Day 3 After Bowie: some cat from Japan...

I already said that I consider The Thin White Duke to be “my” Bowie (everybody has one, they just need to find him) but that was yesterday and today I realise that the Bowie I’m more likely to reference when getting dressed is of the early seventies Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane/Diamond Dogs era.

By this time, he’d already had an impact in his Mr Fish dresses (if I had anything like that in the wardrobe, you can be sure I’d be wearing it this week) and he was onto exploring an even more radically androgynous persona.

Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto had moved to London in 1971, and was concerned with adapting traditional Japanese forms into a very modern look. The aesthetic is pure Kabuki theatre, with bold colours and exaggerated silhouettes. Bowie was eager to wear his creations, and hired him for the Aladdin Sane tour. The rest, as they say, is fashion history.

Fun facts:

  • the inscription in kanji on the white cape is a homophone for David Bowie. It translates as “Fiery vomiting and venting in a menacing manner”. 
  • the rabbit onesie was worn by Kate Moss to collect an award on Bowie’s behalf. 
The starting point for today’s outfit was Terry O’Neill’s amazing Diamond Dogs photograph. I love the short pants with platform boots. But the main reference point is the tricot jumpsuit.

I am completely obsessed with this garment. True confession: this is the kind of thing I would wear all the time if I thought for a moment I could get away with it (I always wanted a Pam Hogg jumpsuit) and now I discover that there may be a knitting pattern for it. I have to learn to knit.

Until that happens, I am making do with a vaguely body con knit dress from Sonia Rykiel pour H&M accessorised with a shearling scarf in lieu of a feather boa. Or an asymmetric patterned sweater with gold pants (reposted) another direct reference to this look. Or even the vintage Kansai top that you all politely but firmly talked me out of last month.

In fact, I can go back through any number of looks from the last year or so and see an awful lot of Bowie in my style, which is unsurprising when I think about it. It’s Bowie’s world, after all. I just live in it.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Sara L. replied 3 years ago

    I love reading your posts on Bowie.  I'm learning so much.  Great outfit - I like the colors and I think the fuzzy scarf is a good substitute for a feather boa (I actually have one but have never worn it except for a Halloween costume).

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    Thanks Sara! Just popped back to drop off this bonus link: Kansai talking about his collaboration with Bowie:

  • torontogirl replied 3 years ago

    Talk about having fun with fashion - he must have had a ball. You look great :)

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    Your words about Bowie are a treat this week, Liz. So are the pics and your outfits that go along with it. I recognize that H&M dress. GOOD ONE - is that the outfit for the wake? 

    (Hectic inscription that the cape!)

    I hereby crown you Queen Bowie. 

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    oh thank you thank you thank you! what an honour! *puts on sash and tiara, cries a bit*

    Not sure if this is what I'm wearing to the wake yet. Probably won't know until, like, five minutes before guests arrive...

  • replied 3 years ago

    I've never been a full on Bowie fan, but always loved loads of his music and was genuinely saddened at his passing. Through your posts Rio, I'm learning more about the great artist and his influences. Thank you.

    Your outfits are fabulous tributes. I adore the stripey knit dress and how it really captures the essence of the jumpsuit. BTW...'Under Pressure' is on the radio as I write this...

    As an aside I saw an interview/programme on Pam Hogg a while back. Fascinating lady. Must read up about her again. I'm not clued up on unusual designers and fashion history like you are...enjoy learning through your posts, though :)

  • Sal replied 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your eloquent words and your stunning tributes. I am loving them both.

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    You bet! Fantastic outfits. Bowie gets scholars' credits for bringing east and west together, post war. I believe it.

  • chouette22 replied 3 years ago

    I love, love, love your posts this week on Bowie and your outfits that go with them. Such an amazing tribute to this artist, such wonderful and smart writing - very educational (with all the references and pictures) for us who don't know him as well as you do. I thank you very much for this series!

  • mrseccentric replied 3 years ago

    approprio, your posts this week are a rare treat. Impeccable research, presented with clarity and excellent visuals.

    I understand your obsession with the jumpsuit, but if i could have only one item from this period of Bowie's career it would have to be that god-given ass.

  • Aida replied 3 years ago

    I'm enjoying your posts this week Rio, and hope they are proving as therapeutic as they are beautiful to look at (both of you!). Your outfits (particularly the first) are a fun nod, more literal than one might expect, to the inspiration images. Also those gold pants are super fun!

  • Kaelyn replied 3 years ago

    This is my favorite post from you so far this week! I love all the color. I second Angie's comment, you are definitely Queen Bowie!

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    This is such a treat.  Thank you.

  • Elizabeth P replied 3 years ago

    I am enjoying your Bowie posts and outfits, SO much!

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    You have brought my appreciation of David Bowie to a whole new level. Thank you. 

  • Cococat replied 3 years ago

    Fabulous...and thank you for introducing me to Mr Fish.

  • shedev replied 3 years ago

    Nice tribute, love the shoes.

  • skylurker replied 3 years ago

    The pics with Kansai Yamamoto are a joy to look at : they seem to share much fun and mutual respect.
    Re your outfits, I was expecting to see you sporting a one leg leotard so of course I'm very disappointed ;)
    I love 10 nonetheless, simple and edgy.

  • Karie replied 3 years ago

    Your outfits are edgy and fabulous, and I can definitely see Bowie's influence in your style!

  • jenanded replied 3 years ago

    That diamond dogs photo is on wall at home! Bowie and doggies... they probably have a chocolate in their back pocket so that is my 3 true loves covered. Thank you for the pics, your interpretations and PASSION!

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    Thanks ladies! I'm glad you're enjoying these as much as I am. It's useful and interesting to reflect on such an important style influence.

    I kept the outfit on for the wake. It felt just right, and when I got home I couldn't think of a good reason to change it. We had a wonderful evening of pizza, dirty martinis and Rock'n Roll Suicide karaoke. Two guests thought up a great Bowie themed parlour game and we determined that while Modern Love is great to dance to, if you want to sing along you'd better put on Life on Mars. 

    I'm now a bit behind with posting (busy morning) but I still have a few things to share. Thanks all again for your generous feedback!

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