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Elusive David Bowie Re-emerges To Deny Involvement In Fashion Exhibit

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Bowie shows it off, circa 1978. (photo by Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)

Bowie shows it off, circa 1978. (photo by Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)

For as long as he’s been in the spotlight, David Bowie’s style has served as a barometer of his creative vision. He’s gone through more iconic looks than Madonna, and soon they’ll be on display as part of a exhibit opening in 2013 at London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum.

However, the artist who sang the hit “Fashion” will not be involved in the exhibit, despite reports in the press confirming Bowie’s curation with the V&A’s director, Martin Roth. Bowie issued a saucy statement on the matter via his official Facebook page, which reads:

Contrary to recently published reports relating to the announcement by the V&A of an upcoming David Bowie Exhibition, I am not a co-curator and did not participate in any decisions relating to the exhibition. The David Bowie Archive gave unprecedented access to the V&A and museum’s curators have made all curatorial and design choices. A close friend of mine tells me that I am neither “devastated”, “heartbroken” nor “uncontrollably furious” by this news item.

In recent years, Bowie has withdrawn from the public, rarely ever photographed. He hasn’t toured since 2006 and recently turned down an offer to perform at the London Olympics’ Closing Ceremony.

The idea that he’d be involved with an exhibit dissecting his own fashion evolution, however, seem oddly likely given his passion for wearable art. Costumes first became an extension of Bowie’s art with the release of his third album The Man Who Sold the World, where he wore a dress and played up his androgynous features. It continued with his iconic Ziggy Stardust persona – clad in tight little onesies and sporting a flame-red mullet and bright makeup – as pictured on his Aladdin Sane album cover.

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Then came his Thin White Duke persona, launched in 1976 with the release of Station to Station. Suddenly Bowie’s hair was lightened and slicked back, his clothes classy and reminiscent of a cabaret singer. He segued into a more experimental, high-art look from there, with the release of his “Berlin Trilogy” of albums with producer Brian Eno. From there, Bowie’s fashion choices became slightly more conventional, reflecting the era while still maintaining a distinct edge and high-fashion point of view.

- Jillian Mapes, CBS Local

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