I finally showed up at one of the many David Bowie tributes. As a super fan, I was wildly unimpressed. Next time I’ll opt for my shrine and a vinyl on a repeat.
Anna Sui was probably the reason I ever started paying attention to fashion. I found her thanks to this really weird book called Life is a Movie Starring You: The Pesky Meddling Girls Guide to Living Your Dream. It’s a really great book. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially for younger girls. Lots of throwback fun. Being a pesky meddling girl is the most fun you will ever have. ANYWAY! Yeah. Anna Sui was tucked away inside this book and so was the art of Michael Economy.
I wrote about the Mary Katrantzou show a few posts back and noticed a lot of details that reminded me of old-school Sui illustration and branding. Most of which was done by Michael Economy. In doing that I discovered a bit about him; he graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta, designed the Anna Sui Dolly Girl look, did branding for the 90s most danceable band Deee-Lite, and created literally everything cool in the world.
This weird little trip down memory lane makes me want to wear platform sneakers, throw on a tattoo choker, step out in my neon green mesh shirt, and wiggle to the wee hours. The 90s were beautiful and weird.
Some people won, some people lost. I don’t really watch it for the awards because people I like rarely win. I feel like Ozzy Osbourne in that one commercial when he asks, “What’s a Bieber.” I don’t know, Ozzy. I don’t know.
Lady Gaga was doing a tribute to David Bowie though and I wasn’t going to miss that. Especially when the photos started making their rounds on Twitter. Goodbye X-Files and Lucifer, hello commercialized awards show. The things I do for glam rock.
The tribute has been met with some heavily mixed reviews. I personally thought it was decent. Not my favourite thing ever but also not awful. It sadly was a glorified advertisement for Intel, which was definitely a slap in the face of Bowie and his family (Duncan Jones had some things to say…). Gaga’s white suit (Marc Jacobs) was compared to Vegas era Elvis. I can see that. I also saw a little of Angie Bowie. The close-ups showed embroidery depicting various images spanning Bowie’s career. The performance had some of Bowie’s own team behind it with Nile Rogers on guitar and Kansai Yamamoto collaborating with Gaga on a tearaway cape. At the end of the day it was the work of a fan, which Gaga is.
There were of course other people there. In fact, Alice Cooper was there! That made me rather giddy. He still looks like the baddest Satan-worshipping vampire of all time. His new supergroup band, Hollywood Vampires, did a little tribute (there were a lot of those this year) to Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead. Amazing. Any one of those old gents could have drank the entire audience of the Grammys under the table.
Nothing terribly impressive going on fashion-wise. It should go as no surprise that my favourite ladies were all sporting pieces from fashion’s powerhouses. Thumbs-up to the top 5, in no order.
It was no secret that David Bowie was an incredibly important part of who I am. So much so that people have been reaching out and checking in all day, as if I had lost a family member. It’s meant a lot. More than just offering condolences, people have been telling me about memories they have of my Bowie obsession; holding middle school friends hostage to watch Labyrinth, dressing up as Bowie, or having always been wraith thin like the Thin White Duke. It was incredibly moving that people thought of me when they thought of this wonderful man. Now he’s gone.
It’s been a while since the news broke. I think I’m still in denial. I can finally listen to his music again, albeit sparingly. Everything seems normal and then I remember. It’s like someone drops a lump of ice in my heart and I just feel cold. I was getting out of the shower and checking my phone. That’s how I found out. Random images of Ziggy, Aladdin, and The Duke flooding Instagram with these odd comments. Something was amiss. I googled it. I’m pretty sure I went temporarily deaf and my vision blurred and faded at the edges. My boyfriend was in the living room hoping to intercept me before I found out. No such luck. I exploded out of the bathroom sobbing.
I have a way with words. I can be eloquent. Not with this. So, I’ll use what Carrie Brownstein said, “It feels like we lost something elemental, as if an entire colour is gone.” Of all the things I’ve heard celebrities say about his passing, that hit the nail right on the head. He was elemental. He was a colour all his own.
What hurt the most was that I was so sure I was going to meet him…or at least just be in his presence. I didn’t even require words, just to casually see him in New York City. The Strand. Give him a smirk and bow my head in thanks. He’d wink. That would be it. I’d dissolve into tears in the next aisle and that would have been enough. That can’t happen now. That dream is forever dead.
So much is coming out now about how he had planned his death. Can you imagine? The doctor breaks the news to you. You have a finite amount of time left so you had better get your affairs in order. Most people would retreat, licking their wounds. He recorded albums, made music videos, wrote a musical, and wove this elaborate love letter to his fans to soften the blow of the inevitable. Can you imagine that?
To a man that had such an active part in who I am today there are no words to say thank you. I can only wish you a very fond farewell as you travel back to Mars and the stars. You touched the lives of so many on this lonely blue planet. “We could be heroes, just for one day.” You were my hero for more than one day. You will be my hero for a lifetime. Love and light, Starman.