Now I can't go as far to say I am a fan of David Bowie, I like his music, I love him as the Goblin King (of course, because everyone loves Labyrinth!) and I think he's fascinating, I wouldn't have wanted to go to if I didn't! But did I know every title of his songs? No. Did I know anything about him as person? Absolutely not. Can I answer those questions now that I've seen the exhibition? Nope, still can't. But there is one thing I do know... he was a character. Quite literally.
He spent his career playing dress-up. He transformed himself from persona to persona, and in the process caused shock, affection, and perhaps alot of confusion. The most famous of course (and honestly, the only one I ever knew) being Ziggy Stardust. Others included astronaut 'Major Tom', and 'Thin White Duke'.
His androgyny clearly baffled and amazed many people! As a fashion student, this was one of my main interests in going to the exhibition. And although it's clearly obvious the clothes he wore resembled more of a females wardrobe than a males - even down to the size of the clothes, what a teeny man he was! I must admit I got so caught up in the theatricals that once I was in there I made no second thought to really search for something less superficial.
The curatorship was so amazing, that the entire exhibition simply became a show! And even though I spent the good part of 2 hours carefully reading all the information that supported the visuals, I must honestly say that the only things I remember are the lights, the music, the costumes and the imagery! The entire layout flowed seamlessly from one thing to another, that one moment I was looking at a pile of oranges and the next I'm standing in a room which made me feel like I was actually at a David Bowie gig; and I didn't even know how I got there! The individual audio headphones added a level of intimacy to the exhibition, particularly when Bowie was talking of his tragic childhood. Through creating this personal connection it was hard to not sometimes be swept off on your own Space Oddity.
All images from the V&A website