A scarf to celebrate an absolute myth, David Bowie
Four years ago, in January, one of the most interesting and influential figures on the international art scene died: David Bowie, The White Duke.
An artist who has interpreted fashion, culture, music, not only rock, cinema (among the many interpretations one of Andy Warhol), always managing to be innovative and personal in his every choice.
No public commemoration, but millions of messages and comments from people all over the world.
Scattered ashes, no religious funeral.
But who was David Bowie really? How many characters did he play?
David Bowie, thanks to his curiosity and talent, has used every kind of musical and artistic current to create his songs and characters: Major Tom, Halloween Jack, The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane.
Divided between British and American sounds, he was able to mix and interpret different styles and launch real fashions with his looks.
Each of his costumes was studied in detail to give life to characters sung on stage
I liked that about him: he experimented, searched, studied and above all used all the arts to express himself.
As an artist should in fact do, absorb what society offers him.
Over the years I have often listened to his albums and found myself sharing this passion with people all over the world both online and offline.
I discovered that fans were looking for historical gadgets (pins, t-shirts, hats, socks and so on) in their travels.
Online auctions offer a lot of material but I was looking for something that made me think about his art in a different way.
I’ve never collected anything of this kind but I’ve always had a passion for scarves and the idea of creating one for me, with the face of one of my favorite singers, accompanied me for a few months.
It was really a personal necessity and I had no doubt, I created the first one a year ago from my own design.
I discarded several sketches, I opted for a drawing created with pencil and watercolor that I then digitally redesigned to make the colors compact and printable.
Like a 1960s pop rock icon.
Once I created the design, I had the unique piece printed and I was getting ready to wear it, but around the corner there was the first surprise.
I didn’t post anything online in the shop, but I did a post on my instagram account where I talked about David Bowie and my love for some of his songs that inspired some paintings
Sooner said than done, several people wrote to me wondering if by chance I wanted to make scarves with his image: men who wanted to give them to their women, women who wanted to give them to their sisters.
“Think about it, we’d like to buy them”, they said.
It was a risk, since the enthusiasm of the moment can play tricks and for me creating unique pieces, there was the huge unknown of having unsold them in the shop and having to wear them all myself!
Anyway, a thought crossed my mind: incredible, besides me someone was looking for a scarf with David Bowie.
But who would buy a scarf with Bowie?
So I put the first scarf in the shop and It flew in the same day to England, the right place to start this adventure.
That Bowie approved this little enthusiasm from Italy.
This really rock scarf went to a very young girl, very sporty and above all to a singer.
An English rock singer, who works in London. Perfect, isn’t it?
Gift from her father, musician. That he would later buy not only scarves, but also brooches that I had always created with Bowie, now scattered all over Europe and sold out.
So I created another one and it went to Britain too. Compact colours, stylized profile.
No pop but a lot of coloristic rigor reminiscent of the Bauhaus Movement.
This time to a woman who had seen several of Bowie’s live concerts (what luck! what envy!) and who had been looking for something to wear for years other than the usual t-shirt or the typical concert gadget.
“You made me remember my wild and easygoing years, thank you!” she wrote to me.
I have so far created six scarves dedicated to David Bowie‘s art.
And what amazes me is the transversality of the fans: men and women, old and young, if not very young.
After all, the magnetic and attractive ambiguity of the White Duke is the key to creating without thinking about a specific audience.
That they wear without any fear: an important scarf, even a huge one, without classifying it as male or female.
In my shop right now, I still have two completely different ones.
One scarf taken from a photo that the great photographer Terry o’Neill took of him in 1974 -then an image of him where he doesn’t play a character- and another from the cover of Aladdin Sane, an album released in 1973 in which his face is crossed by a colored lightning bolt and his hair looks artificial in color and shape. all, the magnetic and attractive ambiguity of the White Duke is the key to creating without thinking about a specific audience.
This last scarf was created at a precise moment of transition of my scarves: it still has a machine-sewn hem (but in an Italian artisan tailor’s shop and on Italian printed fabric) but the fabric is partly recycled from plastic and is even bigger, a square of 145 cm per side.
It’s part of the small revolution that I’m putting in place, looking for materials of excellent quality but recycled and possibly almost zero km.
A final consideration.
If you’re curious and go on the internet, you’ll discover that Bowie loved to wear scarves and foulards himself, and used them as capes, as ties, as colorful elements to brighten up the look but also as props.
In fact, it all makes sense: Bowie played visual artists and he painted himself. He used scarves.
I paint, I wear scarves, and I wear him on a scarf.
In fact, no, my David Bowie scarf is not yet among my accessories.
I’m waiting for the collectors of Bowie’s scarves in the world to run out and maybe I’ll never wear one, I don’t know.
A client of mine told me that she wears it when she has to go on stage to sing, which somehow gives it energy.
I’d say that’s quite an achievement, considering I just wanted to wear one a year ago!
As for me, I’m waiting to see if I’ll have one and I smile at the thought of how far some scarves have come this year thanks to him.
And I don’t forget what Bowie sang, “Don’t laugh babe, it’ll be alright”.