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Fare Thee Well, David Bowie

  • Kempt Staff
Fare Thee Well, David Bowie

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.

So this morning, let’s look back on some of the good times...

Style Icons with Sweet Rides

Steve McQueen

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.

Thus we present to you: Style Icons with Sweet Rides. To check out the high-speed handsomeness, follow us after the jump...»

Style Icons and Their Mothers

  • Kempt Staff

Mother's Day

Here’s your last reminder that Sunday is Mother’s Day, gentlemen.

And to kick off the weekend of maternal appreciation right, we turn to some of our favorite style icons for some dapper inspiration on how to get into the spirit of filial gratitude...

With this handsome montage of style icons hanging out with their mothers.»

The Five Gallery Shows to Put on Your Calendar

  • Kempt Staff


The well-documented punksploitation that happened on the Met Gala’s red carpet the other night got us thinking about our love for the impromptu gallery visit.

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...

Herewith, your seasonal dose of culture.»

Cotton Suits, Spring Break Movies and Young Martin Sheen

  • Kempt Staff

Martin Sheen

Cotton Eyed: Die, Workwear gives some well-deserved love to an underappreciated summer staple: the cotton suit.

Break Out: With Hollywood buzzing over the release of Spring Breakers, Bullett rounds up eight worthy predecessors.

Zigzag: Retronaut stumbled upon a cache of photos from David Bowie’s 1972 Ziggy Stardust cover shoot.

Bad Is Good: Details makes the case for watching Terrence Malick’s Badlands to better acquaint yourself with the director—and the badassery of young Martin Sheen.

Worldly Gents, Denim Debates and Dressing Like David Bowie

  • Kempt Staff

Tommy Ton

World Class: Four Pins sits down with the reigning champion of #menswear street photography, Tommy Ton, to count down the most stylish men of the world.

Jeaneology: Vice recounts the evolution of the now-ever-present pair of jeans.

Bowie to Bowie: Cribbing some style cues from David Bowie, courtesy of Cool Material.

Shine Bright: Making the case for the questionably expensive shoe-shine kit.

Birthday Bowie

David Bowie, 66, announces new album, The Next Day

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.

All we can say is, “And many more.”

Bowie's newest single plus a few of our favorite photos, after the jump.»

The Impossible Cool Goes Color

  • Najib Benouar

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.

We’ve got the rest of the Impossible Cool x Sonic Editions collection, in the full color spectrum, after the jump.»

Vikki Dougan Does Not Much Care For Zippers

vikkidougan_crop.jpgvia WBE

The Thin Blue Shoelace: Errol Morris is a fan of Sperry Top-Siders. We might have guessed. [Boing Boing]

The Man Who Sold the World: A photoset of a painfully young David Bowie. Pretty sharp, even then. [The Guardian]

Nice Shades: Your daily dose of lookbook handsomeness. [Sartorially Inclined]

He Should Call it “Ecko Location”: Marc Ecko is using Foursquare to stop spanking. That is not a typo. [Fast Company]

Kempt Man of the Hour: Mark Ronson


Going bleach-blond is a pretty extreme move—kind of like a powder-blue suit, come to think of it—but when it’s done right it’s the sort of high-wire sartorialism that earns MOTHs.

It helps that the resulting ‘do is more LES punk than surfer dude—even if that’s a surfboard behind him, and later on in the evening he was shaking hands with Laird Hamilton.

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.

Spirit of ‘77


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.

Don’t be surprised if the jeans look familiar.

See more of the scene»