Tag Archives: Tilda Swinton

2023 ➤ 80,000 items of Bowie baggage find final resting place in the Olympic Park

Bowie, David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts, V&A East Storehouse, , archive, David Bowie

Into the archive: 1978 self-portrait sketched and signed by Bowie (detail)

❚ AT THE DAVID BOWIE CENTRE for the Study of Performing Arts fans will soon be able to get up-close to Bowie’s creative genius like never before. From 2025 the Victoria & Albert Museum’s East Storehouse in London’s Olympic Park will house more than 80,000 items amassed during the six decades of the performer’s pioneering career. His archive will be made available to the public, from fans to school children and researchers, thanks to the David Bowie Estate and a donation of £10m from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group.

The archive features handwritten lyrics, letters, sheet music, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments, album artwork and awards. It also includes more intimate writings, thought processes and unrealised projects, the majority of which have never been seen in public before.

V&A East Storehouse will be a new type of museum experience taking visitors behind the scenes of the stored collections. The new Centre will also support the ongoing conservation, research and study of the archive.

Bowie, David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts, V&A East Storehouse, archive,

Into the archive: notes for Bowie lyrics created by the Burroughs “cut-up” technique

Highlights include stage costumes such as Bowie’s breakthrough Ziggy Stardust ensembles designed by Freddie Burretti (1972), Kansai Yamamoto’s flamboyant creations for the Aladdin Sane tour (1973) and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen for the Earthling album cover (1997). The archive also includes handwritten lyrics for songs including Fame (1975), “Heroes” (1977) and Ashes to Ashes (1980), as well as examples of the “cut-up” method of generating lyrics introduced to Bowie by the writer William Burroughs. Additionally, the archive holds a series of intimate notebooks from every era of Bowie’s life up to his death in 2016.

Tilda Swinton, one of David Bowie’s friends and collaborators, said: “In 2013, the V&A’s David Bowie Is… exhibition gave us unquestionable evidence that Bowie is a spectacular example of an artist who not only made unique and phenomenal work, but who has an influence and inspiration far beyond that work itself. Ten years later, the regenerative nature of his spirit grows ever further in popular resonance down through younger generations.”

Bowie, David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts, V&A East Storehouse, costumes, archive,

Into the archive: stage costumes from every decade of Bowie’s career

➢ Read further detail at the official David Bowie website


2013 ➤ Bowie’s psychodrama The Stars mocks the rockiness of godliness

[Video NSFW]

❚ WHAT A FRISKY, UNSETTLING VIDEO David Bowie has created for this year’s second single, The Stars (Are Out Tonight). It’s hard to tell who’s doing what to whom in this sexy Rocky Horror homage on the theme of celebrity stalking.

The souls of a happily married suburban couple are haunted by the neighbours, a tantalising pair of godlike and androgynous celebrity sirens played by supermodels Andrej Pejic and Saskia De Brauw, who have been cast from Bowie’s 70s character moulds. The story sees wifey, played by  Tilda Swinton, morph into another early Bowie lookalike, which has often seemed to be her destiny. Dave himself ends up in mindless zombie mode despite his protective bemused face, the me-looking-at-me double-take, first clocked in his 2003 Vittel TV commercial.

David Bowie,The Stars (Are Out Tonight),video,Floria Sigismondi, Andrej Pejic

Waiting to make their night-time moves: Andrej is about to plonk one on David in the video for The Stars. © 2013 ISO Records

Even today, it’s brave that gender-bending role-play is the medium for The Stars’ saga of corruption, depicted with a cold eroticism appropriate to the zeitgeist. That we’re led astray by ambivalent naked body parts in a pseudo-Hitchcockian psychodrama is eye-popping. On top of which, this absorbing, elegant mini-movie by Floria Sigismondi makes flesh of a rocking melody and an intelligent song, delivered with classic Bowie vocals. (Here, musically, is another echo from 2003’s album Reality, which was widely under-rated.) The weirdo video for The Stars is all of a piece: it’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s creepy and it’s funny.

Also: Dave is sporting a proper set of glam teeth and NO evidence of a turkey neck at 66. So unfair.

David Bowie,The Stars (Are Out Tonight),video,Floria Sigismondi

Gender-bending confusion: “Brigitte, Jack, Kate and Brad”, according to the lyric for Bowie’s The Stars. © 2013 ISO Records

➢ The Stars on sale at iTunes

➢ 2013, Shock and awe verdicts on Bowie’s born-again masterpiece – Shapersofthe80s rounds up verdicts on Where Are We Now?

1970 ➤ Where to draw a line between glitter and glam:
naff blokes in Bacofoil versus starmen with pretensions
— analysis by Shapersofthe80s