David Bowie Exhibition Victoria & Albert Museum 12th July 2013.
The name David Bowie simply does not do the flamboyant extremely talented & gifted man any real justice. Considering all his influences in art , lyric writing , fashion , style , acting the list goes on , a more fitting title for the living legend should be 'The' David Bowie. A completely unique human being when it comes to creative ideas , plus an uncanny ability to absorb what is going on in the world at a particular time and turn it into musical genius. Each decade since he was born has his very being & influence stamped all over it.
His current Exhibition at the V & A museum in London is an absolute gift from the gods for any die hard Bowie fan. It arrived in London in March of this year and runs until Aug with Gucci as it's sponsor. With more than 300 items to see , it will be very easy to gain an insight into what this man gave to the world. Sadly obviously no picture taking allowed , but one is quite content to leave with the mental imagery and the awesome memory of seeing this up close and in person.
The first outfit to hit your eyes is the eccentric Tokyo Pop vinyl bodysuit designed by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto named 'Spring rain' and created for the early seventies 'Aladdin Sane' tour. A black tear away number, with red inner lining , shiny and futuristic with the legs shaped like half circles. Next is the 'Space Oddity' video playing behind a glass screen , originally released in sixty nine , then reissued twice in the early to mid seventies , the song is inspired by a fictional astronaut character named 'Major Tom'. In the video David is modestly sat alone playing an accoustic guitar and surrounded by recording equipment.
The quilted two piece gold red and blue suit designed by Freddie Burretti in seventy two for the 'Ziggy Stardust' tour and worn when he performed 'Starman' on Top Of The Pops is surrounded by mirrors that compliment it well. It is accompanied by red boxer boots. Now if anything , this section deserves a big kudos for the visual creators , the long satin white cape with large chinese lettering and red inner lining again a Kansai creation that Bowie wore on his 'Aladdin Sane' seventy three tour. It has been extended out at the arms giving a giant wings effect , surrounded by many open books that hang down from the ceiling it's like small birds around an eagle , or maybe moths to a flame , you have to look up to view it as it's mounted high and rightly so , it deserves to be looked up to.
Your ears become torn between one side of the room playing Bowie classics , and then on another side , hearing stories and opinions from people that Bowie has worked with plus words from the man himself. The original hand written lyrics are a delight to see and you feel like he is sharing a deep secret with you. Playing on a tv screen is 'Boys keep swinging' which shows in the video Bowie with a fifties kind of look swinging with the mic with three backing singers that are Bowie in drag , a gutsy brave thing to do in seventy nine, truly pushing boundaries , that is Bowies thing. Ah , and below the screen among a spider web looking outfit , is a make up stained tissue that Bowie once used , what a treasure!
'Ashes to Ashes' comes beating out from the speakers one of
the best bass lines ever put on a song. Watching the video to accompany it
means only one thing , to locate the famous perriot outfit Bowie wore in the
video. After a small hunt , it presents itself in all it's glory with the
silver slippers , the attention to detail is amazing. Looking at this piece of
historical musical history outfit is well , priceless. All around are original
costume sketches , album artwork , quotes , handwritten lyrics , Bowies own paintings , it really is breath
taking. Then comes the time to take a seat and view snippets of
Bowies movie. Labyrinth , Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence , Absolute Beginners ,
Basquiat , and The Image , the macabre sixties silent movie that lasts roughly
Back on ones feet to feast eyes on more goodies , now to the
knitted look , worn on the 'Aladdin Sane' seventy three tour , the asymmetric multi-coloured
body sock-suit with one long arm & one long leg , accompanied by knitted
bracelets and feather boa. Coming to the end of the exhibition , a great way to
round things off is the wonderfully cut oh so elegant suits that Bowie wore from
the 'Serious moonlight' era with the 'Lets Dance' album in eighty three.
An evening of fascination , insight , and views that are just amazing. A tribute to a one of a kind musician who is modest and practical in spite of his huge success. It would be very fitting to say he is more entity than human, he has touched the lives of millions and has brought amazing colour into an otherwise dull planet , many thanks David.