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13 Times David Bowie Fought Fashion — & Won

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    Photo: Terry O’Neill/Getty Images.

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    Among all the radical, game-changing things that David Bowie offered to the music world, he was also an artist in the purest sense of the title. Notes and melodies weren't the only thing he knew how to manipulate to change our realities: He understood how moving images, personas, even the color of his hair — and, yes, clothing — could be transformative.

    The pop icon was famous for his myriad alter egos — each seemingly more radical than the last. Bowie’s artistic breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, an album that fostered his image as rock-star-god-meets-visiting-space-alien. An ambassador of the avant-garde and a defender of the different, his stage personas — ranging from out-of-this-world Ziggy Stardust, via Major Tom, to whimsy Thin White Duke — became the worshipped iconography of a musical genre that hung entirely upon one man.

    With his mismatched eye colors (the result of a schoolyard fight) and needlelike frame, Bowie resembled the aliens he wrote so much about; his otherness was a canvas that he used fashion to embellish. Whether it was platform boots, leotards, or buttons that were never buttoned, Bowie always rebelled against the dominant style regime, and the fashion landscape is better because of it. Cool until the end, Bowie was always well-heeled; here's a cut of his finest sartorial moments.

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  2. Photo: Getty.

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  3. Photo: Fiona Adams/Getty.

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  5. Photo: Terry O'Neill/Getty.

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  6. Photo: Michael Putland/Getty.

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