He Made It All Worthwhile As A Rock N Roll Star

Exactly two years ago today on a pretty gloomy, grey, cold Monday I sat on a bus to my then job and pulled my phone out from my pocket to scroll mindlessly on Instagram. That's when I saw it. A post which took my breath away... "RIP Bowie", short but not so sweet. The first thought that sprung to mind was that this was a mistake or a really distasteful hoax. My gut reaction was simply to deny any plausibility. David Bowie could NOT die just like that. I quickly referred to Google and sure enough, to my absolute dismay the news was true. David Bowie had in fact passed away and my heart along with many others broke.

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That day I cried a lot. I couldn't help it! Truth be told I felt kind of silly about it? Ok so David Bowie was unquestionably one of my biggest idols but surely my reaction was completely unnecessary? He wasn't a close friend, family member or even an acquaintance, it felt almost in bad taste to mourn someone I didn't know. I couldn't place it, I'd never responded to news like this with such remorse before! The finality of it made me feel robbed of my hero and a little empty. Even now two years on I'll listen to The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and there's a sadness to it that was never there before. So why exactly did Bowie's death effect me and so many others so deeply?
Within my lifetime and yours there's been a lot of heartbreaking news, death's of stars we weren't quite ready to say goodbye to and still can't comprehend (2016 in particular had a lot to answer for) but none effected me quite like Bowie. I remember the day George Harrison died well. I was 12 years old and I heard the news on the radio as my uncle drove me home from my grandma's. I remember understanding this was a big deal and recognising how sad it was but I was young and my love for The Beatles wouldn't entirely flourish for at least another two years. I'd emotionally invested in Bowie and his many personas. He reminded me of a particular time in my life that I can look back to now with complete endearment and nostalgia.
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I remember being eighteen years old and I'd reached a real crossroads in my life, a transition you might say. My love for fashion and in particular vintage was all encompassing. I was fixated with pop culture of the sixties and seventies, filling any spare moment I had obsessively reading books, watching films and listening to music from both eras (Belle De Jour, Breathless and Rosemary's Baby were watched on repeat for the outfits alone). I had just finished college and had decided to take a gap year before uni, working full-time in retail. I felt a little left behind as everyone else had started uni and very much alone because to make matters worse I'd just split up with my first serious boyfriend. It was an odd time where I guess I just felt lost. You never realise it when it's happening but in hindsight- you're eighteen years old and expected to make some of the biggest decisions of your life! In retrospect it's an insane amount of pressure and so maybe it is actually best you're oblivious to the fact at the time. All I knew for certain was that whatever I did in life it had to revolve around fashion.
This was a point in my life when I would read Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar religiously, cover to cover, multiple times in the month. Nothing else grasped my attention or fascinated me as much as fashion did, that was expect for music. I remember winning free entry to the Viktor & Rolf Doll's House exhibition at the Barbican Centre through my Elle subscription and immediately buying myself a ticket to London for the day. I went by myself armed with my iPod Nano filled with David Bowie's back catalogue. But that's all I needed. For something which should have been a pretty lonely memory for me- it wasn't. I wondered aimlessly in awe of the mystifying exhibition I'd just visited with only my thoughts and Bowie for company. Even now this sounds like my idea of a perfect day. Whenever I listen to Hunky Dory I always recall that trip and it makes me smile.

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All through uni and into my young professional life David Bowie's music has continued to accompany me every step of the way. He played such a pivotal role in inspiring me not just in style but in the kind of the person I wanted to be. He stood for breaking boundaries, reinventing yourself when the chips are down and above all he encouraged me to never settled for just ordinary because he was the personification of extraordinary and he's imagination went to the stars and beyond.
There was and never will be an artist like him. It's really that simple. It had never occurred to me that someone so larger than life could have an expiry date just like the rest of us mere mortals and it's my belief this is in fact the sole reason his death had such a huge impact on so many. I think when we lost him, it suddenly dawned on us all how irreplaceable he actually was as a musician, style inspiration and icon. From this realisation we started doing everything we could to keep him alive and this is still ever present today in fashion. Star and celestial prints have made a huge appearance on the high streets and catwalks over the past two years. We are now more adverse to accessorising with silver, golds, metallics and glitter. I remember a couple of years back desperately searching for silver boots which were like gold dust, now they can be found in nearly every high street store over the winter season. Multicoloured metallics and sparkling lurex are in abundance. I now own a very impressive collection of lightning/space themed graphic T-shirts I could only of dreamed existed three years ago. We have Bowie to thank for all of this. Ziggy's legacy really does shine on especially in our wardrobes.

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I don't think you can ever come to terms with the death of such an out of this world icon. That said I do think at least with Bowie there's a comfort knowing an artist built around the idea of Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom, Moonage Daydreams and Space Oddities is finally up there with the stars where he was always destined to belong.

Thank you Starman for blowing our minds,
Sophia x

Outfit Details- Star Ruffle Detail Blouse- Sister Jane, Silver Lining Block Heel Boot- Camilla Elphick, Faded Denim Straight Leg Jean- Vintage Levis 501s see Beyond Retro's selection.

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