The V&A is set to honour the musician David Bowie with an exhibition of his spectacular stage costumes, sometime in the new year. Bowie will help to curate the exhibition with many of the costumes loaned from the mega-star’s personal collection.
The show will follow his humble beginnings as a Brixton unknown named David Jones, through the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust, cover his Berlin years and Pop star comeback in the 1980’s, shoulder pads and all.
The V&A have been quite cagey about the fine details and a press release is imminent. Next month’s official announcement of the exhibition will reveal all. The V&A’s director told a Sunday broadsheet that; “Bowie is involved in selecting exhibits. Many of the flamboyant outfits worn by Bowie in his years as a pioneer of rock style will come from his own collection”.
David Bowie achieved commercial success in 1969 with the song “Space Oddity,” which was released at the time of the moon landing. The song was used by the BBC in their television coverage,and this become a hit single. The follow up album, “Space Oddity,” and the two, to succeed included the song “The Man Who Sold The World,” In1972 “Ziggy Stardust,” a conceptual album about a space-age rock star brought Bowie a cult status. This album was followed by others in a similar vein, conceptual albums built around a central character and concerned with futuristic themes of gender dysfunction as well as the destructiveness of success and fame, and the dangers involved with star worship. The stage costumes were groundbreaking. In 1975, he released “Young Americans,” a soul genre album. This produced his first number one hit in the US, “Fame.” He also appeared in his first major film, The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). With his different-colored eyes and alien-like frame, he looked the part of an other worldly being. The following year, he released “Station to Station,” containing some of the material he had written for the soundtrack to this film. As he changed musical direction again and recorded three of the most influential albums an electronic trilogy with Brian Eno “Low, Heroes and Lodger.” Towards the end of the 1970s, he recorded the album many of his fans consider his best, the Japanese-influenced “Scary Monsters.”
The exhibition should be the highlight of the V&A’s 2013 program. BUT IF YOU CANT WAIT, there is always the upcoming “Bowiefest” at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. From Friday, Aug. 31 to Sunday, Sept. 2, the event billed as “the UK’s first Bowie film festival” will celebrate the singer’s 65th year with a slew of films, documentaries, DJs, and a moderated discussion with Woody Woodmansey, the drummer from Bowie’s first band, The Spiders From Mars.