The sad news this morning is the death of David Bowie at 69, just three days after his latest album, Blackstar. Kempt and the #menswear community at large tend to focus on the icons of the suit, the cardigan and denim. But Bowie was one of the few truly unique and innovative style icons of the past or any century. He influenced everyone from Lou Reed to David Byrne and even Stevie Ray Vaughan. He once issued bonds to fans for future music royalties. He was one part of the Platonic ideal of the rock star/supermodel marriage. Which is all to say, he was a damned interesting and important human being.
Stylish men have always had a special relationship with beautiful cars.
Probably because, if you think about it, they’re kind of the perfect accessory. Big, shiny, powerful—a little automotive affirmation can go a long way to securing your position in the Court of Cool. (We’re sure the King would agree.) But it’s not only those men defined by their cars who drive cool ones. And we’ve got the photo evidence to prove it.
And with it, a new season of artistic exhibitions opening across the globe in the next few weeks. So we thought we’d survey the art scene to bring you the five gallery shows worth visiting the next time you’re feeling particularly artsy in London... or Houston...
Seventy-eight years ago today, a king was born. His name was Elvis Presley and he ruled rock and roll.
The same day 12 years later, another member of rock royalty came into the world. He was christened the Thin White Duke, also known as David Bowie.
Over the years, he’s been one of music’s great chameleons, constantly tweaking his persona just so. He’s been a space oddity, a spider from Mars, a Queen collaborator, an Iggy Pop mentor, an early digital-music adopter, a supermodel husband, an actor whose diverse roles include Andy Warhol, Nikola Tesla and Pontius Pilate, an innovator, a sophisticate, a total fashion plate and—high above all—a serious artist who is always ready to take a risk.
And now, on the 66th anniversary of his birth, he drops a new single and announces a forthcoming full-length album of brand-new material, his first in a decade.
You’re probably familiar with the Impossible Cool—a site dedicated to black-and-white photos starring everyone from Alain Delon to Kurt Vonnegut looking, well, impossibly cool. And you might even be familiar with the ongoing collaboration with Sonic Editions—who are in the business of archival-quality prints of iconic photos of mostly rock stars.
For their latest limited-run batch, they’ve come up with a new twist: color. It’s a revolutionary idea, we know. Almost blasphemous if you’re a longtime Impossible Cool fan, but something you’ll quickly get over once you see how ravishing Marilyn Monroe’s bright red dress looks or the way David Bowie’s strawberry blond coif adds intrigue to the mostly gray palette of a 1976 photo. It’s a whole new world of impossibilities in coolness.
The bouffant gets a more styled look in this month’s BlackBook, but we prefer to see it in the wild—particularly since it means there’s still a touch of blue at his roots. Combed upward and set against Ronson’s usual dapper style, the peroxide touch seems like a callback to early 80s Bowie, which is a comparison any genre-bender should be happy about.
And, lest we forget, it’s a pretty fantastic suit.
The punk years were pretty rough, both economically and sartorially speaking, but there’s no doubting Debbie Harry was one of the highlights.
Add in a few older gents settling into wine-soaked adulthood—we’re looking at you, Bowie and Keef—and it’s a photoset we’re more willing to take a glance at. The photos are all courtesy of godfather of rock photography Bob Gruen (hat tip to Phazerblast), and there’s plenty to like.