The Rules of Style by David Bowie: A Tribute
David Bowie, an artist who transcended all that it meant to be of this earth — has passed away.
He died of cancer at age 69 on Sunday, January 10, 2016, two days after his birthday and the release of his final album, Blackstar.
“Look up here,” his voice opens in the haunting track titled “Lazarus.” “I’m in heaven.”
Bowie was always something other-worldly. A rock star in appearance and a performer on stage, he and his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, embraced androgyny and refused to be whatever it was or is that society considers normal.
You may have read that he wanted to be superhuman.
And he was superhuman in his talent, in his prolific output of creativity and in his ability to not only express himself through clothes but in his ability to express the many facets of his personality and mind and being — because for as much as we may have a uniform or an aesthetic or an aspiration, we are not one outfit or idea. We are many.
It’s one of the few reasons we’re paying tribute to him today by honoring his rules of style. As interpreted through the lens of a person who can only hope to one day view life as multidimensionally as David Bowie did, they are:
Never ask someone how an item of clothing makes you look. Ask yourself how it makes you feel.
Especially the colors that terrify you.
Wear bold patterns and huge shapes — anything that allows you to take up space.
And maybe then you can relax into the quiet.
…Before you make a lot of noise.
Gold is good but it’s great when drawn in a circle, smack in the middle of your forehead.
Likewise, blue eyeshadow and magenta blush and a lightening bolt right down your face are not only acceptable, encouraged and delightful, but mandatory — at least on specific and important occasions.
Shoulder pads are probably due for a comeback.
On days that call for a sort of dialing back, a hat and a sharp brow are all the finishing touches one needs.
It’s also important to remember that a mask doesn’t mean you’re hiding.
And silk doesn’t mean you’re showing off.
Suits aren’t just for men.
Platforms aren’t just for women.
But glitter, glamour, sharp angles, shine, neck scarves, flares and patent leather, low-heed shoes are for people. All people. Anyone who craves the feeling of superfluidity, because fashion — I’m almost positive — is the only way to defy gravity while keeping yourself grounded in the beauty of life.
“I don’t know where I’m going from here,” David Bowie famously said, “But I promise it won’t be boring.”
The man on the moon always lived on Mars.