Ah, the chameleon. He’s been so many people over the years. Here are my favorites!
1. Ziggy Pirate
This is the very end of the Ziggy period, and Bowie has streamlined
and cleaned up the look. No more astral circle on his forehead; no bare
feet or knitted leotards. Just straight up glam pirate. See the “Rebel Rebel” video here.
(astral disc, bare feet, knitted leotard)
2. Hunky Dory
Pre-Ziggy, but not pre-glam, as this was total cinematic glamour.
Sometimes compared to Lauren Bacall, this Bowie was on the back of the Hunky Dory
album. This also includes the period when he wore the infamous “man’s
dresses” and “came out” to the press. If you can find the David Bowie Black Book
from 1984, there’s a fantastic picture of him standing in front of his
house in a man’s dress. I never should have sold that book.
Original cover for The Man Who Sold The World
3. Screamin’ Lord Byron
The troubled, reclusive rock star character from the short film Jazzin’ For Blue Jean. That shadowed makeup still looks cool, and the frosted highlights look like actual frosting.
4. Jareth from Labyrinth
Of course, the Goblin King. Tina Turner wig, sculpted eyebrows, and
Romantic attire. Plus, of course, the tights that caused the founding of
the David Bowie’s Area website. When I was in Tokyo last year, there were tons of kids sporting this exact look. It’s lacy goth.
An experiment that did not go very far. In a photo shoot with Brian
Ward in 1971, Bowie tried some different directions. Indeed. Brian Ward
also shot the Ziggy Stardust album cover.
And a bonus, the worst look:
“Be My Wife” video
1977, Paris. Unplucked eyebrows, slight trace of a moustache. . .
just about the least-groomed he’s ever been. Is he trying for this
particular reaction from me? Check out the video.