David Bowie has become almost as famous for his wild and outlandish outfits as he has for his pioneering music – and this part of his character is to become even more evident when the Victoria and Albert museum unveil an exhibition of Bowie, part curated by the man himself, next month.
Precisely which outfits will be featured in the display is being kept tightly under lock and key, with V&A’s director, Martin Roth, simply whetting our appetite by saying “Bowie is incomparable. No one has inspired the whole world not only in terms of music but also arts, fashion and style. He created a vision of individualism for an entire generation.”
Bowie was an icon of rebellion and individuality, something which we value highly today, and it will be incredibly engaging to see the way a museum famous for chronicling human culture, featuring everything thing from past fashion to artefacts of world religion, takes on Ziggy Stardust.
However, writing in the Guardian online, Dalya Alberge has suggested that some may be unhappy with the museum’s pandering to popular culture and desire to attract visitors, “The V&A is of course tapping into a demand, but whether a cultural museum should be meeting it is another matter. The Kylie Minogue exhibition [put on by the museum last year] attracted 271,000 visitors and was one of the museum’s most popular shows.”
Regardless of whether Pop is undermining the intellectual integrity of this museum or not, the display is going ahead and sure to be incredible (not to mention likely to have a brilliant gift shop!), especially with Bowie’s own personal influence on the whole show.