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.


Laura. said...

oh wow1 I would love to visit this exhibiton! they always have amazing ones

Matthew Spade said...

wow this looks like it would be amazing, lucky!

Lauren@Styleseer said...

I didn't make it to the V&A when I was in London last year, but it's a must do for my next trip.

O D Y S S E Y said...

how i would love to see this exhibit! must've been incredible. you are very fortunate to be in a place that thrives with an abundance of art and culture, museums...!
there is no one like david bowie. he really was (is) an icon. designer yamamoto was the perfect choice for his costume creator.