Icon of the Month – David Bowie

“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human” — David Bowie.

David Bowie was the first person ever to be Icon of the Month (October 2010) which is testament to how highly his style is regarded by the King & Allen team. We would never usually repeat an Icon, but we felt it was fitting to pay our respects to a man who made such a positive impact on our industry.

Much attention has been garnered towards the iconic stage personas – Aladdin Sane’s lightning bolt, Pierrot’s French clown, The Thin White Duke’s gaunt hollowness and of course Ziggy Stardust’s outlandish glam. This is not just since his death, but since the exhibition of his ‘artifacts’ at the V&A in 2013 – the fastest selling event in the history of the museum.

However, it is worth remembering that both on and off stage Bowie wore a suit extremely well. As with his music, he was constantly innovating: experimenting with colour, cut, textures and design. From the sublime to the ridiculous, he did it all. He showed us that suits don’t have to be conformist utilitarian work attire – that you can wear a suit and express yourself.

So the next time you’re designing a bespoke suit, we urge you to think how you too can express yourself – even in a subtle way – as a nod to a true style icon.

As a celebration of his life and looks, below is a retrospective of Bowie’s finest tailoring exploits:

This extraordinary creation is notable not just for the colour, the cloth and the lapels, but also the squared off skirt (the foot of the jacket).

This extraordinary creation is notable not just for the colour, the cloth and the lapels, but also the squared off skirt (the foot of the jacket).

Again, this look would be stylish today. In fact this photo was taken in 1973.

Again, this look would be stylish today. In fact this photo was taken in 1973.

I'd like to think that Bowie asked his tailor to make a suit that matched the colour of his fringe. Or that he asked his barber to match his fringe to the colour of his suit!

I’d like to think that Bowie asked his tailor to make a suit that matched the colour of his fringe. Or that he asked his barber to match his fringe to the colour of his suit!

One of Bowie’s many ‘don’t try this at home’ moments. Strictly speaking this suit is hideous. But he somehow manages to make it look cool. How?

One of Bowie’s many ‘don’t try this at home’ moments. Strictly speaking this suit is hideous. But he somehow manages to make it look cool. How?

One of many suits in this list that has some feature or other which is completely unique. The higher chain does not lead to the welt pocket (as you'd expect) but to a stitched loop. Classy.

One of many suits in this list that has some feature or other which is completely unique. The higher chain does not lead to the welt pocket (as you’d expect) but to a stitched loop. Classy.

High waisted trousers, pleats and braces – a nod to the 1930s. Note also the patch welt pocket. This is very rare.

High waisted trousers, pleats and braces – a nod to the 1930s. Note also the patch welt pocket. This is very rare.

When Ziggy Stardust wore a suit – this is what it looked like.

When Ziggy Stardust wore a suit – this is what it looked like.

1973. The top half of this suit would look good today. Double breasted, cut short in a beautiful colour and cloth.

1973. The top half of this suit would look good today. Double breasted, cut short in a beautiful colour and cloth.

The opposite end of the spectrum. Conservative and suave. Taken in the 90s when suits were baggy and generally ill fitting. His attention to detail never faltered.

The opposite end of the spectrum. Conservative and suave. Taken in the 90s when suits were baggy and generally ill fitting. His attention to detail never faltered.

The final photo. Dapper to the end. RIP Starman.

The final photo. Dapper to the end. RIP Starman.

 

Editor’s note – we do not own the rights to these photos. If you wish for us to remove any of them please get in touch.

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