Lady Gaga.

Called ‘David Bowie is’ curators Victoria Broakes and Geoffrey Marsh have collated more than 300 items for display in an exhibition full archive of costumes, memorabilia, drawings, diaries and artefacts. It will explore the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades.

On show at the PR launch were a handful of items which will appear in the show: handwritten lyrics, for ‘Five Years’ and ‘Fame’ (co-written with John Lennon); the mock-up of a proposed booklet for 1975’s Young Americans album, and three of the most distinctive Bowie outfits, from three decades: the McQueen-designed Union Flag coat seen on the cover of Earthling (1997), the Pierrot costume Bowie wears in the hugely influential ‘Ashes to Ashes’ video of 1982 and on the cover of the parent album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and perhaps most excitingly, the colourful knit outfit inspired by Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange that Bowie wore on Top of the Pops in 1972 when he performed ‘Starman’ and changed the face of popular music. ‘I had to phone someone,’ he sings in the clip, dandling his hand until the outstretched index finger is aimed directly at the viewer, ‘so I picked on you.’ Countless bolts of Aladdin Sane-esque lightning transfixed the astonished viewers: ‘We could have done a show based entirely around people whose lives were changed by that moment,’ says Broackes.

Check out a few of the pieces below in the show and a few which probably aren’t but are pretty bloody fantastic.

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