I wasn't going to write about David Bowie. Not here, anyway; I figured it would just be overkill. There comes a point where too much attention, too much emotion is desensitizing.
But there are tangible reasons why so many were moved by his passing. One of my friends wrote on Facebook, "He was more important than the music; he gave us permission to be unusual and be proud of it". Another observed that we mourn not because we knew him, but because he helped us to know ourselves.
As someone who is unusual by default and not by choice, those words really resonate with me. Ziggy Stardust and his place in the Glam hierarchy was a huge fashion influence on my generation. Many of us foolishly plucked our eyebrows into nonexistence. Some of us never got them to grow back quite right again. More importantly, we scrambled for every scrap of glittery Yamamoto-esque clothing we could get our hands on. We were sure if we could just find the perfect silky kimono jacket we'd be as cool as Ziggy.
But that wasn't really the important part of the message. The reason Bowie led the way from Mod to Hippie to Glam to Halloween Jack to The Thin White Duke had more to do with the way he wore the fashion than with the trend itself. He always seemed so comfortable and at ease in his clothes - no matter how preposterous. He wore the clothes; they didn't wear him. Bowie lived a hundred lives in the span of a single lifetime, was all of us and uniquely himself simultaneously. It is for this very reason that his death is such a profound loss. I don't think even Bowie could have imagined how much, and how many, are grieving.
As I watched the video for "Lazarus" I found myself once again identifying with the message and the man. The image of Bowie frantically scribbling in his notebook, racing to get his ideas on paper before his time ran out. This is how I feel every day. My death is not imminent (not to my knowledge at least) but the urgency of accomplishing everything I have planned is an unshakable constant. It is an unattainable goal on every level, and I know it.
Bowie was in the process of recording a new album right up until the end. He never quit. I hope I have the strength to follow his example. My own tribute to the man will take place in early September. Stick around for more details coming in the Spring.
#BowieForever. I will be a Rebel Rebel in a Moonage Daydream until I die.
I was at Amanda Valentine's studio in mid-November when the bundle of blankets like the one Poni (Black by Maria Silver) Silver is wearing in the top photo was delivered that would eventually become Baja coats. The first batch were already available when Bowie died. The second batch were renamed in honor of his album titles. I'm wearing the Aladdin Sane Baja Coat and the Amanda Valentine/Margaret Ellis Studio collaboration Roman Holiday Collar.
By the way, Amanda Valentine, Black by Maria Silver, and Margaret Ellis Studio have all shown at Nashville Fashion Week.. This year's events are just a few months away, so next time I'll start the buzz in anticipation of NFW2016