Yesterday I had the privilege to be invited to a press preview of the British Design 1948-2012 show, opening this Saturday at the V&A. If you click below, you can have the full experience, as this section of the show played music from that time:
All set? Great.
This is just one of several HUNDRED items in the show - at this rate, I will be devoting my blog to it all year (provided I post once a day). This was one of David Bowie's stage costumes, designed by the Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto (whose recent show I also had the privilege of seeing - at the V&A!). Bowie had commissioned Kansai to create the wardrobe for his Ziggy Stardust character. Kansai had - admiringly - described Bowie at the time as 'neither man nor woman.'
He was, in fact, such an icon, that when I saw his first show - in college, with a group of friends - I remember some cute guys from school driving us in a van across the border to Canada, very thrilling! - and so psyched we were - in the mid/late 70s, this was - to be seeing Bowie live, that even I had my most glittery glam outfit on (always the Virgo, it was a simple, fitted, long sleeved plain glitter tee: as minimalist as you could get back then).
But that's the thing about being an icon: you've always got to be moving forward. David Jones, aka Bowie, played that night to an audience of kids all glam rocked to the hilt - in a soft, grey, vintage suit. Ziggy Stardust was gone. It was the dawn of the Thin White Duke.
Some other versions of the song, for your viewing pleasure. And a rare find of the original video of Space Oddity.
BRITISH DESIGN 1948-2012: INNOVATION IN THE MODERN AGE at the V&A opens this Saturday, March 31. Thank you, Charlotte, for inviting me: it's a wonderful show, and I can't wait to come back.