“Fashion fades, style is eternal.” Once you become a style icon, you transcend race, creed, art, space and time and even death. And no one embodied this popular saying better than the late style deity David Bowie. He’s a pioneer and an icon of men’s fashion. A visionary who was so ahead of his time that when people started to figure or made sense of what or who he was—along with his myriad, larger than life personas—they found more questions than answers.
David Bowie was an enigma of sorts. He may be an artist but art didn’t define him, he defined it. He was original and innovative and he pushed boundaries, bent the demarcation line of gender (the term ‘gender-bender’ comes to mind) and most especially, changed society’s perception of how a man should look and aspire to be.
He was a champion of men’s fashion long before it was a thing. His fashion sense and tendencies may have evolved over the years but his style remained the same—unclassifiable, radical, transcendental and shrouded in mystery. What he accomplished in music, fashion and the arts is something unfathomable and I think he likes it that way because you really can’t quantify art, you just feel it.
You can however, quantify a man’s impact in society. The news of David Bowie’s untimely passing sent shockwaves around the world. The effect was immediate, quite numbing and all-encompassing! The initial reaction was mournful but it quickly turned into reverence—a show of respect for a man who has done so much for the arts and beyond.
Tributes have poured in for the music and style icon since his death over a week ago. From entertainers, fans, politicians, fashion designers, prime ministers, bishops, actors and even astronauts (Ziggy Stardust would be elated), you name it; they celebrated the life of a man who seem to have transcended space and time. And maybe he does, as he didn’t fear the unknown, he actually embraced it. And the tributes came in all shapes, sizes and forms. Anywhere from a life-like sculpture, heartfelt poem to heartrending video montages, intricate graffiti art and then getting a lightning-shaped constellation registered in his honor. The tributes kept coming and all of which came in signature Bowie flash and panache.
David Bowie both the entertainer and the man, seem to have a profound effect on people. His presence, his life’s work and his style has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on popular culture and society as a whole. There’s no one quite like him and I guess it’s safe to say that there will never be someone like him—at least in the observable universe. The whole world may have mourned his death but not his life and how he lived it. He was an artist, musician, style icon, philosopher and a game changer among other things.
He may have passed on but his style, his knowledge and influence will live on. Now, he’s up there with the stars in heaven where he truly belongs. David Bowie is transcendental ergo he is immortal.