Rebel Rebel, Put On Your Dress

Hmmm...where do I begin. I think it was Nirvana that introduced me to your music. Although they were my generation's 'Heroes', I was a hardcore Beatles fan at the time. But their rendition of 'The Man Who Sold the World' on MTV Unplugged caught my ear & from there I set off on a journey to discover your music. With every album I took home with me from the record store, I'd throw it on my turntable or stereo and admire the cover- the imagery, the colors, the costumes, the make-up, the concept and design. Your music touched my soul, and as an art school (fashion design) graduate, these record covers became my inspiration and fashion bible. I was in (soul) love.
Fast forward, it's the year 2004, on a dark, cold January evening, I ditched work early to meet my boyfriend to drive the 2.5 hours from Columbus, OH to Cleveland, OH to see you in concert for the first time. Oh man! What an electrifying experience! All I remember was shakin' my booty and singing my heart out to all of the songs you played (well c'mon, come on, we really got a good thing going). Your concert set, studded with early '70s glam rock, appeased my Bowie-du-jour taste.
So when I heard you were headed to play Columbus a few months later in May, I decided I was going to design & make a dress in your honor to wear to the show. I remember I pulled an all-nighter making it, and still made it in to my day job the next morning, then off to your concert. My dress was a tribute to Ziggy & Alladin Sane, with a nod to that badass Alexander McQueen Union Jack deconstructed jacket that you wore on the cover of Earthling, all wrapped up with a Japanese Gothic Lolita twist. I even found a pair of platform boots (for a screamin' deal from an exotic dancer costume website) that were reminiscent of something that Ziggy would wear. I was proud to wear my costume to your show, but also a little nervous & self-conscious to step outside of the car in broad daylight. This was the conservative Midwest, and even when I experimented with wearing 'tamer' outfits out & about in Columbus, I'd still have unsavory comments hurled my way out the windows of passing cars. Well, the show must go on, I said to myself, and as I delicately maneuvered my way across the parking lot in my 6"+ heels, I could hear a voice behind me say, "You Go Girl! Now that's Total Bowie". I turn around to discover it's the most conservative-looking, 40-something, suburban, Midwest white guy with a huge approving smile on his face. My confidence was boosted and I was ready to rock! What a show you put on in Columbus-- a set that was completely different from the time I saw you in Cleveland! I was in awe.
I never had a chance to make my way up to the front row to show off my creation to you at the Columbus show; my ticket was for a spot near the back row. I also never had the guts to post a pic of my dress on BowieNet. Years later, I gave away the dress, but I kept those boots (you just never know). From one artist to another, thanks David for your continual inspiration to be a rebel, rebel.

Share This Story: