Fashion, like art and music can never exist in isolation. They are synonymous with self-expression, a creative rejection or affirmation of belief. The projection of ‘cool’, the persona we create for ourselves and how we view others.
Kate Moss (essentially ‘fashion personified’) channelling visionary musical legend, David Bowie on the cover of legendary style bible Vogue is therefore a fash/art/music-bomb of significant proportions.
Ten years ago, Kate channelled Bowie on the cover of British Vogue May 2003 with a lightning bolt emblazoned across her face a la Bowie’s Aladdin Insane cover circa 1973.
Aladdin Insane was a development of Bowie’s previous Ziggy persona and the album was the follow-up to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It was Bowie’s commercial breakthrough album, after which he was considered a true bona fide rock star.
Kate posed as Ziggy Stardust most recently for Vogue Paris, Dec/Jan 2011. All piercing eyes, cut glass cheekbones and spiked, sculpted orange hair.
It is the 2003 issue that’s significant for me though. Seeing it again brings back waves of nostalgia, tellingly, not for Bowie stylistic zenith in the 70’s (OBVS I wasn’t even born then) but for the 00’s insightful self-reference, era of contemporary music and fashion photography itself.
The issue resonated so closely with me at the time. It featured pretty much the best editorials ever; Anita Pallenberg shot by Juergan Teller and Jane Berkin shot by Corinne Day. Kate wore vintage Bowie stage costumes and there were interviews with Jarvis and Debbie Harry talking about their musical inspirations.
The contemporary music portraits were in retrospect questionable, but infinitely relevant at the time. Testino shot 2002’s musical ‘greats’ Electric Six and Craig David (Ummm). The perennial Rolling Stones were also on his hot list though, so I guess that single portrait took all the shoot budget to produce.
Ultimately it proves that you have to take inspiration from what’s current as well as using greats like Bowie as a benchmark of genius to be seen as progressive.
And what’s great about drawing inspiration from the now is that Bowie’s still producing great music, see his latest album, The Next Day for reference.