The Prettiest Star – David Bowie

When I was about six, I was given my first record player. It was a binatone thing, portable, with mono and auto settings. I only had a few singles and a Reggae chart hits album my dad gave me, so I scoured my mom and dad’s copious record collections to discover new songs. And that’s where I found it. Jean Genie. I hadn’t a clue what it was about, it sounded magical and other worldly, but I fell for it long and hard and it started my love affair with David Bowie that has lasted my whole lifetime. And this morning, on hearing the news of his death, I felt devastated and bereft, like I had lost a member of my family or a true friend. And the tears are flowing freely.

Life on Mars and Heroes are my ultimate favourites, but there are so many songs that I listen to and feel a tingle in the spine. His music is the soundtrack to my life, I hunted for original vinyl during my teen years at the bric a brac market in Great Bridge, feeling like I’d won the lottery when I found The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and discovered Suffragette City. Seeing those clips of Queen Bitch and needing to find a bipperty bopperty hat, discovering a love of Mott the Hoople through their version of ‘All the Young Dudes’, dancing at indie clubs to Rebel Rebel. Just last week, I ordered a new copy of Hunky Dory which came on Saturday – I can’t look at the cover at the moment without dissolving into tears again.

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Bowie was unique, brilliant, driven, ruthless and the ultimate musical chameleon. He was never less than interesting, and was a huge influence on all areas of the arts and fashion. ‘Ashes to Ashes’ showed the new romantics how it was done, the Aladdin Sane cover, so iconic, was immortalised in high fashion when Kate Moss was transformed, complete with thunderclap across the face. Kate Bush, Noel Gallagher, Florence and the Machine, Madonna, the New Romantics, Boy George, Marc Almond, an almost endless list all owed a huge debt to his influence, and his blatent sexuality, especially in the 1970s, ensured that things would never be the same again (throwing that arm casually across Mick Ronson’s shoulders on Top of the Pops at teatime in 1972).

Beautiful, unique and brilliant – ‘he’d like to come and meet us, but he thinks he’d blow our minds.’ You did that David, and then some.

RIP to my hero.x

Olympic Closing Ceremony – Spice Girls and the Supers

The most amazing two weeks I can remember has now come to an end, and we are left with just wonderful memories. But what memories! And for fashion fans, there was a final, unforgettable treat with the reformed Spice Girls, and the stunning appearance of the British Supermodels dressed in an array of gold outfits which showcased the best of British design.

The Spice Girls whipped up a storm, performing two of my favourite Spice tracks – ‘Wannabee’ and ‘Spice up your Life’. All the girls looked fabulous and age defying, but Victoria was probably the pick of couture wearing a beautiful trained dress from Giles Deacon. Geri gave a cheeky nod to that Union Jack dress with a flag style bustle on the back of her strapless red dress. Mel B revisited the catsuit in a sparkly number from Zuhair Murad, whilst Emma Bunton looked like Bardot in a futuristic pink number which showed she is far away from being a baby. Mel C looked chic in a white catsuit that updated her sporty status in a most elegant way.

I must confess I squeled when I heard the strains of David Bowie’s fashion and realised the supermodels were on their way. A line up that included Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Karen Elson and Georgia May Jagger amongst its number, all dressed in the most exquisite gold outfits, was a breathtaking sight, and one which elevated the ceremony to the realms of fashion folklore. My picks were the ageless Kate Moss, who sparkled like an Oscar in Alexander McQueen, and Georgia May Jagger representing the new generation in Victoria Beckham.

 

Terry Di Haviland – The Rock & Roll Cobbler celebrates 50 years in shoe business.

The self-styled Rock & Roll Cobbler is celebrating 50 years in the business with a special pop-up exhibition in London’s Selfridges. Terry Di Haviland is a shoe genius, designing those iconic platform wedges worn by the likes of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Cheryl Cole, so I popped along to Selfridges yesterday to look at some of those iconic designs.

I have been a fan of Terry ever since I saw a glossy and groomed Kate Moss wearing his wedges on one of her famous birthday celebrations. I fell instantly in love with the shoes, but not being able to afford the £300+ pricetag, I searched the High Street for something similar. I hit the jackpot with an amazing pair from Peacocks that were very similar. Unfortunately, I then proceeded to wear them to Stourport carnival, walking for hours on a muddy field, totally ruining my TdiH look, and breaking an ankle strap into the bargain! So now I make plans for a real pair, and trawl good charity shops just in case.

Of course, there have been many more iconic designs. There’s the Zap Pow! design from 2006. This was a hand painted mule with a Roy Lichtenstein Pop Art style print. The Bowie Boot from 2004 recreated a 1972  wedge and was decorated with images of  David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. The Black Widow spiky boot from 1997 looks like something Lady Gaga would kill to wear. This stilletoe platform was worn by famous Australian Drag Queen Gazzelda Pussy (loving that name!) All of these  shoes, and more are currently on display in Selfridges.

Bowie Boot

I’ll leave the last word to the great man himself. He has been quoted as saying ” Anyone with attitude can wear my shoes. They don’t have to be famous. Just look good in them…”  Go and check out 50 years of  his fabulous designs at the Shoe Galleries in Selfridges.